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Hello, I Must Be Going

I've only recently arrived here and now it is time to go. I've enjoyed my time in Novato and thank all of you.

Photo by Rem O'Donnelley

It seems I've only just started here and now I have to leave. I received word this morning that most of the Patch editors have been laid off, that includes me.

Although home is only several miles South, I have enjoyed spending time downtown as well as meeting shopkeepers and people on the street. While I have access to the Patch site I want to thank everyone I've met, those who have read my articles and who have shared their comments on the stories.

I want to finish a few stories that I have started and hope to do that as long as I can post the news. It is good to know that the police blotter, city council news and Where Is This feature are welcomed back.

Thank you
Novato Tim January 29, 2014 at 11:42 PM
Sorry to hear this Rem. Best of luck to you - I liked what I saw. Ditto to Linda and Sam - the commenting section has become a vast wasteland to a handful of imbecilic repeat posters. I don't know what the answer to this is.
Craig Belfor January 30, 2014 at 12:03 AM
I disagree, Tim. The comments were what Patch was all about. The story was just the catalyst needed to start the discussion. Although we had to endure posts we did not like, the overall community contribution was what made this special.
JBW January 30, 2014 at 12:35 AM
The comments section was both the best and worst section of Patch. Unfortunately some posters were so persistent that it slowly drove away many less intense readers and posters. For example during the charter school discussion parents had a great place to discuss issues. But other activists without school aged children overtook the conversation, one or two in particular literally killed the open discussion of parents in the community. I believe Novato Patch was more damaged by that one topic and one individual who overtook the entire conversation that many great patch users left and never returned.
Craig Belfor January 30, 2014 at 01:31 AM
This is weird, talking about Patch in the past tense on Patch. What happens next? This is worse than losing Villa Roma.
Novato Camper January 30, 2014 at 09:04 AM
JWB, This family agrees with you as we were one of the family's that left Patch because of multiple posting by the same person. They thought they owned this site along with the coolies who agreed with any statement made . My friend called here last night and told us this sad news that Patch may be history . What ever Happened to Brent ? as I see a new face as editor
Bubba six pack January 30, 2014 at 10:09 AM
Camper, much has happened since you left. Brent saw the iceberg before anyone else, and jumped off this Titanic with the first lifeboat. He now works at County, a bigger Titanic. Karina, a Russian, came in and pulled a Putin on anyone who didn't agree with the party line. Julia Angel took this purging stuff to heart, and now we all get to know her bowel movements. Then Karina grabbed the last lifeboat and let Rem lead the band the rest of the way down. We're out of lifeboats. This is it. We should have listened to the old sailor's advice. When the rats leave the ship, don't be far behind.
Rem O'Donnelley January 30, 2014 at 10:47 AM
I was reading the news stories on the event and was surprised to see this - (attribution below) "The source says that at the eleventh hour, Tim Armstrong saved the journalists providing content at his local Greenwich Patch. AOL still owns about 40% of Patch.” The article where this is from also includes the audio of the conference call announcing the layoffs. http://www.inquisitr.com/1113783/aol-patch-layoffs-hundreds-unemployed-as-of-today/ I had a good time here and I hope you will continue to discuss and debate matters that affect Novato.
Sylvia Barry January 30, 2014 at 11:02 AM
Readership/blogs also went down after Patch changed their format. But here is a good article to read about the ups and downs of Patch http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/news/article.asp?docKey=600-201401300807KRTRIB__BUSNEWS_16232_34218-1&params=timestamp||01/30/2014%208:07%20AM%20ET||headline||Patch%20Online%20News%20Network%20Lays%20Off%20Still%20More%20Editors%20In%20State%2C%20U.S.%20[The%20Hartford%20Courant%20%3A%3A%20]||docSource||McClatchy-Tribune||provider||ACQUIREMEDIA||bridgesymbol||US;FB&ticker=FB
Rem O'Donnelley January 30, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Thanks for the link Sylvia
Roger January 30, 2014 at 11:17 AM
Kari: As the currently listed editor of the Novato Patch, do you see this newsletter going away in the future?
