Want to be a local celebrity?

By now you’re all pretty familiar with our fantastic columnists. There’s Allan Rosen, who writes about mass transit in The Commute, and Neil Friedman, musing on politics, media and culture in Between The Lines. Robert Fernandez shows us the Bay’s tastiest dishes in The Bite, while Joseph Reisman saves you money with Telling Tips.

We’re looking to add some fresh faces to this roster with locals looking to make their mark, and express their passion or opinions to neighbors.

Whether you’re an expert or a hobbyist with a wealth of knowledge on a particular topic, or have strong thoughts about this-that-or-the-other, we’re interested in what you have to say.

All we ask is that you’re able to regularly submit columns, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, and are thick-skinned enough to withstand the barbs of some of our more critical commenters.

If you’re ready to be a local celebrity, e-mail nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com, and let us know what topic you think would make a great column (cooking? bicycling? shopping? politics?), how often you believe you can submit columns and a few sentences about why you think you should be the one to tackle it. No previous writing experience is necessary.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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  • Arthur Borko

    Is this on a volunteer basis or will you be paying on a per word basis? The article above mentions neither.

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      All of our columnists are volunteer contributors. However, there are potential benefits other than money. As you well know, Arthur, Sheepshead Bites ain’t rolling in dough, and what money we do have we try to save for hard news reporting or producing events. I would be happy to work with any interested candidates on seeing what we can do for them in lieu of payment.

      • Arthur Borko

        There we go. I only asked because that disclaimer wasn’t in the article above.

  • BayResident

    As much as I understand that you have to add new writers at some point, and might even be interested in contributing with more than a Facebook message every now and then myself, I’ve kind of grown fond of the idea that SheepsheadBites is the voice of Ned.

    I like your style and hope that you won’t use this as an excuse to not contribute as much yourself. Maybe I dislike change, or maybe I just have a man-crush on Ned (completely heterosexual), but requests like this make me nervous.

    PS. Robert is cool too!

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Aww. Ain’t that sweet.

      Here’s the deal, though, and I might as well address this publicly as I don’t have anything to hide.

      Sheepshead Bites began as a hobby. Now it’s my full time job. In the past four-and-a-half years, we’ve gone from two or three articles a week to (between both sites) 10-15 a day.

      I’ve been watching the “hyperlocal blogging” (or, as I’ve always preferred to call it, “community news publishing”) space very closely since long before I started. In 2008, Brooklyn was known as the “bloggiest place on earth.” Do you know where all those blogs went? Most died or are damn near it due to the fact that their publishers burned out by overworking themselves, and failed to implement business structures that would give them the stability they needed to stay afloat.

      That’s the last place in the world I want to find myself. I want Sheepshead Bites and Bensonhurst Bean to serve these communities effectively, efficiently and prolifically – for the long run. That means it can’t be all Ned all the time.

      I will still be writing, of course, and, more importantly, I’ll still be overseeing the editorial direction and voice of these sites. But I also need to invest more time in creating lasting structures that will support this endeavor as a business, and do the most patriotic thing I could possibly do in these times: create jobs.

      So, first of all, I do hope that as we go forward, you’ll be patient with any changes we put in place, and welcome any new writers. I also hope, if you see us slipping, you send me a note and (rhetorically) kick my ass for doing so. I’m accountable to you, and to every other reader of this site, and I have no intention of letting you down.

      All of that said, let me add that this not what this call for columnists is about – you just spurred on this disclosure because you’ve touched on something that has consumed my thinking for the past few weeks.

      Let me reiterate that – this is not what this call for columnists is about. I have no plans to reduce other types of coverage or replace real news with community-submitted columns. I just want to give people the opportunity to share their voices on this site – as an addition to the content we will continue to produce.

      • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

        Any contribution accepted would be considered a privilege on my part.

  • Kon

    I am a Computer Science + Electrical Engineering Major at SBU. I am not a strong technical writer, however, I would like to improve my writing ability. I could try to contribute a monthly Tech in relation to Sheepshead Bay article.

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      E-mail me. There are a lot of ways that can work.

