Starting an online publication
FIELDWORK has been alive and well for 3 months now and we wanted to share some of the lessons we’ve learnt in starting a publication online. The written word has primarily been compiled by Rob Collins with a selection of input from friends who are part of the wider circle of Fieldwork friends (go team!).
This post is one of our attempts to document the process and enjoy the journey of creating that is often hard to enjoy when searching for likes and ratings and appreciation.
Starting was, unlike some projects, the easiest part. We decided on Medium as the platform due to having read numerous articles on the site before and enjoying the feel that it provided, without the need to fiddle with a theme. Previous attempts at blogging had always led to complications due to the continual feeling that the theme or site could be updated and freshened up.
The project was devised under the tagline
“Sharing stories of people and place”
and arguably we began fulfilling this potential when we snagged our first interview with Jake Porter. This first interview was definitely a bit rough around the edges, not taking advantage of proper photo placement and a lack of creative comments or quotes. In one word it was bland.
We’ve begun to shape the original purpose of the publication to write about how you can go out and grab your own experiences and passions. It may not directly involve working in photography, design or creative industries. But from talking to a wide range of people, including scientists working at leading Universities we can grasp that indulging in ones passion is where maximum enjoyment is gained.
After the first few articles we move onto the grind. This is the period of time which we’re arguably in now. We wanted to build a reliable and respectable collection of articles to encourage readers to frequently visit our site and always find something new to enjoy.
For us we started by saying that we would aim for an article a day. Which was probably a bit ambitious seeing as we were aiming at running this publication as a side project and on the side from other life enjoyments. This was a tad of an unnecessary burden but it did mean we were engaging with more creatives online and building on what we had begun to create.
The moment of magic came when we released an interview which jumped to 100 views in the first few hours after posting. For us, going from a couple of views on a selection of articles to 100+ this was a huge deal. We went a little mad. It was definitely a fist bump moment and a time to indulge in some sweet relief that all the work was worth it up until this point. Then began the grind again for another feeling of satisfaction like the one we just experienced.
Luckily the opportunities to interview more and more people grew swiftly as some time became available to focus particularly on this project.
It was definitely a tough adjustment going from such a high to having to deal with sending countless emails and not getting that much of a reply. Talking to so many creatives that are involved in a wide range of fields, it rings true that despite living in a world of immediate success we must realise that often this isn’t achieved. We’ve been lucky at FIELDWORK to have had great contact with a ton of creatives that have loved sharing their stories and we’re just looking at starting more and more individual projects through this publication.
We’ve not had success by any means but we’re so happy the support has been shown so far, and it really encourages us to put the hours in every day and produce content for you.
So we’ve taken you through this journey slightly and although we’ve made some promises in the past about how often we will post and particular articles we would like to write, we want to let you know what the current plan for FIELDWORK is.
Firstly, we’ve got some interviews lined up to be released over the coming days. We will edit and link these at the bottom of this article once they’re out.
Today an interview with Chris Duell is being released documenting the process of being CEO of a startup and how people can look to get hired by similar companies.
Tomorrow an interview with Niyi Okeowo about being a Nigerian multidisciplinary creative and some of the great projects he is working on. We’re also releasing our first recommend read article, detailing what we’ve been reading online this month.
The week ahead we look forward to welcoming an interview with a young illustrator along with another photographer.
The month ahead we will be releasing our first photo journal series documenting the British coast and are planning on collecting submissions for our first printed publication that we will tell you more about in the coming month.