Sylvia Barry January 30, 2014 at 11:19 AM
My pleasure, Rem. I also want to thank you for your service. I could see how you were getting more comfortable with Novato and with covering Novato issues and finding your angle. I wish the best for your future endeavor. Perhaps after the dust settles, you will be back! See you around Marin!
Brent Ainsworth January 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Roger: Don't bother trying to reach Kari Hulac because she was laid off, too. (Sigh). We certainly had a heyday on this site for a while, and we gave other local media a run for their money. Nobody seems to know if the sites will stay up and running, but people can blog, add items to the calendar and participate in other ways. Just don't expect any unbiased journalism. We'll have to think of a way to create a new go-to site with real news that's 100 percent Novatoish. It'll either have to be all-volunteer or funded through donations. Quality news cannot be free.
Brent Ainsworth January 30, 2014 at 11:39 AM
I wonder if the Advance's brass would make a sincere effort to have daily online news, including breaking news, rather than a weekly product. That would take advertising dollars and a commitment to trained personnel. My fear is that Marinscope isn't in solid enough financial standing, either, to make such a commitment.
Chris Crescibene January 30, 2014 at 12:17 PM
Below is a link to respected media blogger Jim Romanesko's article on the Patch layoffs. In the comments section is a good discussion from people who are trying to make a go at local news websites like the Patch, but on an independent basis. http://jimromenesko.com/2014/01/29/hale-global-lays-off-patch-employees/
Novato Tim January 30, 2014 at 12:45 PM
What's happening with the Patch is I'm afraid all too commonplace - people flock there because it's free and they can make comments almost at will. But the site is limited in terms of the breadth of the news it can unbiasedly cover, so it eventually devolves into a shouting match between ultra-right wingers and anarchists, with occasional participation by the Julia Angels of the world. And occasionally some decent comments.
Karen January 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM
A Novato Facebook page? A Yahoo group? Any other platforms that are already out there that would fit the bill if the Patch really did go permanently away?
Tina McMillan January 30, 2014 at 01:53 PM
Rem: Thank you for the articles. So sorry that we keep losing good people just when it gets interesting. ========================================== For people that are interested you can sign up to post comments on Novato Advance and Marin IJ articles much like we post to Patch. Taking out an electronic subscription is much less costly than the paper editions. ========================================== If we want to be able to continue our conversations then supporting news groups by being active subscribers is the only way to keep options open. ========================================== Here are links to the Advance and the IJ: ========================================== http://www.marinscope.com/novato_advance/ http://www.marinij.com/ ========================================== Patch has been a great experiment. Maybe Patch will get purchased by a wealthy benefactor interested in creating a platform for free speech. The ability to interact on line and discuss issues, exchange information and get more involved in local government is a worthwhile cause.
Bubba six pack January 30, 2014 at 09:17 PM
Tina's a shrink, so if there's a wealthy whack job out there, she'll find him first. Problem is-you don't get rich by being looney tunes, so you have to remember-"if it doesn't make dollars, it doesn't make sense." Newspapers are going out, just like smoke signals, drums, pigeons, and radio. They did a study on earthworms. They discovered that if earthworms learned a maze, and were ground up and fed to other earthworms, the new earthworms could navigate the maze without having to learn it. Some day we'll just eat the news, but be careful. It might work in reverse. If you eat at Chic-Fil-A, you'll start thinking wrestling is real, and your little sister will start looking pretty good.
Tina McMillan January 30, 2014 at 11:53 PM
