As most of you already know, 2012 has been a year of crazy rapid change and growth for APW. We’re producing more content than ever, we’ve got new staff members (Hi Emily!) and the readership is about three times the size it was this time last year. (I KNOW. Crazy, right?) As a result, Meg and I spent a ton of time before maternity leave chatting over tacos and figuring out ways to channel this growth and use it to make APW a better site.
One of my favorite changes this year has been centering our content around a weekly theme. Our weekly themes allow us to be more purposeful with the kind of content we’re producing, and we’re able to showcase a more diverse range of experiences as they relate to each other (like when we have two complementary viewpoints on the same subject in the same week). This kind of diversity helps us stay committed to the idea that there is no right way to do, feel, or experience your wedding (or your marriage for that matter).
And while I’m personally really proud of how the weekly themes have played out, this year felt like we were just beginning to scratch the surface of how themed content could be used to make the conversations on this site more robust. As we talked, Meg and I kept coming back to the question of how to make this feature even better. And then it hit us. We don’t need to make them better, we need to make them bigger and broader. So starting in January, we’re going to be expanding our weekly themes to monthly themes. With less tightly woven themes, we can include more variations on a given subject and can have a much broader discussion of the topic at hand.
Of course, we will still be sticking to APW’s roots with lots of writing from Meg, writing from our growing and awesome staff, as well as our old-school inspired roundup feature, advice columns, and more. But we also want to make it easier to take submissions from you guys, since our staff (growing as it might be) is still small and can’t even begin to approach the diversity and range of experiences that are present within our readership.
So! In a few days you’ll see a new sidebar button pop up explaining the theme for next month and what kinds of stories we’ll be sharing. The button will change each month to reflect the new theme and what kind of submission we’re looking for. Which brings me to:
January’s theme is Beginnings. We’re discussing fresh starts: the early stages of wedding planning, your married goals for the year, changes, and what it means to begin anew. If you have a story to share (on this theme and for anything) send it in over here.
If 2013 is anything like 2012, we should have even more exciting changes in store. In the meantime, I know I speak for the whole staff when I say I can’t wait to see what kind of amazing stories we’re able to share next year.
—Maddie for Maternity Leave
Photo by: Corinne Krogh Photography