I try not to write much about my day job here, but in the context of my last post about the virtues of passionate amateurs, I have to brag about the team at our Wired parenting blog, GeekDad. They are 17 amateurs, led by Ken Denmead (manga avatar shown), who by day is a civil engineer working in San Jose. Last month they did 1.4 million page views, making them #6 out of the 12 Wired blogs, and beating out several that are written by professional journalists.
As many have pointed out in the comments, there is a third group that beats both passionate amateurs and bored professionals, and that's passionate professionals. And it's worth noting that the top Wired blogs, which include our defense, science, gadget and car blogs are written by exactly that ideal, epitomized by DangerRoom's Noah Shachtman, who is perhaps the best defense tech writer in the world.
But it's amazing to watch the GeekDad crew go. They're just dads who volunteered for the job when I put out the call a year or so ago. They are incentivezed by all the usual non-monetary things: expression, attention, reputation, etc. But more importantly they're well-led by Ken, who's constantly suggesting ideas, encouraging participation, recognizing accomplishment and otherwise coaching like a rockstar editor. But he's not a professional editor, he's a passionate amateur. And as a professional editor, I stand in awe.