Monday, January 21st, 2008
Welcome to the new SMITH Magazine. It’s like the old SMITH, only much, much better.
If the site looks different, that’s because it is. We’ve undergone the biggest redesign of SMITH since we launched just over two years ago, on January 6, 2006, which happens to be National Smith Day. We’re especially excited about the new features that move us one step closer to the site we’ve always wanted: a populist storytelling community. We still feature interviews with some of the world’s best memoirists and excerpts from their books in Memoirville. And all the photo essays and long-form interviews with soldiers and others with fascinating personal stories can be found in our feature archives. The major change that we’ve made is that it’s much easier and intuitive for readers to post, share, and save their favorite stories in story project areas like six-word memoirs to brushes with fame to tales of ex-lovers to our (almost) weekly reader question, The PopuList. When you write a story, you can instantly sign in and create a profile. Your profile shows the rest of the community what stories you’ve written, what stories are your personal favorites, and how to get in touch with you, if say, someone wants to send you a personal note or suggest you come on into their offices to discuss a book deal (it’s happened quite a few times on SMITH). For more details on how it all works, cruise on over to our about page, writers’ FAQ, or help page.
We don’t have the means to do months of beta testing, but a small group of us have been building and rebuilding and playing with this evolving version of SMITH for quite a while now. I don’t think you’re ever really ready to get married, have a child, or relaunch your magazine, but at some point you just say: Let’s do it. So we have. And we hope you’ll let us know what you like about the new look, feel, and function of the site, as well as any thoughts on how we can make it better.
Make a profile, write a six-word memoir—jump on in. Now when you post a story to SMITH, you can write your own headline and add a pullquote (skills for which editors at Conde Nast get paid big bucks to exhibit!). And so the editors of SMITH still have a reason to get up in the morning, we’ll be pointing out our favorites among your stories each day in each story project, with the best among all the projects blogged about on the homepage. Call it the reader-generated, editor-curated community. We hope you continue to make SMITH your home for telling, sharing, and reading stories.
When we launched in 2006, we offered a simple mantra: Everyone has a story. With this new day on SMITH, we believe we’re one step closer to making that happen.