Now, with just a week to go before he closes his Patch-stickered laptop for good Oct. 15, Cotey decided the best way to say good-bye was a one-on-one with, well, himself.
In this, Greenfield Patch’s final Q&A, Cotey asks, and answers, questions about what Patch meant to him.
Greenfield Patch almost made it three years. You launched the site back in December 2010, and editorially (though not financially) it was a success. Surprised?
If you had told me back when I started how many people would be reading Greenfield Patch regularly and how well-known the brand would become, I’d say you were nuts. Like, trying to interview geese kind of nuts.
I came into the job feeling Greenfield was going to be at a disadvantage when compared to the 14 other communities getting Patch sites in the Milwaukee area. Having only 10-plus years of sports writing/editing in my background, I remember looking at agendas and thinking they were transcribed in hieroglyphics and sitting at meetings wondering why everyone was speaking a different language.
But Greenfield is an embracing community. People wanted Patch to succeed here. There was tremendous community support from Day 1; people were excited about Patch, what it could do and how they could use it. Once I realized the kind of community I was in, I was not surprised at all.
What will you miss most once you leave Patch?
For starters, my MacBook and my iPhone. I’ll regrettably be going back to a not-so-smart phone next week.
But easily, what I’ll miss the most is the people. That includes a great group of talented, dedicated and hard-working colleagues who all took professional gambles to build Patch from scratch in the Milwaukee market (and now are looking for new jobs, just like me). But also the many, many folks I had the pleasure crossing paths with on a regular basis, sources or just every day people I saw while working at Starbucks, McDonald’s the Greenfield Library, or wherever else I’d set up shop.
There are some very special people in Greenfield. It was a privilege to get to know many of them on a personal level. I leave Patch with more friends than when I started.
It’s been three years. Any regrets?
Well, I regret the sites are shutting down and I’m out of a job. Does that count? Speaking of which, as of Oct. 15, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m sure when I sit back and think about it, there will be stories I’ll regret not telling, questions I’ll regret not asking and people I’ll regret not getting to know better.
But my role as Local Editor for Greenfield Patch has been fulfilling both personally and professionally, and I hope it turns out to be a stepping stone to something better.
Is there anything you’d like to add before I let you go?
Ha, that was always one of my taglines when I’d wrap up a phone interview. Weird.
Anyway, I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the community in what turned out to be a job very different than the one I thought I was signing up for. I thought I was going to be a reporter who managed a website that covered a community.
Unexpectedly, I became part
of the community. And for that, I thank you, Greenfield.