Following the release of last week’s crowdsourcing issue, we had some very interesting conversations around the office. It was exciting, for a few weeks, to have such direct participation from our readers in the creation of our magazine. While I was relieved to have our regular staff back to work this week (writing and art quality went seriously downhill in the hands of the crowd), there were certain steps in our regular workflow that seemed to suffer in comparison.
Coming back from such a collaborative project, I couldn’t help but notice how closed our usual process is. I’m proud of the work that we do every week, but we frequently miss the mark — there’s no denying that. We do our best to cover topics that are relevant and interesting to you guys, but it’s a very tricky balance. Considering that the members of Reporter’s eboard generate probably 70% of the article ideas that end up in print, it’s not at all surprising that our magazine doesn’t always match up with the opinions and interests of the larger RIT community.
Over the past year, Reporter has had a contact form on the website for readers to suggest story ideas. So far, it’s mostly been used by publicity coordinators looking for self promotion. And while this kind of feedback is certainly valuable, it isn’t the primary sort of feedback we’re interested in. Promotional material will only get you so far.
They’ll probably be annoyed with me for telling you this, but do you know how our editors come up with most of their story ideas? Daydreaming in class. Overhearing snippets of conversations at Javas. Procrastinating on doing their homework. Browsing weird stories on the internet. It’s great brainstorming, but also limited. There are only 15 members on our eboard, after all.
If there are things you want to read about that we aren’t covering, you need to get in touch with us. And if there are things that we’re covering that you don’t care about, we need to hear that as well. At the end of the day, we’re nothing without your feedback. I know you’ve all got some great ideas; Reporter’s staff members are not the only people at RIT daydreaming, eavesdropping, and wasting time. We need your help brainstorming.
Editor in Chief