Just last week, I finished a two-and-a-half-year long book project on garden tractors; now I am really anxious to see it in print. It’s just the latest in a long line of big projects where patience really pays off, and I still get fidgety to see the final product sooner than it ever seems to come.
It was worse when I was a child. I remember chafing (in an annoying way, no doubt) while helping my dad re-side our house; it seemed there was so much measuring to be done and so many trips to the lumberyard that we would never get done. I liked going to the lumberyard with my dad well enough, but it was that sense of accomplishment, of finishing, that I was after.
About a year ago, we embarked on a project here at Grit that we dreamt might happen a lot quicker than it did. Everyone was excited to imagine the final outcome. And though it all seemed pretty straightforward, at least on paper, the project turned out to be a bit more complex than I could have predicted. No, we weren’t making any big changes to the magazine; we were embarking on a complete redesign of our Web site, www.Grit.com.
I recall that it was Tim Swietek, our director of information services, who was among the few to caution us that rebuilding our Web site from the ground up was no small task. Grit’s web-savvy associate editor, Jenn Nemec, agreed. They were right. It was a huge task, and, in our case, one that required the cooperation and consensus-building skills of a diverse group of really smart, passionate and creative people. Everything you see, from the visual design elements, to content placement, to subscriber resources, to brand positioning was thoughtfully placed to help make surfing www.Grit.com an enjoyable and productive experience – for YOU.
One of our foremost goals with the new www.Grit.com is to foster a strong sense of community among Grit readers, Web site visitors and magazine staff. We will continue to update our blogs and upload fresh content regularly. Please take advantage of the commenting function to add information, ask questions or simply express your thoughts on anything and everything you find on the site. If you would like to be a guest blogger on our site, just let me know. We are especially interested in people willing to keep us apprised of what is going on in their corner of the world.
Watch for more opportunities to contribute to the new Grit Web site in the future. If you would like to see discussion groups, polls, ask-the-expert or any other features, please let me know.
Whether it’s canning, harvesting, fencing or building a garden trellis, we’d love to know what you’re up to this season. E-mail digital photos to Editor@Grit.com or post them on cu.Grit.com. Submit articles electronically as an e-mail message or an attached word processing document. We also like handwritten notes, typed or printed documents, and photographic slides or prints. If you submit by mail, be sure to include an SASE if you want things back. We’ll publish some contributions in the magazine, some on the Web site, and some in our biweekly electronic newsletter, Grit eNews.
See you in November.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.