This website is an initiative of J-Lab.

Who's Blogging

Erin PolgreenErin Polgreen
Erin Polgreen is a media strategist and consultant, as well as an advocate for comics journalism and media innovation.

Click for full bio.
Visit Symbolia.

Recent Updates

Project Blog: Symbolia

Symbolia, headed by Erin Polgreen, strives to be the ideal place to foster the growth of comics journalism, engaging a new generation of news consumers in a way that is exciting and accessible. Symbolia will mesh first-person reports, infographics and comics by pairing reporters and comics artists. Regular alerts via Twitter and e-newsletters will keep Symbolia on a bi-monthly schedule.

Symbolia Generates Buzz, Builds a Brand

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Symbolia has made it through its first six months! In the last month, we’ve released our second issue, debuted a collaboration with PopSci and Tumblr, launched on Kindle Fire, and are moving towards with a fully-built out Android app to follow in June.

We currently have just under 850 subscribers across iPad and PDF, and over 6,500 people have downloaded our free issue. While subscriptions have slowed down a bit, we are still making great progress towards our year-end goal of 3,000 subscribers. Note: Symbolia becomes sustainable at 3,000 subscribers, but will break even at around 1,500.

Symbolia has allowed me to completely rebrand myself and my expertise in under a year. We are supported by a community of leaders in the journalism, literary, and tech worlds. I’m so proud to be leading such a creative and exciting project.

Symbolia is an internationally renowned publication, and it has brought me opportunities to speak and collaborate with organizations from around the world. My 2013 speaking engagements include an upcoming conference on journalism and storytelling in Sydney, Australia, the Power of Narrative Conference at BU, and Cusp Conference in Chicago.

Symbolia itself continues to net great reviews and feedback from our community. We’ve been covered in Forbes, FastCo, and the Columbia Journalism Review. For a list of most of the 100+ stories on Symbolia, visit


In terms of audience development, we’re aces. Over 6,300 people have used our free preview issue, and we’re holding steady at an average 12.4% conversion rate as a result -- that’s the percentage of users who purchase a subscription after downloading the free edition. The average conversion rate for digital and tablet publications, as peer organizations have described to me in conversation, is about 5%.

Other metrics include:


   • Posted by Erin Polgreen on 06/05 at 10:40 AM