It’s hard to believe that on July 1, 2012 it will be one-year since we published the first issue of Raging Chicken Press. I hesitate to try to isolate the most memorable moments from this past year, but interviewing Noam Chomsky and attending Netroots Nation in Providence, RI last week rank up there. We’ve had two interns, we’ve added numerous contributors, and Sean Kitchen joined the Chicken as our Social Media organizer at the beginning of 2012. Sean has done such amazing work promoting Raging Chicken Press, growing our Facebook page from around 80 “likes” in the fall of 2011 to almost 500 (499 as of this writing). As a matter of fact, Sean will be adding the title of “Assistant Editor” to Raging Chicken Business card.
What has been most amazing is how fast we have grown. Our first issue drew 1,101 views during the month of July. Last month, we saw 5,156 views and for our current month of June, we are already at 3,745 views – on pace to top 6,000 views by the end of the month. Not bad for our first year.
If you’ve been following us for a while, you kind of know our shtick. Each month we put out a call for papers and then publish an “issue” around the middle of the month. Over the past few months we’ve been experimenting a bit with some different approaches to our publishing schedule. For example, we started publishing an “Early Edition” at the beginning of the month. If you got comfortable with the once-a-month issue, June has probably been a bit of a whirlwind. Over the past few months, Sean and I have been talking about publishing more often, especially when there are important things happening. Given the fact that we had a backlog of some great submissions and a major emerging story around fracking at the Riverdale Mobile Home Park in Jersey Shore, PA and I am off from work for a couple of months, June seems like the time to run with it. And we have.
Here’s the “Contents” of the “June Issue” that we’ve published so far:
- Sean Kitchen, “Comcast Shareholders’ Rage”
- Kevin Mahoney, “June 5: Wisconsin Recall and Testing Our Mettle”
- Wendy Lee:
- “Hands Across Riverdale: Occupy Well Street Responds to Fracking Refugees”
- “Hands Across Riverdale: Barricades – The Forward-Facing Body of the Occupation”
- “Hands Across Riverdale: A Man, His Family, Some Paint and ‘Barricades’ Hardly Captures the Magic”
- “The Raiding of Riverdale: The Resistance Has Only Just Begun (1&2)” – Photos
- “The Police Raid on Riverdale: To Defend a Drop of Water is to Defend Life, Home, and Dignity”
- “The Police Raid on Riverdale: The Decision to Stand Down”
- “The Police Raid on Riverdale: Why Kevin June Didn’t Mean to Break My Heart”
- Laura Clawson, “Union Basics the Media Often Gets Wrong – and Ways Right-Wing Messaging Sneaks into Labor Coverage”
- Aaron Barlow, “Just What is ‘Breitbarting’?”
- Debra Leigh Scott, “Managerial Madness: Why Higher Education Has Lost Its Way”
- Walter Brasch, “The Snipers of Jersey Shore”
- Matt Murray, “We Must Stop the Attacks on Federal Workers and Their Retirement Systems”
- Paul Ricci, “Progressive Soul Searching in Wisconsin, PA, and Other Red Gov. States”
AND…we’re only half-way through the month. Right now there are four submissions waiting in my editing inbox that will be published over the next several days.
I think it’s fair to say that Wendy Lee’s coverage of the Riverdale Occupation and Eviction has been amazing and has taken Raging Chicken Press to new levels. For most of the Occupation, Wendy was the only media person on site, documenting and reporting on the growth of a political community against corporate profit-seeking. We gave the coverage of the Riverdale Defense its own column on our home page and you can continue to follow developments there. I can’t think out a more appropriate way to conclude our first year: on-the-ground, in-the-struggle.
Where to Now?
Good question. In the next few months you can expect to see a few new things. I am VERY excited about a new area we will launch in a week or so: Raising Raging Chicks. No, I don’t mean “chicks” as in the demeaning terms for women, I mean, like, chicks. Baby chickens. We’re going to open a section of Raging Chicken Press to discuss, report, analyze, and engage the trials and tribulations of raising children. I can’t take full credit for this one. One of my former grad students, Renee DeMund came up with the idea. It started with a facebook exchange about a Raging Chicken Press t-shirt design. Renee, a new mother, asked me if the Tom Corbett Tin Man shirt came in baby sizes. We went back and forth a bit, and then she (jokingly?) said Raging Chicken Press should have a section for Raising Raging Chicks. It took me about a minute to shift from saying “that’s a cool idea” to asking if Renee would be up for contributing to Raising Raging Chicks section. She was psyched about the idea, so we’re going to run with it. I’ll post separately on this in a few days.
The biggest challenge over the course of the year has been fundraising (surprise, surprise). I can’t thank those who have made contributions through our fundraising page. And, believe it or not, you’re going to finally getting your gifts in the next couple of weeks!
What I have learned, I think, is that we are going to need to run much smaller, more specific campaigns for specific things like travel costs to cover a major movement (like the Quebec student strikes, for example), equipment, or print publishing costs. Again, I’ll fill you in on some of my specific ideas about this over the next few weeks. I can report, however, that I was able to meet with some people at Netroots that are going to help us generate a little revenue. I’ve got to follow up with them this week…I’ll keep you posted.
Anyway, that’s a long post. And, once again, I find myself pushing 3am…time to get some sleep before the kids wake up in a few hours.
Thanks again – everyone – for your support and encouragement. Let’s keep up the fight.
Editor Zero, Raging Chicken Press
Kevin Mahoney is the Founder and Editor Zero of Raging Chicken Press. When he’s not rabble-rousing on Raging Chicken, he’s teaching rhetoric and writing at Kutztown University.