Hi all. My traditional State of the Blog message was delayed a bit while I got my head around what has to happen in 2007. If you've been here much, you know the past year was stupendous. LA Observed broke a lot of news, posted more than 1,500 items and added amazing contributors, new blogs and video (now on iTunes!) The site drew a record level of media attention and visitor traffic. More than 2.9 million visitors viewed 7.5 million pages of content.
This is all great. LA Observed readers truly form the most elite gathering of Los Angeles news makers and chroniclers, opinion shapers and engaged Angelenos on the web. Thank you for honoring me with your presence.
As 2007 begins, the time and support it takes to keep LA Observed going at this level forces me to think less like a blogger and more like a budding entrepreneur. I go into some detail at our new page on How to Support LA Observed, but I see a bigger, better, newsier and more trusted LA Observed in the future. If I'm right, we'll offer more original reporting, more depth and more voices. The future of local news in Los Angeles is online, and LA Observed already has a unique mix of independence and respect.
That's just my vision, though, and I invite everyone to take our first-ever Visitor Survey. Your sober take on what LAO does well, and your suggestions for what we should do better, will help hugely. Just for taking the survey, you also get to rate the top L.A. media stories of 2006 and predict the juiciest twists of 2007. I'll be nudging you toward the survey all week, and sharing some of the results next week.
I'll also be making the case for financial support of LA Observed's future. In fact, taking a cue from public radio and TV, this is now our first January Pledge Week. Everything on the site remains free and available to all, but we're re-introducing voluntary subscriptions. LA Observed Insider, the new premium level, comes with some perks for those who are looking for more from the site. Of course, donations are always encouraged as a way to keep LAO going strong. Details are here.
My intention is to keep a tolerable level of ads, while growing a base of advertisers, sponsors and partners that fully supports what we want to do. As I mention at the Support page, we're looking right now for a Director of Advertising to help pull this off (as well as a creative intern or two to work with me on improving the blogs.) Interested? Contact me.
More later. Please, go take that survey now.