A couple of months ago, we asked on Habré whether the pdf magazines have a future
, at the same time showing our attempt to the habravchanes. From the quality and, in general, positive reviews, it became clear that there was definitely a future, so we continued our undertaking.Read online or download number from Narod.disk
In this topic, I will also describe the stages that we went through when building the magazine, the difficulties that we encountered during our work, and thoughts about the possibilities for improving communication with the team (task management system). I think after reading the topic, you can immediately start creating your own journal on any topic :-)
Disclaimer: yes, the magazine is not perfect, we understand it and try to constantly improve the quality, so if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, be sure to write, we are interested to know your opinion and everything related to modern publishing platforms (now we use Issuu ).
How everything was built
Another caveat: the magazine is created exclusively by the forces of enthusiasts who love computer games. There is no talk about any cash flows and investing, the strongest motivation here (it seems to me, as in any other business) is the desire to do something interesting and love for what you create.
Stage 1. Search
With the search for "brothers in arms" everything is transparent, here is a sea of possibilities, ranging from connecting old friends on the porch to ending with catching interesting authors in LiveJournal.
Stage 2. Team management system.
Our authors include people from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Therefore, from the very beginning, a platform was needed that would allow authors to distribute tasks and maintain contact with each other. Once upon a time we used a forum for communication, and files of articles were exchanged by e-mail. Of course, it was terrible. Since then, there have been excellent management systems that do not ask for subscription fees and perform all the necessary functions.
For ourselves, we chose Timer, because it was simple, convenient and understandable to beginners. I will not dwell on the description, I have already written here
about all the advantages. I will write about the shortcomings
The most unpleasant of them is coldness to extensions. In short, even one new person in the team is hemorrhoids. Each note and task must be opened for visibility separately, even when their project is more than fifty. And on trifles: no subtasks, goals, roles.
Now we are going to move: we feel that "closely." The system is not flexible, it is rather an easy excellent forum. It works great and does everything that a small team may require (guys from Ateve, thank you!)
, But we already need something more.
Stage 3. Distribution of roles and articles
When creating the magazine, two groups were created by themselves: authors and editors of materials. People in each group write articles, reviews, interviews, but editors also have third-party responsibilities. (Those who design or administer the site are not considered.)
In terms of distribution of articles, we have complete freedom: the author chooses any topic at will that meets certain requirements (compliance with headings, relevance, etc.), writes about his desire in a certain topic, the chief editor approves, assigns a term and adds an article to the list.
Stage 4. Writing articles and editing
It usually takes about two weeks to prepare materials. In Timer, unfortunately, there is no solid calendar, so it’s impossible to follow the situation “from a bird's-eye view”, often you have to kick the authors in the messengers and on the phone :-)
The written article is published in Timer, and the editor appointed by the author corrects the errors, discusses them with the author in his thread, and lays out the final version.
Stage 5. The finished article is given to the layout.
Since it is not very easy to find a designer-enthusiast on the Internet, the whole layout went to me :-)
What has changed since the previous release
- The number is now fully read through the Issuu and M.issuu service. This is a great publishing platform, runs on flash, is completely free and provides comprehensive read statistics. I still do not see a more worthy alternative, if there is one, write.
- Increased the number of pages.
- Minimized (tried to minimize) the number of errors in the texts.
What needs to be changed
- Task management system. After reading the reviews here, I decided to stay at Worksection, a more flexible and expanded system, despite being paid.
- Create a basic set of headings. No matter how pitiable, but some of the rubrics in our journal simply disappear, because there are no materials for them.
- Distribute the authors by category. Delegation of duties is an important thing. If everyone is responsible for their own department and not sprayed, it is much easier to manage and monitor changes.
Is there a future for such projects?
With good planning, motivation and monetization - of course. Already, on the Internet you can find a lot of groups that create their own independent publications (PDF, Flash). The standard format of a news site is no longer interesting, either because it has become boring, or because it is being created once or twice.
A couple of simple rules that will help if you ever take control of such an independent team:
- No common articles "all edited". It takes a lot of time, parts are lost, and the layout is complicated.
- Sift out unnecessary. It doesn't matter that there is no payment in the team of enthusiasts - this is no reason not to chase irresponsible participants.
- Experiment. The most pleasant thing in creating a magazine is the opportunity to make it the way you want to see it, without listening to the head / director / investor / critics.
PPS I hope the article will be useful to someone.