Another One Bites The Dust

| Dec 29, 2007
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Here we are at the end of 2007. Most publications feel that the end of a year is the perfect time to do a recap of that year. In keeping with the tradition we present a look back at TGF in 2007.

At the beginning of the year TGF was in disarray. Content was getting bleak. The month of January only brought TGF readers eleven posts by just three authors. JoAnn, Ronnie and Alison Daniels were carrying the load. Despite their best efforts readers were beginning to feel that TGF was in decline. Hope was lifted by JoAnn’s post on January 25, 2007 that changes were coming in February.

Managing Editor Angela GardnerOn February first I announced to TGF that JoAnn had picked me to be the new Managing Editor. I had been a writer for TGF many years ago (as the highly entertaining and articulate Diva of Dish). Most recently I was Editor of LadyLike magazine and now I was responsible for the content of both LL and TGF. I was named Managing Editor because somehow I had to manage to find content for TGF every week.

That same day JoAnn announced my appointment and told readers that subscribers to TGF were eligible for a free subscription to LadyLike magazine. She also announced that two new columnists were coming on board, both from LadyLike. Dina Amberle was to do an electronic column based on her LadyLike column, Dina’s Diner. The new TGF contribution which debuted on February 5, 2007 was called Dina’s Digital Diner. Also coming into the TGF writers corral was the author of LadyLike’s Current Queen column, Miss Vicky Vogue. Miss Vogue debuted with her humorous take on astrology, The Vicky Vogue Ho-O-Scope, on February first.

The next big change arrived in an announcement from JoAnn’ on February 6, 2007. TGF now had a News Editor. Ronnie Rho had been doing that task as she posted to TGF over the previous months and News Editor Ronnie Rho on the hunt for content.that led to JoAnn appointing her to the News Editor job. Over 2007 her news posts evolved into T.W.I.T. Notes. The initials stand for This Week In Transgenderism. The word “transgenderism” is a bit bulky but it really is a word (go ahead, look it up in Wikipedia!) and it works to make a catchy and cute initialism. (Okay, acronym for you mid 20th century readers who don’t remember the earlier term.) Throughout 2007 Ronnie’s T.W.I.T. Notes have informed and entertained TGF readers.

More authors, both past contributors and new writers, were brought to TGF during the year. Hebe Dobson’s Theresa returned. Pamela DeGroff’s music column Perpetual Change resumed, unchanged in its ability to give exposure to TG musical artists. Dr. Michele Angello began her Sex Doc column commenting on issues of sexuality and transgenderism.

February alone brought a four fold increase in content with over forty postings.

By May of 2007 things were humming along nicely. Some glitches were cropping up, however. There were technical problems which made commenting on people’s postings both complicated and not always doable. The tech fairies worked on the problem and while fixes were made it was still not reliable.

During the summer we noted a trend that was not exciting. No matter how great our postings were we weren’t getting any comments from the readers. In desperation I took the question to the subscribers with a post on July 5, asking people what was up. Fortunately the post brought comments in reply and possible reasons for the lack of comments ranged from the political climate in the country to the very nature of TGs which tends to be more secretive and closed due to having to hide our secret for most of our lives.

Also in July we announced the return of the TGForum Pictorial with a Summer Swimsuit theme set to appear in September.

Miss Kalina IsatoIn August Kalina Isato joined our writers with her advance beauty secrets column, Ninja Beauty Secrets. No, you don’t have to wear one of those black pajama suits and kill people with ancient Asian martial arts in order to be a beauty ninja. It helps to be physically fit, though.

The commenting problem came to a crisis point in August. Frustrated readers were crying that TGF was dying since they couldn’t interact through the comment feature. Again, we sent our tech gal Alaina into the code and she managed to untangle enough of it that six people were able to comment on my posting that we had beaten things back into working order. I’ll say again, if things on TGF don’t work properly don’t hesitate to let me know. That’s the only way we can fix stuff.

In November I posted a survey to see what people thought about our features. As survey answers came in, even though I am not a scientific survey writer so it wasn’t the best survey ever taken, we could see that many subscribers were unaware of many of the features of TGF. A lot of folks were not taking advantage of the included email account and web space for a personal page. Many didn’t know about the Chat Room and sadly some who did know about it were unable to get into it due to more of those… wait for it… technical problems.

Another thing that bothered a lot of respondents was the way that we had shifted from a firm publication time of every Monday morning to a more relaxed, hey-man-anytime-this-week style of posting.

As I was tabulating (or attempting to tabulate, like I said, I’m not a rocket scientist when it comes to statistics) the results for the survey a large monkey wrench hit the fan. LadyLike magazine was done. JoAnn announced to the world (or at least to TGF readers) that the nineteen year old publication was no more.

As the Editor of LadyLike I wasn’t a happy camper. As the Managing Editor of TGForum I was happy since now I could concentrate on content for a 21st century online publication and not have to split my focus. With only one publication to worry about I believe that I’ll be able to provide readers with a better TGF. I think we can see from this 2007 review that TGF has indeed improved. In 2008 there will be more changes aimed at making us the absolute best publication for the TG community. Those technical gremlins are being exorcised in a complete code rewrite. Page layout is being simplified so that readers can easily find all the features that we offer. Login will be a one time thing. Once you’re logged in you’ll be able to access all the features. And, to open our private club a bit and allow non-subcribers to see why they should subscribe, we will offer a free section where people can sample what we offer.

2007 is over and 2008 is about to start. If you follow the Gregorian calendar, that is. And in 2008 you can be assured that there will be changes, glitches and adjustments. Just remember, we’re all in this together and a 21st century publication is not a static page but an ongoing conversation between the readers and the staff. Don’t be afraid to let us know about anything you like, don’t like, or just don’t care about. Happy new year!

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Category: All TGForum Posts, TG Forum News


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Assoc., Inc., former editor of its newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She was the Diva of Dish for TGF in the late 1990s and Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows.

Comments (2)

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  1. lucinda lucinda says:

    I agree that TGforum has come a long way from the start of 2007 and hope that it continues to grow in 2008. Looking forward to the additions and improvements, but like every one else I will still miss the LadyLike magazine. We appreciate all that you and your staff are doing to provide us with the best information available.


  2. says:

    hi angela good luck with your efforts , i ve checked this out a few times doubt it will ever match lady like xoxo Michele