Lately, with no musical outlet here in New York, I've resorted to writing. In addition to this blog, a quasi-serious observation of events and people in New York, I've been writing more descriptive pieces about people and events in my life that I hope someday to turn into something bigger. This will mostly not be published here.
I've been thinking of a way to combine the two lately. Take this blog and make legitimate. Even before I was editor of ALT Magazine in college, I've been longing for my own magazine, with a team of writers who were on the same wavelength. It was tentatively titled In On The Joke, and it would include personal essays, political commentary, and observations of people in our generation. I was fueled by Adbusters and Ian MacKaye, and my young punk-rock mindset.
Now that I am older, I don't feel that the title In On The Joke accurately describes what I'm going for anymore. Instead of promoting the ideas of a young, rebellious generation, I think we need a professional, critical look at our leaders, the world, important issues such as health care and economics, and writing that comes straight from someone's heart, fueled by passion rather than an assignment.
There is a strong difference between someone writing passionately and someone writing as an observer, to cover a news story. While the latter is important for reporting, it lacks a certain flair and importance that can move people emotionally. This is the sort of writing I'm looking for. After publishing ALT Magazine for two years, however, I'm well aware of the costs of printing.
So the question is, how legitimate is electronic publication? A friend of mine referred me to a few websites with online magazines. Triple Canopy is very similar to what I am thinking of, with themed issues (just like ALT) arranged as an electronic publication. However, as with the first installment of ALT Online, this reaches a much smaller audience.
Electric Literature, a collection of fiction, distributes their work through paperback, iPhone, Kindle, and eBook. While it is affordable ($21 for 6 issues), I'd like to make my publication free of charge.
With the Kindle and Twitter gaining popularity, the question remains: is print media going to remain relevant? Would it be worth it to invest in printing a magazine and produce a tangible product, or is free electronic publication going to reach a wider audience? Does anyone care about online content, or do they simply skim through it?
I'm interested in your feedback, and if you're willing to jump-start this project with me, let me know. I want to find writers, designers, and artists. Anyone with something to say.