Want to work for the most innovative news organization in the country, if not the world? Want to join a team of the best and brightest online media developers? Want to get paid to create award-winning web sites?

Well, have I got the job for you: World Online is looking for a kick-ass web developer to join our team.

About the job

Unofficially, the job description is “build cool shit.” Our goals are nothing short of being the coolest and most innovative web team in the world. We’re the people the newsroom comes to when they need to implement special features and new sites, but we do a whole lot more:

  • We support (and participate in) the development of Django, which begin as an in-house project and now is an open-source platform with a vibrant user community.
  • We develop and market Ellington, our content-management platform built on top of Django. As a commercial product it’s rapidly gaining traction in the news industry.
  • We maintain our own hardware and administer our own system.
  • We work closely with other departments to integrate content from external sources (classifieds, ads from local retailers) into our systems.
  • We work as commercial developers on a number of interesting projects, some in the news industry, some not.

Our team is very small so we all pitch in where needed. “Not my job” is an unknown mentality here.

About you

We’re looking for someone who has significant experience developing cutting-edge web sites, preferably on an open-source (LAMP-style) platform. We want someone with a strong dedication to web standards and web-development best practices. The ideal candidate will have extensive experience with database-backed web development and a history of development in dynamic languages.

Strong preference will be given to candidates with experience with Django and a history of participation in the Django community. However, we’re much more interested in intangibles like passion and a proven ability to learn new tricks, so we’ll happily train the right person.

About the company

World Online is the online division of the Lawrence Journal-World newspaper in Lawrence, KS. We’re widely known as one of the most innovated new media operations in the news industry. Our sites — lawrence.com (music), ljworld.com (news), and kusports.com (sports) — win massive numbers of awards.

We take great pleasure in overkill. We don’t just cover little-league baseball games with a story or two in the Sunday paper; we treat T-ball like it’s the World Series. We devote an entire print publication and Web site to youth sports, complete with cell-phone updates, weblogs and intensive team, league, and field databases.

The company goes to this effort not only because it’s successful (it is) but because they feel a strong commitment to the community. Unlike most other newspapers the company does not demand huge profit margins, but instead demands that we serve our community. The owner is fond of saying that if we take care of Lawrence, Lawrence will take care of us. The company is family-owned, and that family is incredibly kind, will know your name, say hello to you in the halls, and listen very carefully to your opinions.

About the town

Lawrence could be one of the coolest towns in America. If you take every negative stereotype of Kansas and turn them on their heads, you’d get Lawrence. We have an amazing local music scene (which lawrence.com exhaustively covers) and a downtown so vibrant it put a mall out of business. Lawrence’s reputation as a “music town” reaches far and wide, and so we get great national acts that bypass most towns ten times Lawrence’s size.

If you’re used to the insane cost of living in most big cities, Lawrence will blow your mind. You’ll easily be able to afford a brand new apartment, or one within walking distance of downtown, or a turn-of-the-century house. Food’s incredibly cheap, too; the best barbecue dinner of your life is less than ten bucks.

We will cover reasonable moving expenses for out-of-town candidates.

How to apply

Drop an email to jacob@lawrence.com and tell me why we’ve absolutely got to hire you. I run a Microsoft-free ship, so plain text or HTML resumes only.