Melissa Massello is the 31-year-old “Stealfinder in Chief” at Shoestringmag.com, an online magazine for people who want to live a frugal but socially responsible and healthy life. She manages a loose federation of freelance contributors, many of whom barter their services, while writing more than 5,000 words each week and also handling the business affairs of the bootstrap operation.

With 140,000 monthly visitors, Shoestring is beginning to turn the corner toward profitability. Melissa’s background is in newspaper journalism, but she has successfully navigated the transition to the online world. The work is hard and the rewards modest, but she loves her job. She shares some advice for up-and-coming young journalists.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 at 5:36 pm and is filed under BusinessModel, Future of Journalism, Journalism, NewMedia, OnlineMedia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Comments

  1. February 24, 2010 @ 9:32 pm



    You really, really need to use a tripod when shooting video.

    Posted by anon
  2. February 25, 2010 @ 6:57 am



    Spur of the moment thing. It isn’t always convenient to carry one. The good news is that the technology now permits us to catch such interviews in the first place.

    Posted by paulgillin
  3. February 25, 2010 @ 8:00 am



    Very interesting and hand-held worked, made it even more real. Very good approach, Paul, to have these impromptu interviews.

    She’s got all the right ideas. I made the transition myself in the early 1980s and I agree with her that it’s been a blast. Good writers will always be in demand and combined with the other business and tech skills there are still plenty of opportunities.

    Posted by Hunter Brumfield
  4. February 25, 2010 @ 8:06 am



    I always carry “table top” tripods with my video and audio recording equipment cases.

    They’re cheap and do a better job than wasting opportunities doing without.

    This was just an amateur production. (Not neophyte, or dilettante, but amateur. Amateurs can learn to do better.)

    I expect her production values to improve. I hope she keeps going.

    Posted by msbpodcast
  5. March 10, 2010 @ 12:06 pm



    [...] with their own start-up Web sites. Here is one — shoestringmag.com — profiled by the blog Newspaper Death Watch (catchy names, [...]