A little over a year ago, we made a big change for the future of Booooooom by introducing memberships. This was the first step in an entirely new direction, away from the dark place many “traditional online publishers” were headed, away from chasing pageviews, away from clickbait and irrelevant viral content. Instead, we moved toward better serving our core community—people who understand why Booooooom exists and see value in it.
I can confidently say that the only reason Booooooom is still here is because of this amazing community that allows us to try new things, adapt, improve, and ultimately learn as we go. We could not do what we do without all of you and our goal is to be able to have you say the same thing about us. We want to provide something that’s of real value to you, whether that’s introducing you to new artists and photographers, facilitating insightful discussions, organizing collaborative projects, or providing opportunities for feedback on your own work.
Over the course of the year, we tried a bunch of little experiments. We sent some of our members to different parts of the world (from New Orleans to Portugal) to get inspired and learn new skills. We hosted AMAs and turned them into creative resources focused on topics like how to get your art in a gallery and advice for emerging photographers. We published a series of zines featuring talented creators from our community, and funded several passion projects to encourage creators to actually do the things they’ve been putting off till later. We organized an exhibition of 90+ artists at Thinkspace Gallery in LA, and many young artists from our community showed work alongside legendary ones. Through all of that, what we’ve come to realize is making the membership better is a process and we’re constantly striving to improve it.
For our next chapter, we’re going to put more emphasis on things that members seemed most excited about, initiatives like our Feedback Club—where participants are put into small groups to give each other helpful feedback on their work, and our private Booooooom Slack Community—where members can connect and chat directly with one another (this is where the AMAs take place, like the one we did with Edwin Ushiro last week). We also have some new ideas we’re going to try in the coming months, and if you have suggestions/ideas for things you’d like to see, let us know!
If any of that sounds exciting to you, I invite you to join our growing community (you can learn more about becoming a member here, or a supporter here). If you’re a member already, we hope you’ll stay with us for another year and we’d love your feedback! What can we do better?
The last thing I want to mention is important as I always want to be transparent about our plans. There are things that we’re planning this year to better serve our members that will require more resources and a couple more people on our team. There will be a slight rate increase in monthly and yearly membership plans coming on July 1st, which will affect new people who sign up after that date. All of our existing members (and anyone who wants to join or re-activate an account before that date) will see no price increase!
If you have any questions or suggestions (big or small), feel free to email, tweet, send Slack messages or handwritten notes via carrier pigeon. Lots of fun things ahead! I’m excited to see this community continue to evolve!
— Jeff Hamada, Editor-In-Chief