Researching and sourcing items for the Gift Guide has as much to do with you, as the readers, as it does with us, as the writers. We think about what you might want, being members of this community, but we also think of what we might want, being similar members. We hope that by thinking about what we might like, it might resonate with what you might like. The same happens with every article that is written: “What might the readers want to read?” is hand in hand with “What might I like to read?” Then, when we have a wide representation of writers, we get closer to meeting the needs of the community. Or, so we hope.
Have you noticed just how diverse this community is? How many facets there are to this diamond? It’s brilliant.
We’re not quite there in our goals of being representative, but we’re getting closer every day. So, I would like to run my Wish List past you and see if it resonates. Let’s see if by articulating my wishes they might turn into another set of gifts. For you.
An Editor’s Wish List:
1. Feedback. If you want something or like something, let us know. If you dislike something or have a suggestion as to what we’re missing, clue us in. The more you can tell us, the better.
2. Give us story ideas. At this point, the Editorial area at Lavender has undergone a reorganization of Franklin-Covey proportions. We are more equipped than ever to take your ideas and thoughts and news. If we have been remiss in the past, we apologize. We’re listening now and, though it may not be immediate, we hope to follow-up on any leads you send our way.
3. Use our online Calendar. Yes, let us know that you’ve got an event in case we want to cover it, but please take the control in your hands to upload your events so our community can see them. Because I ask for feedback (see also #1) and story ideas (see also #2), our resources need to be dedicated elsewhere. Your events are just as important, so please share them.
4. Ask the businesses you use if they would consider partnering with Lavender for advertising. No, we don’t want to return to the days when we looked like a “shopper,” but yes, advertising is a healthy relationship for publications to have benefiting both the advertisers and the readership. Just think if every reader asked a business about advertising in the community’s publication–it would have a ripple effect that would benefit the whole community, simply by illustrating how important it is for this community to be part of the larger business conversation.
5. Ask us how we can help your business. It’s a funny thing, how the GLBT community fits into the categories of small business, big business, minority-owned business. It does, to be certain. And, there are success stories and stories of struggle that span well beyond sexual orientation and identity, but how? What does it mean? We want to know your business, how you do it, and how you can share with the community what you’ve learned as you go.
6. Tell a few people about us. About one in every ten conversations that I have about Lavender includes a moment when I think, “Have you cracked open one of our magazines lately?” When I hear, “You don’t cover women’s issues.” “I don’t see any people of color.” “Is Mr. Andy Lien available?” “When did you go glossy?” “It’s all bars and sex.” We have a tremendous growth opportunity here…and, the converse of all those statements are not bad, in and of themselves. We can cover men…and white people…and I can be a guy…and we could be in newsprint…and content about bars and sex isn’t bad content…but, we’re moving into a broader spectrum. I understand that I have to make sure that the proof is in the pudding. But, if you were to simply name-drop Lavender in your circle of friends or colleagues, it may jog a thought in their minds that maybe they should give us a second glance (or third…fourth, even).
And there it is. I’m sure I’ll think of things as I’m falling asleep that I wish I would have included, but really…I’ve asked for enough.
Groan if you want, I’m going to say it anyway: Your readership is a gift. And we are grateful.