After being laid off, a film critic used a tool to help carry his audience to new projects
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After 20 years at NJ Advance Media — a fruitful couple of decades filled with notable affairs like an interview with a cranky Mila Kunis and a pint of Guinness with Peter O’Toole — film critic Stephen Whitty was laid off in January.
But Whitty wasn’t done writing.
He moved his reviews to the New York Daily News and Film Journal International, among other places, and was able to bring some of his enthusiastic followers from his days at NJ Advance Media with him.
In his farewell column, Whitty linked to his profile on a tool called Authory. Authory is a portfolio site that automatically grabs a journalist’s articles from any website and provides backups of them in case those sites go down. More crucial for Whitty, it also allows anyone to sign up for notifications when a new article is posted.
“[Audiences] follow me to all the new things I’m doing and add some welcome activity to those sites,” Whitty said, noting that he got about 250 or 300 subscribers from his farewell column.
Though he also pointed his audience to his social media accounts, Whitty suspects Authory’s email notifications are easier for his followers to find.
“When something pops up in your inbox and says ‘Hey, here’s this writer and he has a new story out and here’s the link, go read it,’ I think that tends to reach people a little more constantly and effectively than hoping they log on to Twitter and see your message,” he said.
Authory costs $7 a month (or $70 for those who pay annually) and starts with a two-week free trial period. But it may be invaluable for freelancers and others who work across a variety of publications.
“As we are moving more and more into a world where every writer seems to be a freelancer and one of your jobs is promoting yourself and getting your name and your stories out there I think something like this is very, very helpful,” Whitty said. “We can’t expect people to follow us wherever we go or be aware of everything we’re doing.”
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