Don't make the magazine a "Monthly" magazine.

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EMRhelp
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Don't make the magazine a "Monthly" magazine.

Postby EMRhelp » Tue May 04, 2010 11:17 pm

The last magazine failed and one reason I think was the pressure of putting "A whole bunch of articles" into Month X's release.

Well ... Month X+1 never happened.

The concept of a monthly magazine is well, antiquated and paper-based.

This is the real time information age ... RELEASE the articles as they come in !

Other tips:
Make it easy to COMMENT and discuss articles.
If a forum admin/mod knows his/her forum well, they might consider a "Popular threads in Forum XYX" entry.

Please don't make this magazine a stuff analog of a paper based Magazine. Encourage people to submit micro-articles. When submissions are too high, then raise the bar, if required.

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Re: Don't make the magazine a "Monthly" magazine.

Postby EMRhelp » Tue May 04, 2010 11:22 pm

Think about 1 new article per day.

Make it easy for people to see the "NEW" articles (on one page).

Allow controversial articles. Balance doesn't come from one article. Someone might submit an article later that provides another viewpoint.

Think of the "Magazine" as a way of discussing major things about Joomla. The forums can't really do this as they are simply just overloaded.

Please please make this "Information Sharing Vehicle" a vibrant part of the increasingly boring and drab joomla.org vs. a boring stuffy quarterly nothing.

Good Luck.

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Re: Don't make the magazine a "Monthly" magazine.

Postby porwig » Tue May 18, 2010 4:13 pm

Hi EMRhelp,

Thanks for sharing your ideas here. We actually had a pretty involved discussion about whether to release articles as a monthly issue or to publish individual articles as they are ready.

The decision we made was for a monthly release. There are a number of reasons pro and con for either approach.

We will definitely evaluate how things go and make adjustments if/when we feel they will improve the magazine.

I like your idea about "popular forum threads", I think as the magazine hopefully grows we can take a look at adding a feature like that.

As for the one article per day idea, I think at some point the distinction becomes blurred for readers regarding what's a blog post and what's a magazine article? That's one of the reasons in favor of a monthly approach, to differentiate that content from blog posts.

We do hope to make the magazine fresh, interesting, and engaging for the community. We hope you enjoy it, we hope you will consider contributing to it, and we hope you will continue to share your ideas for improvements!
Paul Orwig

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Re: Don't make the magazine a "Monthly" magazine.

Postby EMRhelp » Tue May 18, 2010 5:32 pm

This is the twitter age.
A monthly magazine for an active project like Joomla seems old school.

I used to read joomla.org daily on the old site.
It had 3-7 articles per week.
If I missed it for a week it was fun to see a couple new articles.

I think a Blog full of important stuff would be more useful and fresh.

I guess it is a matter of why make a magazine at all ?
What is the purpose ?
Once that has been determined, would getting information out quicker be better ?
It probably would.

Maybe the new Joomla.org will have a fresh and exciting blog and a monthly magazine :)

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Re: Don't make the magazine a "Monthly" magazine.

Postby porwig » Tue May 18, 2010 9:04 pm

Here's the current magazine mission statement:

The JCM is a community [drive] project which provides resources, reviews, news and opinion on the Joomla! world, with an emphasis on all of the positive things happening in the Joomla! project and it's community.


Among other things, the magazine will provide a way for community members (most of whom dont have access to write or publish a blog on joomla.org) to submit articles and become more involved in the community. Also, some of the articles will be quite in depth (extension reviews, website case studies, etc.), much longer than the typical blog post.

Quicker might be better in some cases, in other cases accuracy, thoroughness, and attention to detail might be better. That is what we are aiming for with the magazine.
Paul Orwig

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Re: Don't make the magazine a "Monthly" magazine.

Postby arlen » Wed May 19, 2010 4:42 pm

It's easy to advocate for other people doing more work. :{>}

Heres' an approach a lot of websites have taken to the same "problem:"

Columns and features appear on a monthly schedule, but the "publication date" of the pieces varies within the month. For example, the lead article for the webzine appears on the first day of every month, while a new article from the developer's section would appear on the sixth day of every month, a new tutorial on the 12th, etc.

The magazine as a whole maintains a monthly schedule, yet new content streams out over the course of the month, giving readers a steady stream of "fresh meat."