    • levp

      For a moment I thought you are referring to that SBU: Sluzhba Bezpeky Ukrayiny (Security Service of Ukraine)…

  • ShadowLock

    Open thread, New Discus update is the Suck…. it mixes the New replies with the old replies…..

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Use the pull down tab under “Discussion.” It changes the ordering.

      • ShadowLock

        Excellent! :) Thanks

  • ShadowLock

    P.S. You should give me a daily segment What Grinds My Gears….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHtRnOXXZ0w

    • ShadowLock

      Or……How to change your daily meals and turn them healthier? I think sheepsheadbites needs a Healthy segment. Less Fried Chicken! More Greens!!!

      • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

        Less fried chicken…? But… but… :’(

  • BrooklynBus

    Here is something else you omitted. You failed to mention how relevant the articles have to be to Sheepshead Bay specifically. I know a few people who might be interested in contributing on a regular basis, but they are not from around here and would be writing about items that might just be interesting on a general level. Also, do you demand some type of exclusivity like if they publish here, they can’t publish the same article or something something similar elsewhere?.

  • M. Smart

    Edward R Murrow started as a blog writer

    • Tinman

      Always though Murrow worked his entire career at CBS. Can’t believe he wrote a blog in the 30s! What’s your source?

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        It was called “Read It Now”, emphasizing the fact that even then blogs could get the news to the reader faster than other media.

      • M. Smart

        wikipedia

  • Alex

    sports ;)?

  • nolastname

    “In lieu of Payment”?? “What chu’ talkin’ ’bout Ned?
    I would be perfect for a “Ya’ evah wonda why” contribution.
    Or a “what did this asshole expect to accomplish”
    Maybe a “What irks me about this” post.
    Someone should take the light side of the shortcomings Sheepshead Bay is overflowing in.

  • nolastname

    And now my gripe. These new MuniShits are just that Shit. If there is no paper in a machine you are expected to walk to another muni. which could be a block away from where you parked. You loose the $$ you have invested. I know there is some BS way to request a refund but I am sure the city is rubbing their greedy hands together in expectation that the loser will not bother. So now if you go park near Brooklyn College where there are (I think it is) 2-4 hour meters a persons struggling to pay college dues is totally screwed. So it would be kind of a simple solution if the meters showed the purchaser BEFORE the purchase of time and space that there is NO paper in this F’in machine. Too easy for BLOOMSHIT.

    • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

      Hey, I was doing “bad behavior of the week” in the comments. I found I was annoying myself too much to keep it up! The final straw was the story I didn’t tell, how there was leftover food from a party at a special ed school, and the workers wouldn’t let the food go home to the impoverished parents of the disabled kids. Geez, I’m making myself sick again….

      • nolastname

        What would be terrible is if the workers took it for themselves.
        It’s not you making yourself sick, it’s them and the conditions they create. Keep being annoying Bruce, it make life interesting. LOL

  • http://www.bigapplesewer.com/ Master Plumber

    Ned, What about a weekly or biweekly segment that actually introduces the reader base to the local business owners. I know you try hard to promote local small business and you do a great job doing so but maybe your readership should meet the owners who work hard to make Sheepshead Bay the diverse and thriving community that it is.

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    Ned, I know this would be a major step, but I have to throw this out to you since I was in the business (my last job was software developer for a major magazine company). Have you thought about changing the format and/or going to a content management system (CMS)? I know how much work it would be, not to mention the cost. Just had to mention it.

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      The cost is a huge part of the issue. And I would likely keep the blog format, because I think it’s particularly powerful for community news – more so than a portal site. But I do want a redesign, and I do want major tweaks to functionality. If you have any suggestions, feel free to e-mail me privately.

  • NSF

    I’m confused. In the bios I’ve read on Murrow, I don’t recall reading about “Read It Now.” Where could Murrow post his “blog” before personal computers? His reports were on the radio and, later, television, before they were in print. Please explain. Thank you.

  • Capt. Merrill Stubing

    Why not start a forum on this site with various sub forums?

  • Kool4Coney

    whoever you choose, it should be a female, you listed ONLY male columnists Ned :)

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Good point! I will certainly keep that in mind, however it really depends on who responds and the ideas that they bring.