#publishing / A new issue of an old zine.

Rob Weychert will always be a source of inspiration as he seems to always be in motion. Not even a pandemic gets in his way. In fact it inspires him to dust off an old zine and publish a new issue.

Zaly began as a parody of the grassroots, amateur nature of zines. We initially made it entirely by hand and made a point of putting in as little effort as possible. Like Seinfeld, it was about nothing. Unlike Seinfeld, it was not remotely compelling. I’ve been looking through a lot of old punk zines this year, and that renewed interest, combined with quarantine ennui, created a fertile environment for a Zaly revival. I wanted to occupy Zaly’s anarchic creative space again, but I also wanted to have a physical artifact to share with friends, a way to connect across our pandemic boundaries of self-isolation without asking anyone to spend any more time staring at the screen of an electronic device.

I contacted the old Zaly crew (most of whom I still speak to regularly) with print specs and a call for submissions. We set a deadline and got to work. When the dust settled and the submissions were in, Zaly9 added up to 28 pages of invigorating nonsense. That page count doesn’t include the cover, adorned with a blurry image of an audio cassette which nods at the content’s mixtape essence while acknowledging that the endeavor is driven by nostalgia.

Click the link to see photos of early issues and the hotness of the latest. I love this idea. Maybe it’s time to for an Airbag zine…

#publishing / The Membership Guide

For anyone in the online publishing business considering memberships of any and all kind comes this handy resource from a project called the Membership Puzzle Project.

In partnership with The Lenfest Institute and the Google News Initiative — released the Membership Guide. It is the culmination of three years of study and support for membership models in news. The Guide is like a little course in membership. It takes you through the steps. It tells you how to do each one. It identifies best practices. It warns about common mistakes. And it gathers into one place the lessons people have learned as they built their membership programs— including, of course, the errors and wrong turns. We spent six months pulling it all together, we consulted a lot of knowledgeable people to make sure we had it right, we talked to 50+ newsrooms — or individuals and organizations supporting newsrooms — on five continents, and we’re excited to share the results with you now.

While the site is a considerable resource, I would also recommend creating and updating a Business Model Canvas to help in this process.

#publishing / Time dust off Independents Day and prepare for 2.0.

A Neiman contributor predicts more journalists going independent in 2021 through blog-based upstarts:

The primary difference is that these blogs, these magazines, these whatevers, will be built and guided by the individual creators for their audience, not by the executives they once reported to or their shareholders and owners. And that’s interesting. You’re unlikely to see a new brand from Condé Nast this year, which is still trying (and failing) to clean up the ongoing problems at Bon Appetit. But we’ve already seen exciting new launches like Defector, from the team that brought you Deadspin, and Brick House, a media cooperative owned by the editors of the publications that it houses.

More independent publishing on the web—yes please!

#publishing / magCulture Live 2020.

If you love publishing then I have an event for you. The annual magCulture conference is now a two-day affair, November 17 and 18, with each day dedicated to a theme.

The first session has ‘Activism’ as its central theme, highlighting the power of magazines as platforms for change from both historical and contemporary standpoints. The second session is based around the theme ‘Analogue’, reminding us that there’s more to magazine-making than computers. How can editors and art directors maintain a human touch?

The speakers are a wonderful collection of designers, editors, authors, and founders from an eclectic range of publications from The Atlantic to Record Culture. The price point for admission is very affordable and the sessions run late in the UK which means early attendance here in the US.