It’s with mixed feelings that I share this news.
In June, elephant journal turned 10 years old.
In 2002 we started off as a little, local yoga magazine (Yoga in the Rockies), went regional, then national, where elephant magazine sold in Whole Foods, pharmacies, bookstores etc. for $4.99. But though we were printed on eco paper (New Leaf, generally) distributing a magazine nationally is eco-inefficient—your average magazine sells maybe 3 out of 10 copies. And so, 2.5 years ago, I resolved to start all over again, taking elephant online 100%. It’s been a tough ride: I lost my colleagues, my office, my house went into foreclosure…and I got old fast. But it’s been an adventure, I’ve learned a lot, and elephant has grown steadily—now to 380,000 unique readers a month, and growing 10% a month. We’ve been voted #1 #green on twitter two years running, and have a Facebook Page more popular than some news orgs with 100x our staff.
But all things come to an end—or should I say, things change. This year, our 10th, will be my last with elephant. I’ve decided to partner with Yoga Journal—whose parent, Active Interest Media, is based in Boulder (so I won’t even have to move). I will continue to head up elephant as it merges with yogajournal.com, and will serve as YJ’s associate web editor and social media consultant. I’ll also do some video for them, for you fans of Walk the Talk Show.
I’m selling because, frankly, I’m tired of being broke. I’d like to travel for the first time in my life, continue on my Buddhist path (start by doing a long overdue meditation retreat) and eventually start a family.
Assuming that our readers might be a bit nonplussed, I’ve insisted on a stipulation in our agreement of sale: if elephant reaches 70,000 Facebook Fans and 70,000 twitter followers by April 11th, I have the right to cancel our agreement and continue to nurture elephant’s unique brand of independent, mindful journalism. If we achieve these reachable goals, that will likely mean we’re fully sustainable, and can afford to hire an editor to help improve the overall quality of our editorial. YJ’s generously agreed to this unusual caveat partly because if elephant comes close but fails, they’ll be inheriting a stronger community. Either way, it’s a win-win.
With thanks to all of you (especially those able to criticize or argue respectfully)—