One of the many gifts of our increasingly networked world is the diminishing boundaries between communities. And the magazine business is about to get hit by a boundary-blurring tidal wave.
It's already started. What's the difference between NBC and Joe Everynerd on MySpace or YouTube? They're all just usernames - each with an equal chance of getting seen. The traditional roles of content creator and consumer have been irrevocably blurred.
Magazines, on the other hand, still have very high walls between their writers and readers. The writers and editors enjoy the illusion that they do something no one else can. The readers, then, have only one job: to consume the product.
But if the internet has taught us anything, it's that the world is full of people who know a lot more than you do about something.
I talk to my grandma most weekends. She's an amazing woman. She lived through the horrors of the Holocaust, and yet, every time I call her and ask how she's doing, her answer is, "I can't complain."
She probably said the same thing when she was homeless in Siberia. In winter.
I think, for her, to complain is to invite disaster. The same goes for happy, too. Never brag, or consider yourself lucky, because then it'll go away. It's superstitious, sure, but grandma Powazek has been right more than she's been wrong. I trust her.
That's why, when I think about how great things are going right now, with the company and the magazine and the wife and basically everything, it fills me with equal parts excitement and dread. Maybe it's the grandma in me, but I just don't want to think about how lucky I am right now, for fear it will all go poof.
So, me? I can't complain.
And submissions are now open for the first theme in Issue 8: Tourist. Let's see your best travel shot!
This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page shows thoughts from October 2006, including:
Magazine Thinking: A Tale of Three Communities
31 October 2006
I can't complain.
11 October 2006
Vote for JPG Issue 7 Now
5 October 2006
Join the POWlist
Enter your email address here so I can send an occasional note to your inbox. Only good things, I promise. More info »
Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »
Join the POWlist to receive the occasional note.
Magazine Thinking: A Tale of Three Communities 31 October 2006
I can't complain. 11 October 2006
Vote for JPG Issue 7 Now 5 October 2006