You've heard the buzzwords: Citizens' journalism. "User-generated content." Peer-to-peer media. Blogging.
At Salon, we've always called all this stuff "interactivity" -- and we've been doing it, in one form or another, for many years. Table Talk is one of the Web's most respected and longest-tenured forums for lively discussion. We started a blogging program before a lot of our media colleagues had even heard the term. More recently we've transformed our Letters to the Editor feature into a real-time readers' soapbox for responses to our articles.
But there's more we can do and would like to do. We want to open Salon up even wider, to find ways to connect the welter of creativity among our readers and subscribers with the more classic journalism that remains our primary mission.
We hope to do this intelligently and thoughtfully, without in any way reducing our commitment to investigative reporting and lively, timely commentary. That's always been the heart of Salon -- we don't intend to mess with it. But we're hoping that, with your help, we can also find ways to become truer to the two-way nature of the Web, this protean place where we've pitched our tent.
And so I want to ask for your ideas and thoughts and reactions. What in the way of new personal publishing tools and interactive features would you like to see Salon offer? What have you seen on other sites that you think we ought to try? What haven't you seen on other sites, or on ours, that you'd like?
You can begin giving us your comments right here, in the letters for this page. We promise to sit back and listen for a while, and then keep a conversation going -- here in Salon, and over in Table Talk. On my personal blog, too.
Finally, we'd also like to ask you to spend a minute taking this survey. It's short! And it also has room for your comments. [Update Monday Feb. 6: Thanks for all your responses to this survey -- it's now closed so we can review the results.]
On a personal note, I've returned to Salon after a yearlong sabbatical during which I wrote a book -- but not to my former seat as managing editor, which, I'm happy to say, is now ably filled by Jeanne Carstensen. Instead, new projects like this will be my chief focus.
Years ago, at the dawn of the Web era, when I worked in the newsroom of a daily newspaper, I suggested we publish every writer's and editor's e-mail address. My boss looked at me and said, "The problem with all that e-mail is, then you have to read it! And answer a lot of it!"
Uh, yes, you do. When we started Salon in 1995 on a handful of desks in a handful of subleased square feet, and the e-mails began to pour in, that's what I did. And I'll keep doing it. So if instead of posting comments below you'd rather just e-mail me, that's fine, too.
-- Scott Rosenberg
Vice President, New Projects