What We're Doing With The Post
Last week was a very interesting one on h2g2. In case you missed it, a Talking Point from last November got a slot on the Front Page. What Should We Do With h2g2? invited suggestions on how the site could be improved, and generated a healthy amount of debate. I'm not going to go into it in detail here, because AlexAshman and I have summed up some of the main points below in What h2g2 Could Do.
I occasionally think it would be nice to try a similar exercise with The Post, but we're much more limited in that there is much less that we can change. When we have opened mini-debates asking for a bit of feedback from the community, we quite understandably tend to get little other than suggestions for columns and, while it's easy to say that we'd like to see a regular column on a particular subject, it's much harder to find someone to write it. Content-wise, we're almost completely led by our contributors.
I say 'almost completely' because, with an expanded team, we do have more opportunities to go chasing contributors. Since Bel and lil joined, I've used some of the time I used to spend editing by chasing down a few writers with specialist knowledge. Who better to write astronomy notes than Galaxy Babe? If you want some fascinating insights into life in a foreign country, why not ask Frenchbean, a friendly expat now living in Australia? There are still some gaps I'd like to fill; we haven't had a regular science column since SEx Education ended, we could do with a few more cartoonists, and our quest for a regular sports columnist continues. However, I really do feel that, Regulars-wise, we're getting towards the mix of columns and columnists we've always been looking for.
The regulars - small 'r' - are very important to me. It's surprisingly easy to focus a lot of attention on shiny new ideas, but the people who send in their copy week after week are our lifeblood. I can barely imagine a Post without a Platypus Dancing cartoon, a Websailor's Wacky Wildlife World or a Knolly. Tonsil Revenge alone has, astonishingly, contributed over 300 articles. We've decided to make a bit more of a fuss over our regulars with a new series, From The Archive, where we'll be taking a look at some of our columns and columnists, past and present. In the first of the series, Shazz takes a look at the contributions of Greebo. We do hope you enjoy it.
In terms of innovation, our early efforts with the Aviators seem to have gone down pretty well, so we're planning to work with them again in the future. We do have some ideas in various stages of production, but it's something else you can contribute to if you so wish. If you write a poem, why not plug a microphone in to you computer and record it as well? If we do start to get a few audio submissions, we'll happily work on ideas such as poetry collections and more radio plays. The more of that kind of material that you can provide, the more often we'll be able to put it out.
I think, and this is borne out by some of the Post-related threads I've seen, that we're heading in the right direction. It's an overused cliché, but I think a slow evolution works better than a rapid revolution. So please, come and help that along. You don't need to contribute every single week to make a difference to us. If you go out for a meal, good or bad, why not write a review for the Milliways column, or if you're a dab hand in the kitchen yourself send us a Post Recipe? If you're keen on working with graphics, we could always use new banners and cartoons. Send us a poem now and then, a few thoughts from your summer holidays, maybe even a sports report or a science column. The more people we have writing for The Post, the more interesting and eclectic it will become.
And if you don't, I'll send Matt after you.
As ever, your thoughts, ideas and suggestions are welcome, in a conversation on this page, on our Personal Space or by email. We'd love to hear from you!
Finally, a few thanks and congratulations; first of all to our competition winners (see the articles below) and to everyone who sent in their One Vowel Poems and Doctor Who fanfic. They were all excellent, and the winners only won by a very narrow margin. We also have a new Post Reporter badge holder, as ST's poem in this issue is his fifth contribution. Thanks very much, all, and keep the great work coming!
The deadline for the next issue is Sunday 1st June - June? Doesn't time fly?