Some Changes at Total Croatia News, and Meet the New Editor

By , 30 Apr 2017, 09:32 AM Editorial

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As TCN continues to grow, some changes, including a new editor who starts on May 3, 2017.

It is a funny thing, letting go of your baby.

Even stranger, perhaps, to get used to the fact that your one-man blog has quickly grown into a national portal with over 80 contributors in less than two years.

Even harder, perhaps, to train oneself to stop obsessing over the website statistics and AdSense earnings every 10 minutes, or to relax and trust others to publish articles for your site without you checking them first. 

Even weirder, perhaps, to train oneself to switch off the phone and computer one day a week and let others run the site, and then when you return, discover that not only does the site function well without you, but there are amazing articles ready for you to enjoy. 

My baby has become an adult. 

Time to set her free. 

Nobody is more surprised than me at how a little blog started with the help of a cold beer in a cafe in Jelsa in October 2011 has mushroomed into the Total Project you see today. Not in my wildest dreams could I have foreseen that we would have a popular national news website, or national portals for wine and cycling, as well as destination sites for places like Zagreb and Dubrovnik, with expert local writers applying their knowledge and enthusiasm to bring these sites to life, many of them voluntarily. It has been truly humbling, and I am very grateful to all who have contributed and supported the project so far. Blogging here in bed in a village near Varazdin is a far cry from those early Jelsa days. 

Letting go is hard, though, although I realise that it is clearly necessary, and there is no way I can do everything on my own. The speed with which both Total Dubrovnik and Total Zagreb went live, with little input from me, made me realise that empowering others to take responsibility was a positive thing, and delegation is the key to a normal lifestyle and a chance to grow the business. 

I have been delegating a LOT in the last few weeks, and the future of the Total Project is looking very exciting indeed. Coupled with the inspirational entrepreneurs I have been meeting in recent months in Zagreb (which is SO much more accessible than commuting from Jelsa from this rural Varazdin base), we are about to enter the most exciting period of my six years of writing online. 

Next month should see the launch of four new Total websites - two of them international - and all four have been put together with minimal input from me. Total Croatia Dental will seek to address the growing dental tourism market in Croatia (did you know, for example, that there is one clinic in Rijeka, which has 120 dentists, such is the demand from nearby Italy and elsewhere?), while the initial reaction to Total Croatia Sailing has been very encouraging indeed.

We will also be starting two international sites outside Croatia. The first, Total Medjugorje, is almost ready to go. It is of course a very unique destination, due to the apparitions of Our Lady, but a smaller miracle for a destination with over a million tourists a year and allegedly more tourist beds than the rest of the country is the fact that there is no local tourist board, and getting basic tourist information about the town is really hard. A local restaurant owner told me recently that when a tourist asks for information about things to do and what is happening, he typically makes three phone calls to different people to get all the information. While Total Medjugorje will of course feature the religious aspect of Medjugorje, it is primarily a tourist information service, as well as a bridge between the town and its regular visitors. 

Total Slovenia News will also go live shortly, our first franchise, and I was in Ljubljana last week to meet the core team. I am particularly excited by this project, and starting it from scratch with a great local team, which will include a former online editor of leading Slovenia daily, Delo. Whereas Total Croatia News came about via a long journey from Hvar, Split and inland Dalmatia, the Slovenian version will start at a national level, which makes it a lot easier to plan and run. 

From a solo blogger to a growing team running various projects, managing and admin are taking over a greater part of my time, so I have taken the decision to hand over certain responsibilities to others. I am delighted to introduce Lauren as the new Editor-in-Chief of Total Croatia News. Lauren, who has very generously been writing for us on an ad hoc basis for well over a year, will take up her duties on May 3. 

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A Nottingham lass and resident of Dubrovnik, Lauren is not only an Editor at the EU (as long as Nigel Farage is not the one requesting a translation), but is also a grammar Nazi with a deep understanding of both cultures. Our growing army of fans in Sydney with their Tito conspiracy theories I am sure will be delighted to hear that Lauren's politics are right of centre, which I am sure Tito, George Soros and the host of other supposed financiers of TCN would object to, were they infact financing the portal, which continues to be 100% independent.

I will of course be continuing to spam you on the web, but I look forward to watching this younger generation of Total writers move things forward (and proving to me that Instagram is not in fact a colossal waste of time), while this old fart takes more of a back seat, focused on a little more admin and strategic thinking. 

Many thanks to all the team and all who have contributed to TCN thus far. It has been a really fun journey so far, and the future is looking very fun indeed. Thanks also to all our faithful readers - your interest and support is much appreciated. 

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Croatia Traffic Info

  • On the A1 motorway at Brinje tunnel in direction Split traffic is flowing with delays due to a traffic accident. During the day delays can be expected in roadwork areas. Weather conditions are favourable. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče in Brinje and Mala Kapela tunnels in both directions till 10 June; -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Jankomir and Zaprešić junctions 1st-4th km, between Sveti Križ Začretje and Krapina junctions 38th-41st km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac at Kutina-Ilova bridge (106th km), between Kutina and Novska (117th-120th km) in both directions, between Popovača and Križ junctions (79th-78th km) in direction Zagreb; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan - till 9 June traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; in the roadwork area traffic is flowing in reduced lanes; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June. Till 9 June between 9am and 10am, 8pm and 9pm traffic is occasionally suspended for about 15 minutes on Rijeka detour road at Rujevica junction in both directions. Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC47 Lipik-Novska state road at Jagma 7am-7pm. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road in Knin until 14 July; -on the DC1 state road at Klinča Sela, Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković.
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  • During the day difficulties can be expected at the border crossings with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary due to traffic density and occasional additional controls. Inbound passenger traffic is dense at Kaštel, outbound at Kaštel and Plovanija. There are delays of 20 minutes. In outbound freight traffic there are delays at Bajakovo (2 km). Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • Ferries operate regularly.
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