Good Evening, Dear Reader.
Running a magazine is a strange and, perhaps surprisingly difficult business. It’s also quite time consuming and, given our small team* plus day jobs, can be rather hard to get a large amount of content out in a timely manner. But, we’ve, somehow managed to do it for the past 30 odd years. Now that we have this brand sparkling new online outlet, the situation is even harder. This is not a cry for help, or a complaint. We love our jobs here, and most of all, we love you, the reader. We are certainly not entitled to your support, so we appreciate anything and everything that you do for us. Be it monetary support, constant readership, or just checking out a single post. We’re just happy that there are even people out there who check us out.
Ultimately, though, we need to be realistic. We don’t have the same reach, nor resources of larger publications, at least not yet. We don’t have the same amount of time to devote as those writing full-time. As much as we try, it’s currently near-impossible to cover every single news item, or review everything that we’d like to. If you’re a continuing reader, you’ve probably noticed the, at times, relatively long periods without posting. We have, at least, posted once per week, but this is seriously not good enough if we want people to continue visiting regularly, considering that other sites will consistently post multiple times a day.
How the heck have we kept up a magazine then? Well, one must realise that the publication schedules of a monthly periodical and a ‘news website’ are very different. A magazine, whilst still having its own challenges, only needs to be completed by the end of the month, say. As far as news goes, there’s little need to write out something quickly, or immediately. We’ve found that, at the beginning or end of a week, we dedicate a decent amount of time to getting all of the news down, for that whole week. Additionally, when printed into a magazine, due to other restrictions, such as layout and page count, we tend to write less for each individual item. This is all fine and happens behind the scenes when printing a physical magazine. As you can see, posting online, daily, puts a spanner in the works and greatly disrupts our usual workflow. We tried to keep up, initially, but I think we have all come to realise that it’s going to be very hard for us to continue it daily, without interruption.
So then, we turn to you, dear reader, to help us sort things out! How would YOU like us to handle things? Would you like us to still strive for continual daily updates (we will try)? Would you prefer less focus on news (considering that you can get a lot of that elsewhere in a more timely manner), and more on reviews and other original content? More cartoons, or fiction? Are there any things in particular that you’d like us to cover more of? Do you not care much about the online site, and just want a print magazine?
One possible solution that we’ve considered is a daily, or weekly ‘roundup’ post, containing very short news pieces. So, it would have a title, an image and a quick (maybe one sentence or two) write up for each piece. We’d probably also include a link to sources (as we do already), or to another article with a more comprehensive write up, that you can check out if you’re particularly interested. This would naturally save a lot of time, and allow us to cover a much wider breadth of news. We would still post longer news articles for stories of particular interest. Be it “breaking news”, something that we’re rather passionate about, or it’s something that other sites may not have reported on as much. For example, if we get a cool tip, or discover a worthwhile Kickstarter, or something of that nature.
The only drawback with this is that we think it may be harder for organic discovery. If people are interested in some particular news, I imagine that they’d be more likely to visit a page dedicated to that news item, as opposed to one that also covers a bunch of things that they don’t care about. Strangely enough, our most popular post is still the PS5 Backwards Compatibility piece, which has somehow gotten a relatively large number of clicks on Google. We are looking into advertising as well, but that is a discussion for another time.
At the end of the day, we want to create a site that you will enjoy. We can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to fulfil every request, or desire, but we will do our best to make as many people happy, whilst still maintaining the essence and style of the Lonely Outlet. So, please, if you can, let us know what you’d like to see. Leave a comment below, or contact us directly, if you’d prefer to remain anonymous. We appreciate it, dear friends.
Thanks for everything!
* Y’know, everything is actually done by just one person…