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Introducing Your New Editor - And Thanking The Old

Saturday 15 October 2011, 23:55
By Mandy Cochrane

Mandy Cochrane, new Editor of the Wincanton WindowA big hello to everyone in my debut article as Editor!

First things first though. I couldn't have taken on this role in September if not for the fantastic job John Baxter has done in steering the good ship Wincanton Window safely out of harbour and into smooth waters. I promise to do my best to keep her off the rocks. We owe many of the articles (and even more of the photos) on the site today to John's boundless energy and relentless enthusiasm, which inspires everyone he meets to be as enthusiastic about the Window as he is! Thank you John.

For those that don't know me, I've lived in Wincanton with my family for seven years; I'm a working mum, running a small business from home and doing what working mums do best: multi-tasking!

I've been helping out with the Window as associate editor since the beginning, when we were all scratching our heads and wondering what we could do after the demise of the Wincanton Journal.

John Baxter, previous Editor of the Wincanton WindowSo, what qualifies me to be the Editor? I spent many years as a PA/administrator, then switched careers in 2001 and qualified via the Publishing Training Centre in Editing and Proofreading. Along came children and a slight halt in proceedings but a few years later both I and our bank balance were ready for me to go back to work. I became self-employed in 2007 and have been busy editing, proofreading and copywriting ever since, with a good dollop of my old friend Administration thrown in for good measure and diversions into online marketing and SEO along the way.

Hopefully that will all stand me in good stead, but I also hope to continue John's work in making Wincanton Window a voice for everyone in the local area.

The Trustees, Committee, our Web Manager and everyone else who has given so freely of their time to get this project off the ground are just as committed to that aim. That's a very reassuring thought as I step into John's shoes.

This is Your Web Site!

We'll be doing our best to develop the site even more in the future to make it something really special, so do let us know the things that you'd like us to try and do. We'll pass your best ideas to our web site manager, Dave Smith (then duck and run before he realises how much work we've thrown at him).

I get so excited whenever someone leaves a comment on an article - it's not so much what people say, though I always devour their opinions; it's simply the fact that they are joining in that is so thrilling! I hope you carry on contributing. Wincanton Window is your place to hang out, to air your views, tell us your news or shout about your organisation, business or event. John's keyboard is nearly worn out after two years of almost non-stop writing, and my editing style is more back-seat, so I'm relying on you all to take up the reins now, get writing and make our Home Page hum.

Please write to me at any time (, whether you have an article ready to submit or simply a query. Here's to Wincanton Window's future and to you for supporting it!

Editor, Wincanton Window


A Few Words from Our Chair

Richard Porter, Chair of the Wincanton Window CommitteeIt's a pleasure to welcome the new editor of the Wincanton Window, and with the help of contributors I am sure that Mandy will encourage a lively and useful forum for Wincanton and surrounding areas; but this is also an opportunity to thank John Baxter as he steps down from being editor, but not from his involvement with the Window.

Without John's enthusiasm and sheer hard work there would never have been a Window at all. When the last really local news sheet ceased John had the vision to realise that the future for small local publications would lie on the web and the energy to ensure that it happened. The amount of perseverance and work John put into the venture is amazing and now, about two years later the Window's increasing readership is a tribute to that work and his vision.

I know that John's involvement with the Window will not be diminishing, just a change in his role. So thank you John - we wait to see what new ideas you bring forward now; and welcome Mandy, I am sure you'll prove a worthy successor.

Richard Porter
Chair, Wincanton Window


Posts: 1
New Editor
Reply #1 on : Sun October 16, 2011, 12:41:40
Well done John! The WW has really taken off under your editorship. Keep those photos coming!
Welcome to the front line Mandy. I look forward to seeing your posts.
Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 12:42:29 by chrisjwatts  

Posts: 1
New Editor
Reply #2 on : Sun October 16, 2011, 13:28:37
Thanks Chris. I'll be chipping in with articles from time to time, as will John, but we do want to move away from the idea that we at the Window are the journalists. It was always the plan that the Window is your platform for being heard and that eventually we wouldn't need to write very much at all because we'd have an avalanche of articles being sent in by the community. Looking at my inbox, that's starting to happen, which is fantastic.
Posts: 1
Old Editor
Reply #3 on : Sun October 16, 2011, 18:27:26
Since we started in 2009 I planned on being Editor of the Wincanton Window for no more than two years. To be able to do that I needed to have a successor ready and have been very lucky to be able to hand on that role to Mandy Cochrane.

This is because we want people to see that the WW is a true community web magazine with an open editorial policy dependant for its success on more and more people using it and identifying with it. This means it is there not just for readers, but for contributors - sending us articles and pictures and making comments. That has been happening- as Mandy says - more and more.

I have also been extremely lucky in having had the support from the start not only of Mandy, but of Dave Smith. As website manager Dave has done a truly remarkable job. As a talented IT professional he has shown his skill in developing our initial ideas into a website which is so attractive, flexible and user friendly that the most common comment we have about it from new users is simply “Wow.”

Not only does Dave place each edited article on the site, but he is also engaged in the ongoing and highly complex process of site planning and development. That means you can expect in the next few months to see cutting edge improvements and new opportunities for businesses and organisations.

Mandy, who has taken over from me as Editor, is a real professional who writes, edits and sorts out articles with flair and skill and has a sharp eye for marketing opportunities. She is also extremely approachable and helpful to anyone who gets stuck and much better on the technical side than I could ever be. She even enjoys Facebook and Twitter!

Working with both Mandy and Dave has been an exhilarating, demanding and fascinating experience which I have really enjoyed.

Free from the responsibilities of editing I shall continue to write some articles, but shall now concentrate on recruiting and encouraging volunteer writers and photographers and together with the other trustees and committee I will also do what I can to make more people aware of our presence and encourage more financial support. We live in interesting times.

John Baxter
Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 18:47:14 by johnbaxter  

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