Must Read: Real Editors Ship

My colleague Mathew Ingram shared this excellent post by Paul Ford with the GigaOM team last week, and I can’t stop thinking about it, or about one of the source articles, written by a former colleague of mine, Bobbie Johnson.

“The media is very good at making itself seem like something other than a business (and there are a lot of problems with what business it does manage) — but if you realise that every edition, every issue, every article, every bulletin, every thing made by the media is a product, then you start to think differently about these situations.” — Bobbie Johnson

The discussion of editors’ role in “shipping product” for the media business is great, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking more about who plays the role of “editor” in other non-media jobs. I work at the intersection of these two areas — editor and product manager — and my partner is a QA engineer, so lots of these issues are top of mind for me on a daily basis.

In my experience, what Ford says is true; being an editor is about “the willingness to schedule the living shit out of everything, the ability to see patterns, a total dedication to shipping, and willingness to say ‘no’”. That he goes on to recognize that this means “you start to have this very interesting source of power inside your organization, especially given the changes coming in web content, where you need structure and connections in order to play with others” is a really awesome insight.

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