“Have something unique to share? We want to publish it,” reads the bottom of the homepage for the efficiently designed seersuckermag.com. At a first glance, the numerous headlines with their corresponding authors and images make it clear that Seersucker is a group effort inviting everyone to have their voice heard in a public forum.
Richie Siegel PZ ’16 is behind the online publication, but anyone who visits the website might be surprised to see that Siegel’s name is only mentioned once among various other contributing writers and their respective articles. This is because Seersucker is solely about its writers and their featured articles on lifestyle, politics, opinion, culture, style, and food. Just as there is no “I” in team, there is certainly no “I” in Seersucker.
The “publication for our generation” went live just this January and has already had over 40,000 visitors, 30 published articles, and 20 contributing writers. Among those who have gotten involved with Seersucker are Mac Crane PZ ’13 and Jon Rice PZ ’13, Pitzer College’s Student Body President.
“What really struck me was that it was really a platform to write about whatever I wanted. It’s really the freedom that attracted me,” Crane said. “I’ve only done one piece so far, but I definitely plan to do more.”
“Richie came to me because I have done some work with communications and outreach. He showed me the plans for Seersucker, and it looked like a great, very stylish publication,” Rice said. “It puts content first [rather than being] based on who the writer is and what [he or she] has written before—a site that’s actually basing itself upon the quality of the work.”
The “very stylish” layout of Seersucker’s website was made possible by Flavor, a three-person interactive firm with a design studio based in Portland, Ore. Siegel was referred to Flavor by an 80-person firm known as Struck that really liked his proposal with Seersucker, but felt it was too big for them. However, in what Siegel described as “a good coincidence,” the people behind Flavor used to work for Struck. Thus, after phone calls were made and the logo was branded to typeface six months later, Seersucker officially launched.
However, this digital version of Seersucker was not Siegel’s first attempt at the generational publication. In high school, Siegel and a few of his friends worked in collaboration on a printed quarterly journal known as The Seersucker. Siegel stressed the large amount of additional work and energy that was spent on print design, and as a result, he said, “we [ended up] spending more time designing [rather than] writing, so it looked really good, but the stories were average.”
“[By taking Seersucker] entirely digital [and] establishing the design up front–not to say we’re not making improvements to the site–we were able to focus a lot more on the writing,” Siegel said. “As a result, the stories and [quality of the] writing are better, so people are able to enjoy it more because of that.”
Crane has written for the 5C publication the Claremont Port Side as well as Pitzer’s The Orange Peel in the past, whereas Rice is currently a managing editor for the Port Side.
“[Both] are great for writing about things pertaining to campus issues, but there are plenty of other things I’d love to write about that do not pertain to campus issues,” Crane said. “[Seersucker] is very open-ended, [allowing me] to write whatever [I] want.”
“In the world of journalism, it is very hard for the 18 to 29 demographic–Seersucker’s age range for its writers–to get published or to be taken seriously outside of a college newspaper,” Rice said. “[Seersucker] will bring new perspectives and do something good for digital media on a larger scale in the long term.”
Siegel has plans to expand Seersucker across the nation and wherever else in the world “to really find the best writing for [the millennial generation],” he said. “The goal is to find pieces that resonate with people regardless of their location or their age.”
As an English literature major, Crane said, “I like that I can pursue things I’m not pursuing on applications or in essays. [Instead I can focus on] stuff I like to think about that I haven’t really gotten the chance to address, [whether it be] things that I’m used to talking about [or] things that I’m not used to talking about.”
As a political science major, Rice said, “[Although it is] a little bit out of the realm of what I usually do, I’m generally interested in startups. So, in that aspect, it’s really very much tied into what I’m interested in and just seeing a new venture grow, especially in this digital media transition world.”
To further its growth, Seersucker is always looking for more writers as it strongly advocates for those who have something “unique” to say because they will publish it. At the moment, Siegel has aspirations to have people write every two to four weeks, which he believes to be realistic, as a majority of writers are busy with college. By the end of the summer, Seersucker hopes to have 100 writers publishing two or three articles a day, meaning that they would have 1,000 articles per year.
“[In terms of] media goals, [we want] a writer team. We believe that if we have really good writers and really good content, the readers will come,” Siegel said. “If there’s no good content, there’s no point in sticking around. That’s [basically] the focus right now and will [most likely] be the focus forever.”