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February 25, 2018
February 13, 2018

Our first year

Not too bad

Written by Jeff Samsonow

 

Edmonton Quotient has officially been around for one year and I can’t thank you enough for your support, Edmonton. It’s been amazing to connect with Edmontonians online, on social media, in our newsletter and even in real life a few times. Mostly though, I really can’t believe it’s been one year already.

We didn’t publish and produce nearly as much as I thought we would, which isn’t surprising considering I’m the only employee. We also didn’t rake in all the money I thought we would, which has less to do with the state of the media industry than it does my terrible budget projections. Awful entrepreneurial predictions aside, the first year was a genuine success that fills my cynical journalist heart with joy.

We published more than 250 items in the last year, and more than 60 newsletters. I’m really proud of our feature stories, election coverage and a few of the things we’re working on right now to create more Edmonton connection and action (make sure you’re on our audience newsletter to hear about it first). I’ve also been really lucky to work with amazing storytellers.

But the thing I’m most proud of, and most excited about, is that you are here reading this right now. You don’t have to visit this website. You don’t have to follow EQ on Twitter or Facebook. You don’t have to subscribe to our newsletter. You don’t have to become a paying supporter of some random dude’s local news whatchimacallit. But here you are.  

And if the stories we’re telling, and the conversations we’re having, can keep you interested enough to stick around for another year, I’ll keep considering EQ a roaring success. 

Thanks for a great year, Edmonton!

We track our history by how many Walterdale Bridges there are. 


I thought it might be a good idea to look back at our first post from last year, when we talked about why we’re launching, to see if we’re meeting any of our goals. 

Community

Our goal is to help you get involved in building the Edmonton you want to see.

I think we’re doing a pretty good job here. We often try to point you at places to learn more, to get involved, to contact politicians and decision-makers, donate or even get out to a rally.

Our story on the volunteers in Queen Alexandra changing their neighbourhood through renewal construction is a good example of the kind of work people are doing all over Edmonton to improve the city, and the kind of thing we like to talk about. In terms of challenging things that aren’t so great here, our story on police carding is a good example of asking tough questions and pushing those in power to do something to help targeted and vulnerable communities (they haven’t yet). 

We’re also happy to share stories from all the other newsrooms and media-makers in Edmonton, through our Headlines posts (and now in our public engagement items) and on social media. We know that everyone can’t follow all of the media streams all of the time, so it’s our hope this helps you see a story or two you might have been interested in and contributes to more community-building. 

Business

Our goal is to make money and become a sustainable media company.

This one is a work in progress. 

We are making some money each month thanks to supporters who are providing continual funding for our journalism. (You can join their ranks today!) And we have had a few ad and partnership campaigns which have brought in some money and allowed us to highlight great local businesses and events. But EQ is not a self-sustaining business yet. 

I’m still a big believer in local businesses working together, so I’m sticking with the plan to avoid Google and ad network boxes on the site (so turn off those ad-blockers 😉) in favour of connecting directly with Edmontonians who have a product, service or event they’d like to promote to a local audience. 

If that’s you, I’m happy to talk about how we could share your story and values with our audience. (Sorry/not sorry for the sales pitch.)

The plan here remains much the same as it was last year. We’ll keep asking folks who like what we’re doing to consider a regular contribution. And I’ll keep asking local businesses and organizations I think are awesome to consider partnering up as part of a wider Edmonton conversation.

Journalism

Our goal is to fearlessly tell Edmonton stories and include more voices.

I’d call our first year a success here. Our feature articles told local stories that I think needed to be told, highlighted things that are changing, or need to change, and included voices more reflective of Edmonton-at-large. We also challenged how some people and narratives are portrayed in some of our coverage. And I am happy to be the only male on our contributors page

Of course, as the person doing almost all of the writing outside of the feature stories, we’re not quite there yet in terms of diversifying voices across Edmonton Quotient. I’m a straight/white/cis/guy who is pretty able-bodied, so most of the content from EQ, including social media and the newsletter, is from my perspective. And it doesn’t matter how many ways I confront my own privileges, my lived experience cannot tell most stories in a way that accurately captures what’s happening in Edmonton. 

This is one area I’m always working to improve. I may still have a hand in content we produce this year, but I’m hoping you’ll hear from more people in more ways. Tying this goal into the business goal, I would love to not have to write anything one day, and just pay smart people to do it.


Alright, that’s my take on our first year. If you have any thoughts, comments, complaints or birthday cakes to share, please send an email or tweet at us