Fab. I’m feeling fab today. It’s Friday. We’re sending the second half of the Fab 50 issue to press. The weekend is next. And I’ve got so much to tell you.
I realize that I’m running the risk of overusing a tired metaphor in this community when I make this next statement, but I’m going to do it anyway: Running a magazine is a lot like The Wizard of Oz. There are yellow brick roads leading to this place and that. Sometimes, there’s singing, even a little dancing. People of all ilk and ages and interests are cheering and waving while conducting their business and going about their daily lives. There might be a few flying monkeys—maybe even some nefarious characters, but I’m not going to take the metaphor into too dark an area. We have quests and challenges and guards to convince to let us through the big doors. We’ve got Kings of the Forest and people with heart and brains and courage. The horse has changed its color every time you turn around.
Smoke and mirrors would be easy to employ as a means to distract and divert, but I’m just not interested.
Here is where we start to depart from the comparison a bit.
I’m not interested in a curtain to hide behind, either.
This community has historically had its fill of run-around and double-speak. We’re analytical and tend to default toward the skeptical. It makes sense. It’s been a requirement for survival. As we venture outward and upward, out of closets…and out from behind curtains…we get stronger as a community. Issue 429, though thin, is huge. In its pages is content that is bona fide. It’s backed by stats. It’s truthful and honest and representative of you. And, it represents you more the more you participate.
The 2011 Fab 50 contest was tightened up this year to include Fabulicious Finalists that were determined based on previous Fab 50 winners, the results of other publications’ award programs, and new industry knowledge. Not everyone could be a Finalist, so write-ins were encouraged. Using an online survey platform, voting was easier and the results were crystal clear and beyond reproach. See? There’s no big green projected head telling you what you should hear or think or know—while scaring your terrier and sending your Cowardly Lion running with a booming voice and flamethrower. They are your results as determined by you. And, if you don’t agree, perhaps you should cast your votes next year. We hope you do.
Many congratulations to the winners. Our community thinks you’re fabulous.
Also, this issue has in it one partial page that is the key to Emerald City. It’s ridiculously understated for its significance. It is the introduction to Lavender’s new website. Go to lavendermagazi.wpengine.com and turn the key. What you’ll see is the framework that is ready for you and what you want to know about. Being a publication that has always been free to its community, our page numbers have gone up and down with advertising dollars. We get to give you more content when we have more advertisers in our pages. Advertisers get more readers when we get to present more content. This relationship works best when we understand that we have to deliver great content at the same time as the advertisers understand that they need our readers to see their businesses. This economy isn’t making this relationship very easy, either. So, in order to make sure that our audience gets what it deserves (breadth and depth in content), we developed our new website. The website will be the primary vehicle for both the content and the advertisers as we evolve into embracing new media and everything it can offer us. And, the biweekly glossy magazine will become more of a cherrypicked showcase of what is the best our community has to offer to itself every two weeks.
What will happen is that we’ll have this gorgeous collection of content. My role as an editor will turn into more of the role of a curator—finding talent and content and figuring out when and where to display it; accepting submissions and assigning commissions; looking to the future and keeping my eyes and ears open to what the community wants.
Here’s the key. Walk in, take a look around, see what you think, and let us know.
Without the smoke and mirrors, you’ll see that all of this is still a piece of work that’s under development. It’s evolving. It’s got its flaws and we’ll fix them as we find them. There are articles on that site that are years old that have yet to be categorized, but we’ll get to them. They’re both time capsules of policies past as well as being articles that are still relevant and worth revisiting. There is so much—and I am incredibly fortunate to have inherited what I have. Fortunate and tired. Believe me, taking over the role of editor of a biweekly magazine at the same time as developing a website is not the sanest career move—more than once did I want to find a hot air balloon and fly back to Omaha and out of Oz. But, if Lavender agrees to pay for reblonding my new grey hairs for a while, we’ll call it good. And, we’ll keep plugging away at making our community more interactive in all its differences and similarities.
Hopefully, we’ll find that staying in Oz and going Home aren’t mutually exclusive options any longer.