Monday, October 08, 2007

Magazine Project Update

Looking back on the previous thread I see there is some real interest in this idea and I am convinced there is a gap. I was delighted to see Jon Teunon , who you will not know but is about the best of the lefties on Compas.Now that would really question a few orthodoxies in a most uncomfortgable way. Others like Norfolk Blogger , the best Lib Dem, might contribute and we would have a distinctive and interesting package . This all has to be less silly and a more interesting. Otherwise it would be just another blog. Blogs are great but the writers can do better and deserve better notice.

I am debating as to whether I should purchase some soft ware of have go at using a web thing . Frankly I am about the worst person in the world for this and I was hoping to persuade someone to help. That is the next step and I will have sorted it out by next week . After that an editorial meeting and I think a month to get going



Yep, keep going, it'll do for blogging what supermarkets have done for shopping. And if you don't do it, somebody else will.

Ed said...

I think it's a really good idea. Is there any reason (to start with at any rate) why it can't be in the format of a collaborative blog? That would certainly save a lot of investment in time in case of a scenario that it doesn't hit it off (which I think it will).

Newmania said...

I was coming to that view somewaht reluctantly Ed. It really needs a few thousabnd pounds investment but I do not have such a thing spare and this will at least ensure that we get something off the ground

Thats what we`ll have to do but try to m,aintain the idea for the future

Anonymous said...

Well I am looking forward to my invitation - I am planning a long photographic essay on ....
**wanders off muttering to self**

hatfield girl said...

There are the technical aspects and the editorial ones. The first has a great deal of support and help dispersed amongst us (well, you, actually, I have to ask the IT consultant); the teeth like plumber looking at boiler, perhaps an outline of strategies and organisation from you, N?
As well as thoughts on style; are we imposing a house style? And format - how long, main article plus comments, group of main articles on a particular theme, notes and queries section - that sort of thing. Is there a model to be followed to look at?

Newmania said...

HG ..thats the sort of thing I was thinking of. I will,come up with something


HG & NM:

As this would not be in newsprint, length and number of articles are immaterial (or non-material, or etherial - what is the appropriate adjective for cyberspace?).

A collective blog would be a very good way to start. Indeed, each contributor could post on their own blog, and the editors of the collective blog would link to the relevant article.

User-friendly and attractive initial access would be important, but the front page need only bear the title and maybe a sentence to explain the thrust of each article, then click through.

So, as with Montaigne's Essais, there need be no set length. So no padding, either.

You can have as many or as few articles as you wish - all that matters is to set standards of truth, relevance, and elegance of expression.

? Front page to group by section as newspapers do - eg sports, business, politics.

And watch for libel/defamation and supply lots of disclaimers - if it gets a high readership (as I think it will) the lawyers and litigious/regulatory types will start sniffing round.


PS: On the basis I've described, you could get a prototype up and running by tonight!

Simply set up a new blog (? "Showcase"), select from the best posts you can find that are publicly available, supply the title, a brief description and a link.

(I understand Blogpower do a roundup of sorts, but this would be a completely open competition.)

If you want to group by type, post a page for each section, and an internal link to your sidebar. I've done something similar with my "Reference" section on Bearwatch.

It'd be a sort of Radio 4 "Pick of the week" to start with, but then you could put out a call for new purpose-written material.

Good luck!

Ed said...

That is good thinking Mr Sackerson.

Can I have an application form?

hatfield girl said...

'all that matters is to set standards of truth, relevance, and elegance of expression.'

So that's alright then S.

And when I am referred to an argument elsewhere by a link, sometimes I wish that the argument be precis'ed and integrated with the main argument of the piece, rather than having me do all that intellectual inferring. Often I don't go to the link or even stop reading the piece.

You may be overestimating (at least my) familiarity with blog standard skills and techniques. Perhaps we could have a 'written out' magazine and a short blog form magazine in tandem?

JT said...


The more diverse the ideological source of the opinions are the better as far as I'm concerned (within reason)and I'm not just referring to narrow party political concerns (although that will of course play a part). I'm sorry that I have no technical knowledge to add!

By the way I'm glad your points on Compass today were made in a fair and reasoned way (but still with some necessary humour). I think it was done in a tone that would ideally suit the project you are suggesting here, which I hope will be a place to exchange and discuss interesting opinions. Ie I don't want it to just turn into a political slanging match with shallow point scoring, which political blogs can so easily turn into.

And good luck with your debut tonight I will try and watch it.



I'm only suggesting a starting format that would be easy (and free) to set up - it would be for stand-alone pieces (which nevertheless would permit comment threads on those pieces). Use of the back/undo arrow on the toolbar (top left) would get back to the original portal.

Referring by direct link into someone's blog would boost their readership numbers and, one hopes, lead people to start reading around within that blog, so getting into the "showcase" would be a good way for the author to advertise his/her oeuvre.

Of course, one can then develop it further, but even Private Eye started as a cut-and-paste-and-copy exercise on somebody's floor.

hatfield girl said...

Is there something that looks like what you propose, S ? ( needs examples, that's me, so I know what we mean, or I mean, or I think I mean).

Truth, relevance, golly - theory of mind here we come. This is going to be time consuming, but so interesting.

Ed said...

Well to start with I suppose it would look like Poliblogs except with articles written especially, with a precis and a link to the offending blog. Then when it takes off we can get Iain Dale to sub N a few grand to "invest" on shiny gadgets and a few sofas.

Norfolk Blogger said...

on a given theme or just my usual ramblings, if that is what you would like. Basically, I'll do what I can to help.

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