Less than six months ago, The Wanderer Online officially launched, releasing approximately twenty articles on July 5 2012. At the time, we had a vague idea of what we were, planning to eventually grow into a newspaper for the University of Alberta student body. Within several weeks, our readership expanded steadily, and our writing team grew from about twenty individuals to over thirty. As the school year neared, our readership base solidified and our identity gradually transformed. No longer desiring to become a newspaper, we thought that the magazine route was the way of the future, something to strive toward over the coming months.
Midway through the summer, the Lister Hall Residence issue struck the University of Alberta campus, which we covered from several different angles over the month that followed. Moreover, as the Bears and Pandas varsity teams began their fall seasons, we started to cover them in-depth. At times, writers such as David Hoon and Darren Tardif provided you with laugh-till-your-abs-hurt humour. (Much to the dismay of thousands of University of Alberta students and staff, the Bears football team had a dismal season, which also made for some comedic articles.) On the other hand, both the Bears and Pandas varsity soccer teams played impressively, which made for entertaining weekly articles from Thursdays to Mondays. Indeed, the hustle and bustle of student life provided abundant writing material for the ever-growing Wanderer staff.
Though the Wanderer identity gradually evolved, our goals have remained consistent. Originally, we were established in order to provide another media voice for the University of Alberta community. We value high-quality, entertaining writing: the type of writing that brings you back to the website on a daily basis. However, we also believe that Edmonton has a vibrant and growing culture, with a myriad of engaged communities. Thus, our intended audience moved from a purely University of Alberta crowed, to one targeted at the City of Edmonton as a whole. Indeed, this focus has maintained over the last two months; rather than provide sports, science or politics coverage from a strict university perspective, we hope to engage a wider audience across the city.
Above all else, we are a non-profit entity. Our major goal, as stated above, is to provide readers with an invigorating experience. We hope that if you frequent our website even ten minutes per day, that you come away from our articles and photography with new ideas and a sense of pride for your city. Perhaps it is an interview with an inspiring Edmontonian, a video of Edmonton FC’s standout goalkeeper or a review of a recent show at the Metro Theatre. Whatever it is that you read, we hope that you have a positive experience with The Wanderer, and we welcome any constructive criticism that you provide.
Over the next months, we have several exciting plans on the go. First, we plan on becoming a bilingual online magazine, with articles in both English and French. After all, Edmonton has a strong Francophone community, structured around Campus Saint-Jean just off Whyte Avenue. Moreover, we hope to diversify the writing team, incorporating not only students, but professors, leaders from the private sector, community league volunteers and any other engaged Edmontonian. Furthermore, we will continue to provide outstanding photography, which has already been featured in sources such as The Huffington Post, Maclean’s On Campus, Campus Sartorialist and The Daily Beast/Newsweek. Lastly, considering the importance of Edmonton’s extensive community league network, we plan on publishing consistent articles highlighting the people that work to improve local neighbourhoods, from Belvedere to Riverbend.
Considering all of this, the writers of The Wanderer extend a warm thank-you to all of you: our incredible readers. We are nothing without you. We were established in July in order to provide a non-profit and thought-provoking source for University of Alberta events, and we now hope to become Edmonton’s own Huff Post, where individuals of all interests and backgrounds contribute to what we are as a magazine. Please have a safe and refreshing break, and we look forward to hearing from you in the weeks and months to come.
CC photograph courtesy of Flickr, found here.