On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 07:51:43 -0600, John Meyer <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
>> Someone else wrote:
> > It's typical (speaking from experience here) for magazine article
> > authors to be under time pressure, so they don't always feel free
> > to do as much research as they'd like (and as they should).

As an article writer for most of the well known Linux-based magazines,
let me say that my experience has been that the writers procrastinate
too much.  I've never been pushed for time by LJ, Linux Magazine,
LWN.net, Maximum Linux (now defunct), Salon.com, Linsight (also defunct)
or Linux Format.  You simply have to schedule the time to do the

> > Which leads me to my next question/suggestion: have any of us
> > considered putting together a magazine website? 

Yes.  I've considered it.

There were two reasons I didn't follow through with this:
1. Getting articles from good writers is difficult.
2. Cost of publication of a print rag is too high given the number of
GIMP users (at the time - this was before there were a lot of Windows
and Mac users).

There may be sufficient numbers of GIMP users to warrant a site now from
the point of view of getting sponsors to cover hosting costs.  And
producing PDFs (instead of print) would also lower costs.  But it's
doubtful you could cover the cost of generating content.  Finding good
writers is tough.  Finding bad writers is easy.

> > I think we could do a little light advertising (GIMP and
> > graphics focus) as well, to cover hosting costs et al, but I'm
> > happy to volunteer to put the effort in to run the site (call
> > the post "abuse server"?) and nag people for articles etc.

Not that I'm volunteering at the moment, but I have my own co-located
server that can probably cover the load if we didn't distributed large
files.  My hosting costs per month are minimal at the moment (I already
pay for several other web sites hosted on that machine), though they'll
go up if the site were to use a large amount of bandwidth.  The site
could be a CMS based on WordPress, which makes management easy.  All
that's needed is a decent theme to the site to get it up and running.

> > The leading question, I guess, would be: does such a beastie
> > exist already? How much duplication of effort would it involve?

There are a few web sites with tutorials.  I'll have links to them on my
new books website when that goes live (soon, I believe, depending on
when they announce it at No Starch Press).  I haven't found any
GIMP-specific magazine sites.  I used to write TheGimp.com back in the
late 90's after my first book came out, but that was more work than I
could handle on my own (there was no revenue for it, not even
advertising) and it eventually dried up.  Other sites like LinuxArtist,
3DLinux and CreativeLinux have all gone by the wayside.

The real hard part is content.  Anyone can run a web site.  Filling it
with interesting content to keep people coming back (and get advertisers
to sponsor the site) is difficult.

> > The printed graphics magazines available here in Oz tend to be
> > quite expensive, and if they have a product focus, it'll
> > typically be PhotoShop. So you could call this filling a
> > personal need.

It's a nice idea.  Just a lot of work with little reward for the person
who does it.

> > I'm not in a position to run a server (net access here is
> > dialup -- slow -- or satellite -- $$$ for data -- so what we'd
> > need to do this voluntarily is someone with an ADSL or similar
> > link with a few spare gigabytes and a machine which won't mind
> > being a DNS and web server (which implies a fixed IP address).

You don't need to run a DNS if you're colo is managed properly.  Just a
web server.

> Currently I use namecheap for my domains and hostgator for hosting,
> neither of which runs that bad (three domains at approximately
> $8.88/year and $10/month for the hosting.).  And I am nowhere near my
> limit for storage.

These kinds of services will throttle your bandwidth, however, should
you get successful.  You need a colocated server with either no or high
bandwidth limits.  I have no limits on disk space and a very high limit
on bandwidth with my colo.

> The hardest part of any sort of periodical publication is keeping that
> constant energy going.  We all have our lives outside of this forum, and
> in many cases that life has to come first.  Somebody is going to have to
> maintain the role of editor and chief nagger in terms of getting content
> in on time (I've played that role and it is not fun).


> One last question for you all: if you do put-together an online
> magazine, who will you be writing to and for?  It's easy for the people
> here to put questions to themselves and answer them, but I'm thinking
> that's not the audience you're aiming for (otherwise, why would you even
> need to expand beyond this).

Excellent point.  

When my book's website goes live it will have a forum for discussions
and I'll accept submitted content (if it's well written and requires
little editing on my part).  But I won't spend time digging up content
submissions from other writers.  Being an editor is a lot of work, and I
have a day job already.
Michael J. Hammel                                    Senior Software Engineer
[EMAIL PROTECTED]                           http://graphics-muse.org
You're life can be a wonderous journey, if you don't spend all your time
trying to drag someone else through it with you.  -  Michael J. Hammel

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