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Event # 257: THE TICKING CLOCK
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LAST WEEK's EDITION
MEET THE G-CREW! These are the people behind this jam-band every week. AND there are GUIDELINES FOR YOU TO JOIN THE BAND...
Looking around, I see so many stories in today's headlines and back pages that cry out for follow-ups to stories we've already given backgrounders on in these pages over the years: the latest unrest in Indonesia; NATO now having to side with the Serbs in Kosovo against the ethnic Albanian terrorists attacking neighboring countries like Macedonia; the Taliban destruction of ancient statues of the Buddha; the on-going revolt in Colombia and its linkage with the FARC drug trade. Loyal Readers of this magazine have deep background on these stories and know we won't be able to long ignore them.
I read Evan Thomas's piece on alleged spy Robert Hanssen in last week's Newsweek and thought "Scooped!"
Gearing up for this annual ritual, I went surfing around yesterday to some of the other Web publications to which we've been compared and contrasted, Web magazines that some people have identified as competitors for your eyeballs over the years.
Conversely, I've been accused of designing covers that are too damned simple. People have complained that I only give them five or six articles (sometimes even less --- gasp!) to choose from and force them to drill down to the Table of Contents page or use a pulldown menu if they want to find more.
Don't expect that to change anytime soon. If I could give you only three choices on the cover without offending the fragile egos of the writers here, I'd do it in a Tokyo minute!
The icing on the cake of this assessment of where The World's Magazine is and why the heck I even bother, came from an article in today's New York Times. The title of the article is "The Dreams of Webzines Fizzle Out."
Longtime readers are aware how much I hate the use of that diminuitive "Zine" when referring to what we do here on the Web at this site and those mentioned above. We work far too hard to be categorized like that. We have broken far too many important stories to be de-legitimized by the comparison to xeroxed fan rags.
Secondly, the yardstick used in the Times article, and others like it, is not the value of our content, the quality of our writers, the depth of our journalism, but the advertising revenue we make --- or actually fail to make.
Yes, it's true that there is not one --- not one! --- Web magazine out there that can pay its own way. Among us, only SLATE has the benefit of a deep-pockets angel, Microsoft Corporation. But most of us, even the most venerable, have only been around a few years. Nonetheless, the yardstick by which we are judged is that of publications which have decades (or centuries) behind them in media that are fully mature. Anybody who thinks the Web is even into its puberty yet is full of it!
So comparisons like those make my blood boil! The price of pioneering.
Coffee, you see, is one of my only pleasures these days. Everything else is just dark clouds and frayed nerves. Seems like this is becoming a cycle. Every year around this time, I wonder if I'll do the magazine another year or not. (I always keep doing it, of course.) Last year at this time, I wasn't only wondering about the magazine, as you know, I was also wondering about my life. Somehow, I decided to keep going on, with lots of encouragement from close friends and family. My "reason" is this little corner of the Web. I don't have any other, actually.
Don't be saddened. That is something, from my point of view. This time last year, I openly told friends that I had no reason. Couldn't come up with a single one. I actually experimented, for the first time in ten years, with letting someone else try to produce G21. (Mistake!) That's about as dark as it gets.
So having G21 as my reason is quite a lot, comparatively.
For example, today was another of those days where not one iota of Good News existed. I have certain and tenuous blessings --- a roof over my head, this Memory Machine, relatively good health, a little food in the fridge --- but other circumstances are right below a sharp stick in the eye on the Desirability Meter. The details are unimportant, other than that even some of the copy I expected to have tonight to begin the first edition of Year Six is running late, needs re-writes, yatta-yatta-yatta... ANY Good News today would have been a bounty, in other words.
It didn't matter, though, because I could throw myself into the next cover design, scheduling (or juggling the schedule) for next week, busy work to keep my mind off my troubles.
You see? A Reason.
OTHER STUFF: The friend whose grand-daughter I told you about in an RDR this past week, and who we expected might have to go into surgery to repair a collapsed lung, won't be. Thank Providence, her lung has begun to repair itself tests show. Prayers do help, Kids... The California woo is still being pitched. I continue to make my case for not going back... No changes in the cave situation to speak of, other than that I've set a firm date of 1 June to be out of here...
"Work like you don't need the money,
"Love like you've never been hurt,
"Dance like no one is watching..."
Rod was a columnist for the Andover News Network, where he wrote over two hundred articles on web design and development issues. He was also principal writer and Editor for IT Manager's Journal, where he reviewed technology issues weekly, producing 383 editorials. He became the Managing Editor for Electronic Mail/Newsletter Publications at Andover.net at the end of February, 2000, and left in September of the same year. He was a contributing writer for ACCESS magazine, which appears both on- and offline for 10 million readers in 100 newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Post, Boston Herald, Austin American-Statesman, Denver Post and Orlando Sentinel, among others. In January, 2001, Rod became the US reporter for Silicon.com, a division of Network Multimedia Television in London, UK, reaching 3.5 million European readers.
Rod lives in dreams and visions, edits the writing of people from six continents for The World's Magazine, and wonders if New Orleans is actually the next stop on the hejira.
He continues to be committed to integrity, chastity and a dose of humility.
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