Open Thread: How Are We Doing?

Publish date:
August 29, 2014
open thread, inside baseball

One of my favorite sections in The New York Times is Margaret Sullivan’s Public Editor’s Journal. In a nutshell, she reports for the Times about the reporting in the Times. CRAZY, right? Like, whoa.

Granted, she’s tackling issues that are generally more hardcore than what we cover on xoVain, but I've always like the transparency that her role provides. She isn't afraid to point out when the Times misses the mark, yet she also knows how and why to defend the work. And this part of her job description resonates with me:

"The public editor’s office also handles questions and comments from readers..."

Because that's part of my job, too. And I legitimately like hearing from and talking to you all!

So, as I celebrate my six-month anniversary at xoVain (!), I thought I'd take a moment to look back on my first post, where I asked you what you wanted from this site and see A) whether we delivered, and B) what we still need to work on. (In the interest of time, I'll focus on the suggestions/concerns that came up the most in the comments.) LET'S GO.

Variety, swatches, and global-beauty articles:

Well, we could always do better in terms of voices. That's true of the entire beauty industry. (And again, if your POV is missing from our site: But we launched two new sections, Wellness and Fragrance, which helps on the variety front. And our swatching game and Asian beauty coverage has gotten a lot stronger. What other countries are you interested in exploring, beauty-wise?

Interviews with makeup salespeople, makeup artists, Sephora cast members:

We are still light on this kind of content. But: Do you want to read interviews with these people? Or is it that you'd want to be able to interact with them, like you do with our regular writers?

I can tell you from experience that it's not always practical or possible to get makeup artists, etc., to actually write something for us. Yet I'm not sure you would still find it interesting to read a Q&A with them. You tell me: How should we include experts on the site?

Videos, research-based articles, and pitching:

A LOT of you posted comments about these things.

• Video: We are hoping to get more video on the site in the last quarter of the year, so feel free to make requests of what kind of stuff you want to see.

• Research-based articles: I still feel strongly about the importance of our Wellness section, and share your concern that we keep those stories as firmly rooted in science as possible. We haven't always gone as deep on some things as I would like.

Which brings me to: Kevin got a new job, which means he doesn't have time to write for us anymore. If you have a chemistry background and are interested in writing science-y stories for us,

• Pitching: Everything you could ever want to know about the process is here. But it bears repeating: After you pitch, please be patient. We are adding new writers to the site all the time, but it's not a quick process. I am trying to find ways to make it faster, so please hang in there for the time being.


We have a LONG way to go in this area. But we need your help. If you have something to say about beauty, a good sense of humor, and a reliable camera, please get in touch. We have a platform and a wide reach--all we need is you.

Six months! That's really no time at all, is it?

You can chime in on this if you want, or talk about what you're doing over Labor Day, or anything else that's on your mind, really.

Speaking of Labor Day, we have an abbreviated posting schedule on Monday. Back to business as usual on Tuesday. Enjoy your long weekend!