“wait…you want to put blogs into a magazine?” — (NO!)

<ars |blog>
I’d like to say a bit about what seems to be the most common (mis)conception or interpretation mode that people go into when I attempt to explain this project. offer the tagline ‘arts & literature magazine for bloggers’…a fair number of people are confused. The questions that generally follow are:

“Why do bloggers want to read what other bloggers have to say in print when they can just go read them online?”

or more generally,

“Why would bloggers want to read a magazine about blogging, why wouldn’t they just go ahead and blog? or read about blogs online?”

Now those are both legitimate questions and symptomatic, i’m sure, of my woeful expository skills in the verbal medium — hopefully my written statements possess a bit more clarity, and so to respond:

Bloggers are writers and at some level they are creative individuals, whatever the ‘quality’ of their output they confront the demonblankpage and put something on it. The critical point is that not everything a blogger writes goes into his/her blog.

Bloggers have crossed a certain literary threshold, some for the first time with their blog, some long before with other means, but they all have now published written material that others will read, and (almost) every blogger is very much hoping/wanting it to be read by others.

Blogging is a nice medium for self-expression and i’m sure there are some (perhaps many, but i doubt it) bloggers who are dumping everything that they write onto their blog – but my gut feeling, and the premise for the magazine, is that they are holding things back: poems, short fiction, emotionally painful non-fiction (although there’s plenty of that published on the blogs). These are the things we would solicit, and publish, giving people a forum for stuff they keep off their blogs for whatever reason (it’s too “good”, it’s too embarassing/personal). We can publish their stories anonymously – we offer them certain protections that a blog cannot. And they get what they are dying to say out there in front of people, plus we can reward them financially to boot.

Of course, this just speaks to the people who will provide the mag’s content, so perhaps you agree that there will be no shortage of submittals but where, you ask, will the readers come from?

I will concede the possibility that circulation growth could start off a little slowly – but i do not beileve that it actually will and here is why: people primarily use their blogs to talk about things they find interesting in the “real” world. I believe that once we get this publication in front of enough key people, our little magazine will, in fact, become one of those things. Bloggers will find it to be legitimately compelling becase:

a. Our “content-providers” are extremely creative, highly literate individuals.

b. Our audience is pre-selected to have an affinity for the topics, modes of expression, and language produced by our talent pool.

From there it is a very short path until the tipping point is reached and it’s off to the races. I am confident of this rapid blowup because the Blog World is still small enough and intimately inter-connected (unlike say, bulletin boards or email-based discussion groups, which are much larger and almost completely discrete – eg. an alt.lawnbowling poster is never going to interact with an alt.art.piercings poster via discussion groups, but they just might read one another’s blogs – a definite attraction of blog-reading after all is the intimate window it offers into worlds other than our own) for organic/viral marketing to work it’s “word-of-blog” magic quite effectively. And so very rapidly our name/brand will permeate every last little niche/corner of the Blog Universe.

I hope the second more general question is also mostly answered in the above. But i’ll just say that of course it won’t be a magazine “about blogging” (although i think there is room for and interest in making that a {small} component of the magazine, for diversity’s sake if nothing else) it will be a magazine for bloggers written by bloggers but it will be about sex, death, love, joy, sorrow, pain, guilt, fear, depression, anxiety, rapture, bliss, truth, etc. All of the time-tested themes of the creative arts, just flavored with the perspective, and particularly unique (imho) “methods of expression” that bloggers offer to each of those mediums (fiction, poetry, etc..).

And finally, yes i realized while i was writing this that no one who has these sorts of questions is ever going to read this because they don’t “read” blogs, which is why they have these sorts of questions in the first place…well at least i have something to print out for them now.

;o>

About Jonah

personal|professional musings ...of potential (obscure) scientific interest: sporadic first-person account of dreams either entering low-earth orbit or heading Mach7.3 into bridge pylon... i will do my bestbest to keep it interesting ;o> cheers!

One thought on ““wait…you want to put blogs into a magazine?” — (NO!)

  1. I think one of the main components of blogs that separate them from common forms of publications is the almost total lack of editing. You may want to consider your magazine also as an opportunity for some of these fledgling writers to learn about the wonderful world of white-out.

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