L.A. Creek Freak wants your feedback
March 29, 2010 § 11 Comments
L.A. Creek Freak is the brainchild of Jessica Hall and Joe Linton. In 2008, we talked about an idea for this blog as a tool for getting our points of view out to a broader audience, to raise awareness about the past, present and future of L.A.’s maligned waterways and to build momentum for healthier waters in L.A.’s future. Thanks to Miguel Luna for playing midwife matchmaker – turned out that both Jessica and I mentioned to Miguel that we were thinking of this – so he brought us together on it (though we already knew eachother and had worked together.)
Jessica contributed our first article about the removal of concrete from Las Virgenes Creek in Calabasas. I followed soon thereafter with a series on the three-day kayak expedition down the L.A. River.
In 2009, Jane Tsong joined us, deepening and extending our coverage to the San Gabriel Valley and Northeast Los Angeles. Since July 2008, we’ve posted 264 articles – about topics from fish to navigability to ukuleles to freshwater shrimp (twice, so far.) We’ve gotten the word out on things the way we see them… and it’s been great to hear from our readers – via comments and emails. Thanks to all the folks who’ve contributed content that we’ve run – including a lot of great materials contributed by Sheila Kuehl, David Kimbrough, [redacted], Peter Bennet, Carol Armstrong and others. We’ve enjoyed learning about things we didn’t know… and we hope that we’ve played a role in hosting a dialogue that strengthens local environmental movements.
We all do L.A. Creek Freak as amateurs. None of us get paid for blogging here. We’re excited by the history we uncover and the inspiration we draw from local waterways. We hope that Creek Freak will draw more angelenos into the effort to reclaim and restore the waters in our communities.
Yesterday, the three of us met together for the first time to talk about the future of L.A. Creek Freak. We all know each other from various circles… but yesterday, we came together to talk about what improvements or changes we’d like to do for our blog. We’ve learned quite a bit about what works and what doesn’t. At the outset, we started in “quick and dirty” ways that we’re rethinking now.
Here are some of the ideas we have that we plan to work on (note: we’re not going to get to all of these right away):
- create a new, less “boring” look – with photo/s at the top – probably a 3-column format, including a featured article
- reorganize to make more important content easier to find
- rework our categories (the way we set these up turned out to be nearly worthless)
- create some sort of place-based searching – perhaps allowing our users to zoom in on a map and have that lead to articles about that area – and to find historic creeks in those map areas
- create other ways for people to find creek freak
- create a calendar of events, where we can post, and probably where other community folks can post, too
Those are some of our ideas – and you’ll be seeing and hearing about these changes as we move forward with them… but we also want to hear from YOU! What do you like about creek freak? What would you like to see changed? What aren’t we doing that you would like us to? Should we do more: videos? photos? tours? t-shirts? What do you really think? Leave us your comments below.