Wilkinson leaves Comment, launches Fieldnotes magazine


Financial District NEW YORK—On the move again, King’s writing instructor Alissa Wilkinson launched Fieldnotes magazine Sept. 4. The goal of this daily magazine is to give “practical wisdom and insights to emerging leaders in non-profits, for-profits, and churches,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson left Comment magazine, where she had worked for the past four years to jumpstart Fieldnotes this past May.

So far, Fieldnotes has had 6,000 visitors since its launch three weeks ago– about 300 per day. Last week saw a 50 percent increase of visitors from the week before.

Fieldnotes is a publication of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership based at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. The center focuses on raising leaders in non-profits, for-profits and churches.

As an extension of the Leadership Center, Fieldnotes is trying to “go beyond just sort of big theoretical things about leadership and get down to the nitty gritty,” she said. “Like what does it actually mean to run an urban inner city ministry or what does it actually mean to be a good middle manager?”

Fieldnotes is exploring how it can improve work and organizational life, and as Wilkinson said, “how we can exhort and encourage and give resources to people so they can do that.”

Wilkinson worked all summer under many titles, including editor, managing editor, webmaster, web designer, “brainstormer of ideas” and whatever else needed to be done. Although business and leadership are not really her areas of expertise, she said she saw Fieldnotes as a new challenge that she was willing to try.

Her initial struggle was trying to come up with a name for the publication. “We went through a lot of names,” Wilkinson said, “but I wanted something that was easy to pronounce, English and was available as a URL.”

Wilkinson explained that the name of the magazine, Fieldnotes, is based on the notes anthropologists and practitioners take while they’re in the field.

“I liked the idea of this as notes from people who are actually working in business, not just theorists but people who are actually doing the work,” she explained.

Tim Wainwright, a student at King’s, published an article in Fieldnotes last week entitled “How to Speed Read.” Wilkinson is always working on gathering content and said she is open to students contacting her with ideas. Fieldnotes pays authors to freelance articles.

Check out Fieldnotes at http://www.fieldnotesmagazine.com/