As we reported during our workshop at Occidental College, our first-year goal was to create this online magazine or e-zine , recruit provocative writers, and develop an audience. Now that we’ve begun our second year of operation, our aim now is to improve both the content and presentation of this e-zine, use our newfound “political capital” – the recognition we’ve built up in progressive political circles – to help create needed change, and then find ways to sustain our work financially.
The survey we ran over the weekend is one part of our efforts to improve what we offer our readers – and we’re certainly gratified at the strong, supportive response we got. At latest count, 150 people have filled out the survey, giving us several good directions to follow.
If you haven’t taken the survey yet, you can do so by clicking this link – Take the LA Progressive Survey.
If you’d like to see the see the results click this – See the Survey Results.
As you might expect from folks who took time out of their day to respond, the results carried a strong thread that the LA Progressive was doing quite well and needed little revamping. A couple folks suggested we drop the “Dick & Sharon” part, which seemed so clever when launched, people came down on both sides of the question of whether we should send out our newsletter more frequently or less. But, as one of you said, the general consensus was that “As the Tom Clancy character John Clark says (more than once in several novels): ‘good enough is good enough and perfect is a pain in the ass.’ Works for us.”
Accessing Our Materials
We do see that we confuse some of you with our terminology. We come at readers in several ways – directly with the LA Progressive website, which we call our online magazine; over email with our weekly digital newsletter, but also with a daily RSS feed that comes out automatically at 11 a.m. and contains just information about articles posted that day. We also have a LA Progressive Facebook page, which gets our articles in front of a bunch of people. And now Sharon is experimenting with Twitter. The survey showed that some of you don’t realize you’re on the website – the online magazine – and while we don’t have a quick solution, we are mindful that we need to clear up that confusion.
We also see that many of you like the carousel – the rotating set of articles on the upper right side – which we think is pretty nifty, too. The “word cloud” got little support, however, and will likely be retired for now.
We also saw that we’re inundating some of you, in particular with the weekly newsletter, which lists every article published during the week. To rectify that situation, we plan to be a little more selective with the articles we publish and feature a few articles with each newsletter and point to the full table of contents on the website, rather than list every article. We might also move to briefer newsletters delivered more frequently.
Although you responded with a long list of topics we should explore, the strongest support came for more coverage of labor and education issues, at both local and national levels. We also felt urged to diversify our author pool, especially with younger writers, and also focus on local political issues here in Los Angeles.
We’ve already begun some of that work in recent weeks by running articles by Andrea Nill and Michele Waslin from Immigration Impact, Jasmyne Cannick, Cheryl Aichele, and Ron Kaye, among others. When we launched the magazine, we intended to focus especially on issues affecting Los Angeles communities; now we’ll look to return to that vision. We welcome your suggestions for writers we might pursue – including yourselves!
A most intriguing suggestion was to do something to help people displaced by our current economic crisis. We are contemplating creating a “green” or “progressive” jobs area on our magazine, where companies and organizations could advertise staff openings either cheaply or for free.
We’re also looking at creating our own short videos from events that we cover and people who we interview.
In any case, we deeply appreciate the support you’ve given the LA Progressive, by filling out the survey, reading our articles, and sharing your thoughts in the comments section after each article.