Published on September 10th, 2014 | by Em Dash4
Photo: Sean Hale aka Hale Yeah
Derbylife Is Still Here for You
Every year, in July, on the anniversary of Derbylife’s creation, I typically write a state-of-the-website post. This year, with everything else going on in my life, in roller derby, and all the behind-the-scenes stuff with DerbyNewsNetwork, I let that chance slip away. I’d like to take this very sad and emotional time to correct that, and to reconnect with Derbylife’s readers.
First, for any of you who don’t know me, I’m Em Dash. I co-founded Derbylife with Mercyless (one of the other DNN principals) in 2011, and have been running it ever since. When she departed in 2012, I stepped up and took on the role of Editor-in-Chief. I’ve had great people helping me in various ways over time, including Hurt Reynolds, Moneyshot, TK-Oh, and the incredibly talented and generous Lex Talionis and Fox Sake.
As a perfectionist and a professional editor, it’s in my nature to try to keep my head down and my work behind the scenes invisible. I don’t like to complain or admit weakness or ask for help too often. I like to think I can do everything.
But as long-time Derbylife readers might have noticed, this year, things have been slipping away. I have less help than I’ve ever had before on the site, and in the wake of DNN’s decision, that help is now pretty much gone. We also have fewer submissions than we’ve had since we started. I’m publishing less frequently, and it sometimes takes me a while to respond to emails and post articles that are submitted, especially if they are complex or have a lot of photos.
As we contemplate what we have lost this week with the passing of DNN, I hope you’ll take a moment to think about whether community-run derby publications are important to this sport. Derbylife was never started to be a place where I could pontificate or publish my own work–though I appear to be doing both right now. It was meant to be a community meeting space, a vibrant website full of articles, tips, advice, stories, opinions, humor, photos, videos, and anything else that folks in the derby community wanted to share with each other. It was meant to be a beautiful cacophony. Right now, it feels a bit more like a whisper.
I’m officially putting out a call for help. Are you interested in derby media? Are you a writer, editor, photographer, designer, videographer, or derby lover with opinions who wants to be involved in making this site the best it can be? Then please drop me a line at emdash (at) derbylife.com and let me know how you’d like to be involved.
I love the derby community, and I still see great possibilities for this site. But as everyone has seen evidence of this week, it’s hard to keep a publication going. Sites like Derbylife thrive with many voices. I want you to hear my voice, but even more than that, I want you to hear the strong, clear voices of others.
I hope to hear from you. I’d like to keep doing this for a long time.
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