BTW, publication schedules are *not* artifacts of the print age. They are a function of the available capacity of the staff. You want me to edit and prep a new developer's piece for publication daily, you're going have to start paying me, because I don't have that sort of free time. If *you* do, step up and volunteer; I'm sure Paul will be happy to add more volunteers (and if he's not, I'll cheerfully let you have my chair).

But you nailed the most serious problem in your first post: available content. If we publish everything we have right now, what happens when nothing new comes in over the transom for a while? Several things can cause this, including a lack of writers (the staff isn't writing this magazine, you the community are writing it; we're just here to help the writers look good). For a news site, holding something in inventory is deadly, and whatever you publish, more news will happen tomorrow so the hopper will never be completely empty. But this magazine isn't about news, specifically. There are several other places on joomla.org set up to deliver Joomla news. So keeping the pipeline filed with inventory becomes more of an issue for us.

Dumping everything we can think of in issue 1, as you noted an earlier incarnation tried, is a spectacularly Bad Idea. I realize that will leave many of you wanting more, but I'd rather leave you wanting more, and know that I have more to deliver, than risk not having something for you when you're ready for the next installment. If it turns out there are enough writers out there submitting material to support a more frequent publication schedule, we'll find a way to make it happen; I think I can safely claim to speak for the whole magazine staff when I say we're not here to keep things from you, to hold things back. But keep in mind that for most of the several months while this project has been building there has been one (yes, just 1) article in the "submitted" hopper. When will the deluge start?

That's the big unknown we're dealing with, here. How many people are there in this community who want to write for this magazine? How many pieces will we see? What would happen if we committed to a new piece every single day, and in the first month of operation we received only one piece?

This is essentially a new venture. It's been tried in the past several times, and it has failed. And now, in a world where everyone can self-publish on their own blog, we have to wonder how many of them will send us something, and how many will just keep self-publishing their own material on their own blog? We honestly don't know, so we'd rather ramp this thing up slowly, and make sure everything's holding together, than jump off the cliff and find out later that our wings aren't going to work.

What's the purpose of the magazine? To teach and inform the Joomla community, as well as to reflect the community back to itself. We plan on helping you understand the code, and hopefully each other, better than you ever have before. We want to do that by getting the people who know in front of a wider audience and letting them tell you some or all of what they know. We want to be the conduit by which the community can deliver to itself an image of what it is and how to make itself better. We want to channel advice from great designers and developers to the community at large, raising the bar for everyone. We want to be the rising tide that floats *all* the Joomla boats.

Would getting information out quicker be better? Too many variables to answer that question properly. We need some sort of regulation on the flow to keep it constant, otherwise we risk publishing ten items today, and nothing more for weeks afterwards. Since the material we publish will by and large not be time-sensitive, we'll use that to our advantage and clip the peaks off and use that material to fill in the valleys. Is monthly the ideal schedule? Unknown. We'll have better information later, which we'll use to adjust the schedules. It's a dynamic system; we're only setting the startup parameters. We'll adjust the flow controls up or down later, as (or even if) the flow develops. We'll deal with the question of a faster publication schedule when we see an incoming flow that would sustain one; we're not about to make a promise we can't keep.

As I said earlier, we're not here to hoard submitted articles in a secret room somewhere buried deep within Joomla Mountain. But we need a constant flow of output to keep the venture going. Think of the publication schedule as a dam, regulating the flow of a river -- holding back water at the flood, releasing it during low-water times, keeping the river flowing at a fairly level pace. If I see an inventory of articles waiting to be published that represents more than just the next month or two on the schedule, I'll be right there in front, lobbying for a quicker release schedule. None of us wants to sit on 10-12 completed articles. But right now, I'm sitting on precisely zero. Hopefully, that changes soon.

As for the other quality suggestions: rest assured, from Paul on down we're all going to do the best job we're allowed to do.

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Re: Don't make the magazine a "Monthly" magazine.

Postby peskyhuman » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:13 am

EMRhelp wrote:The last magazine failed and one reason I think was the pressure of putting "A whole bunch of articles" into Month X's release.


This is a good point. In today's world of instant news you don't need to to make an online magazine come out set intervals.

Still looking forward to it though, whatever the publication schedule.
Check out my latest Joomla! website:

http://thegamegate.co.nz

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Re: Don't make the magazine a "Monthly" magazine.

Postby porwig » Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:08 pm

Thanks. We are planning to launch the first issue on July 1.
Paul Orwig


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