End of a vaporzine

End of a vaporzine: One of the unanticipated consequences of blogging about vaporzines is that once in a while, a few weeks or months after blogging it, I receive in the mail a premiere copy of a magazine and a note from its founder. Usually the note says something like, “Vaporzine this, a-hole.” But today, I received a premiere issue and a much nicer kind of note from one of the two founding editors of the magazine, Worthwhile, who had actually read the link to the vaporzine definition and knew it wasn’t a derogatory term. (However, I will admit being overly snippy with an early mention of the publication.)

Despite the publicity others are trying to generate for being the first weblog to become a magazine, I believe Worthwhile has a fairly convincing stake to that claim as it launched in the spring as a group weblog with contributions from some blogging luminaries. Note, I didn’t say it was the first online property or website to become a magazine — that’s been done many times — rather, if they want to make the claim, I think they can wear the “weblog to magazine” mantle.

However, I think the magazine underplays its association with the weblog other than prominently featuring articles from the A-List bloggers who also contribute to the group blog. Because of those involved, I think the magazine has an opportunity to explore the role of print in a conversational-centric brand. The editors do a much better job than I could to describe their position and mission, so I won’t try. There are aspects of the magazine that remind me of the early days of Fast Company, back when it was good. It definitely addresses issues confronting all those of us who are passionate about both personal and business pursuits.

Another thing. As this whole web thing is about “linkages” — or at least that’s what one of your contributing author-bloggers has written about for the past decade — wouldn’t it be more link-friendly if the magazine appeared on the website in a form one could link to and blog about rather than as PDF files? Not criticizing, just wondering.

Congratulations on graduating from vaporzineness.

  • Kevin Salwen

    Valid point about strengthening the link to the blog in the print pages of Worthwhile. We’ll explore ways to do that because I love the dynamism of the web anyway.

    And thanks for the comparison to early Fast Company. Alan Webber (an FC founder) has been very generous with advice as we started Worthwhile. His magazine was amazingly good; it’s a sad thing now.

    As for your last question — about PDF format vs offering the whole pub — that is a result of PDFs being able to better show what the magazine looks like. HTML gets messed up on some people’s computers. At least that’s what our tech genius tells me; what the heck do I know?