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All About You

All About You
Michael Ricci By

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Over the years I've helped shape the editorial direction of the website—placing a strong emphasis on modern jazz while supporting touring bands and musicians worldwide. Add an international mix of writers with their wide-ranging interests and opinions and you have a fascinating tapestry of content that makes All About Jazz an enduring destination online.

It's been our policy to give the staff the freedom to write about whatever they feel is important to them—and it's an approach that has served us well over the years.

Our latest announcement is about how you can further elevate your voice and your activity at All About Jazz.

Team AAJ

All About Jazz is our website and we all need to work together to ensure that it operates smoothly.

One area where we can improve is in the communication department. We are always happy to address issues, brainstorm story concepts, and discuss the future direction of the website. What we need to limit are inquiries about stuff that has been discussed repeatedly like: "where do I submit an article?," or "when is my article going to be published?"

For starters, please bookmark or create a shortcut to your Contributor Start page. It's your dashboard to AAJ and includes links to your pending particles (and their publish dates) as well as our editorial calendar which lists when articles are scheduled for publication.

We need everyone to achieve a level of proficiency with the publishing side of AAJ and I'm willing to schedule web conferences to demonstrate how to insert photos into articles, how to format articles, etc. If you find any task particularly challenging, please PM me and I'll incorporate it into the demo.

Editorial Changes

Good news! We decreased the word count minimum on our articles. We hope that by relaxing the word count we'll encourage some writers to contribute on a more regular basis. And if our volume remains the same, it will reduce the burden on the editorial staff.

Speaking of the editorial staff, John Kelman has done yeoman's work over the years in carrying the bulk of the editorial responsibilities, fielding support inquiries and establishing a friendly collaborative culture between editors and writers. His position was intended to be temporary and until we could afford an editor, but that's unfortunately not likely to happen any time soon. John is also one of our most committed writers and at this point in his life, he really wants to focus on his writing (and who can blame him). He will continue to edit articles and coordinate interviews, but his primary focus will shift to writing. That said, I must ask you to limit your communication with him to critical matters. If you have a question about your article, contact the article's editor. If you have a technical question, please PM me.

Preferred Methods of Communication

From this point forward, I'd like to encourage everyone to use our private message feature when communicating with fellow staff members about website-related matters. I actually prefer a private message to an email as emails oftentimes get buried and lost. I also reply to PMs in a more timely manner.

Boost Your Read Counts

Boosting your article's read count is oftentimes a combination of subject matter and home page placement, but social sharing is clearly important. If you use Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, belong to a bulletin board or list group, consider sharing your article links with your community. Also, always click the thumbs up icon associated with your article to get the internal recommend process going. A reader is more likely to recommend an article that has been previously recommended, so make a point of clicking the button when you submit your article.

Improved Gallery and Photo Insertion

We made several improvements to the photo gallery, especially to how you manage your photos and how you insert them into articles. Uploading and inserting is now easier than ever. Please read about the upgrade here.

Facebook Administrators Wanted

We're looking for a small team to help us manage and improve our Facebook page. If you're savvy with Facebook, can help improve the vibe of the page, and drive up likes, please PM me.

Immediate Plans

I'll continue to focus more deeply on matters of business, security and technology. We're on the verge of launching the All About Jazz / Jazz Near You store. We're also launching an interactive banner design service, a website design service and we're working on the Jazz Near You app. I also plan to demonstrate Jazz Near You to presenters in Philadelphia and then a few times in New York come January. Hopefully more JNY outreach will occur throughout 2013.

All the best,

Michael Ricci

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