An online news source like Patch could work if it had advertising to support it just like print media. AOL sold Patch to Hale Global. They are touted as being a "turn around specialist" http://www.cbsnews.com/news/after-sale-from-aol-the-patch-news-site-lays-off-hundreds/ ========================================== "The question will be whether Patch can continue to operate hundreds of sites with a drastically smaller staff. Even before the layoffs, the service had been criticized for its depth of journalism as well as the workload heaped upon its writers and editors." ========================================== "But the bigger problem for Patch has been its business model...In an embarrassing episode for AOL, Armstrong fired Patch creative director Abel Lenz on a conference call, stunning employees and outside observers...Local journalism is far from dead, but Patch’s approach didn’t take hold in some communities." ========================================== Patch was doing well in Novato under the guiding hand and watchful eye of Brent Ainsworth but when it changed formats and got part time editors who were expected to manage a lot for almost no compensation it became a losing venture. ==========================================Buffett weighs in on wisdom of owning media Dan Ritter, Wall St. Cheat Sheet 8:12 a.m. EST January 4, 2014 "But Buffett explained his thinking and justified his position in a 2012 letter to shareholders. When he wrote the letter, Berkshire Hathaway had acquired 28 daily newspapers in the last 15 months alone. Berkshire Hathaway now owns a veritable army of local reporters and editors....Buffett argued in the letter that although the outlook for the newspaper industry in general is bleak, there is one area where publications can shine: "in the delivery of local news."
Tina McMillan January 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM
It's interesting to note that Buffet starts out by saying News Media is a veritable black hole of expenses but then when able to purchase print media for a song he reinvests and put the focus on local news. I don't know if Patch has the cojones or the substance to attract a Buffet but it provides an interesting outlet for local writers that want to share opinions and are willing to create free blogs along with reporters like Rem who are able to take a neutral stance and present facts so readers can form and share their own opinions. ========================================== In addition to reading online local and international news I still read books. Not everyone wants their news delivered in a Tweet or Text. More information, intelligently shared in a format that can reach many readers and that allows interaction may be the "town halls" of the future.
Sam January 31, 2014 at 03:31 AM
We all know you got kicked to the curb for your phony neutral stance a couple of months ago. You only hold one record here and that is your number of sick postings that many complained about because of lies .
Linda January 31, 2014 at 09:25 AM
As my ex boyfriend used say when the neighbors dog tinkled on my lawn " He would ask her if fat dogs fart"
Bubba six pack February 01, 2014 at 04:18 PM
Tina is one of the few who researches, post links to back up her research, and gives in depth, honest opinions and facts. She, along with Roger, Dave Ratto, Trish Boornstein, and others I can't recall at the moment, kept Patch relevant and informative. We can't survive on trolls alone. We need meat, not salad, to keep Patch alive.
Hopkin February 01, 2014 at 04:37 PM
Bubba, I'm glad you didn't put any numbers in your post, because 87% of statistics posted in online forums have no backing data.
Sam February 01, 2014 at 04:45 PM
Bubba, Tina gives her own opinion which most readers pass on reading her phoney research. Yes you and a few others kiss her ass . Patch has cut off all but two people who can post new news story's now and next week that will end as its so sad to see good people get laid off. You can now go to Rants & Raves on craigs list if you want your posts read.
Bubba six pack February 01, 2014 at 04:56 PM
Sam- go Tina on me and give me the link. I suspect without order it will be just a troll triathlon, but I'm willing to see it. Linda suggested it long ago but I couldn't find it.
Hopkin February 01, 2014 at 05:01 PM
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/
Sam February 01, 2014 at 05:06 PM
Bubba , Many Patch readers have postings there as we got sick and tired of the wackos posting something they know nothing about. Google Graigs list north bay and then click on Rants and Raves
Bubba six pack February 01, 2014 at 05:34 PM
I tried that link and all I got was a bunch of garbage that makes even you look good. I must be missing something here, or maybe we don't value what we're missing in the demise of patch.
Hopkin February 01, 2014 at 05:44 PM
In Rants & Raves? I haven't checked that section myself, I usually stick to Casual Encounters. ;)

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