March 2010

Michael Ricci By

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Dear fellow AAJ contributor,

It's been a couple of months since our last newsletter and we wanted to bring you up to speed on the latest happenings. For starters, we reskinned the website, we added a featured photos box to every page, we placed a local calendar on every page, we created an RSS feed for our featured interviews, we now offer a private message feature, we improved website security and we partnered with Mosaic Records to launch shop.allaboutjazz.com. For a recap of contributor specific news, please read on...


  1. Managing Growth
  2. Improving Communication
  3. Reporting Bugs
  4. Learning the Basics
  5. Featuring Contributors on Home Page
  6. Articles with Local Flavor; New Columns
  7. Share Your Articles; Share Your Photos
  8. Private Messages

Managing Growth

As we ramp up our editorial staff, expand our technical infrastructure and develop new business, we're doing our best to shepherd AAJ through an important phase in our continued growth. Our hope is that 2010 proves to be the year that we turn the corner (financially) and that monetary compensation for your articles will soon follow.

John Kelman, in particular, is stretched to his limits with editing, editorial training and writing. I'd like to ask everyone to be mindful of John's time and to review the submission guidelines before contacting him with a question.

Improving Communication

With increasing workloads and email volume, it's becoming a challenge to provide timely replies to your inquiries. One way you can help us is to use the "Contributor Comments" box when submitting an article. Likewise, please review the editorial comments when your articles are published. Our editors will sometimes go to great lengths to explain their changes or to simply provide time-saving tips for future considerations. We hope that the new private message feature also helps prevent emails from slipping through the cracks.

Reporting Bugs

We've created a new form to report bugs and technical issues. Rather than email us direct about a problem, please use this form. Someone (Mike Lorenz, John Kelman or I) will get back to you promptly with a solution.

Learning the Basics

This mostly pertains to our new contributors, but it's now expected that you observe the following article submission rules. Please commit the basics to memory and use them when submitting future articles.

Editors used to prepare articles based on the first in first out principle. We now prepare the articles that require the least amount of editorial and formatting work first.

Featuring Contributors on Home Page

We're now featuring our longstanding and active contributors in the lower right portion of the home page. Please upload a photo of yourself to the gallery, then add the JPG link to the "Photo/Avatar URL" box on your profile. Also, be creative with your mini-bio. The goal is to get readers to click through to view your profile and read your articles. Save the list of other publications you contribute to for your full bio.

Articles with Local Flavor

We published two recent articles by Larry Taylor and Wade Luquet. Larry reminisced about his concert-going experiences in Los Angeles over the last five decades, and Wade, a Lower Ninth Ward native, recently spent time with the radio programmers at WWOZ in New Orleans in celebration of their 30th anniversary. If you've considered submitting a locally-inspired article to AAJ, please feel free. Both Larry and Wade's pieces are generating good activity and putting out plenty of good vibes.

We'd also like to recognize four new columnists: Dan Bilawsky (Old, New, Borrowed and Blue), Chuck Anderson (The Art and Science of Jazz), Mr. P.C. (Mr. P.C.'s Guide to Jazz Etiquette and Bandstand Decorum) and Jack Huntley (Built to Sound) as well as the impressive contributions of newcomer Gordon Marshall.

Share Your Articles; Share Your Photos

If you Tweet or maintain a Facebook page or use social bookmarking sites like Digg, we encourage you share your articles with friends. Also, if you maintain a blog or website, please embed your AAJ article widget. Check out editor John Patten's flawless execution here. John also included the Download of the Day widget and the Articles widget. Nice job, John!

Photographer? Please upload your concert and festival photos to the new AAJ Photo Gallery.

Private Messages

We often contact one another through the CONTACT ME form on our respective profile pages. In addition to receiving an email, we now log your note as a message and list them on the recipient's "Messages" page which is accessible from the MY AAJ login section above the menu bar.

Thanks for reading and thanks always for your continued time and effort.

Michael Ricci


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