JPG Magazine: this is what I’m talking about: I have said in the past, “When you see someone displaying a website on their coffee table, then you can call it a magazine.” The launch today of JPG Magazine (buy a copy) comes far closer to that than anything I’ve seen before. It captures the essence of conversational media and, from that, creates a magazine experience. It’s one small step for whoever is doing it, one giant step for participatory media.
Because I straddle the world of print magazines (my passion and career) and the online participatory-citizens-conversational world that includes blogging (my other passion and career(?)), I’m often asked how one relates to the other. I’ve written lots on that issue: In a nutshell, magazines and blogging don’t compete but complement. Blogging will profoundly affect magazines, but will not replace them.
I’ve been pretty hostile (in a friendly but sometimes snide way) towards certain efforts that have tried to “mediaize” and brand blogging (I won’t link to them as I don’t care to rehash that today) and who dream of creating something that simulates blogging, but ends up being yet another attempt to “centralize” and control the disparate voices that make blogging a celebration of the crowd, rather than an elevation of the expert. (I know, I’ve tried to do that in the past.)
And so, while constantly reminding people there have been many dot.com, online ventures that have attempted a migration to print, I have reserved declaring a print magazine venture a “role model” of what can happen when one truly captures the essence of what is going on here in “Blogistan” and recreates it in a way that captures a similarly unique print experience (“Magistan?). Consider that idea again. Capturing what’s going on in participatory journalism (or, as I like to call it, conversational media) and then using it to create a print experience.
Magazines, at least the type I love, are experiences, not just repositories of information. (If they were merely repositories, then, yes, I would say that the web could replace them.) The “experience” aspect of magazines is why people use them as decorations on coffee tables (and here) and as symbols of expertise when displayed on a professor’s bookshelf.
About JPG Magazine:
JPG Magazine is for people who love imagemaking without attitude. It’s about the kind of photography you get when you love the moment more than the camera. It’s for photographers who, like us, have found themselves online, sharing their work, and would like to see that work in print.
Disclosure: I do not know the individuals publishing JPG Magazine and have no relationship with them. My praise of it does not imply I understand what they may or may not have as a business model. That’s another topic.)
The JPG Magazine discussion group (flickr.com)
The JPG “Photo Pool” (flickr.com)
First rexblog post about JPG Magazine (9/21/2004)
Links to participating photographers:Emilie Valentine Noah Grey Maureen Banack Kevin Byrd Jesse Chan-Norris Paul Cloutier Eric Costello Redrick deLeon David Disser Cedric Gairard David F. Gallagher Tracey Hoyng Adriene Hughes Grant Hutchinson Sam Javanrouh Amparo Jelsma Dave Lipton, Theresa Manzanares Ian McNairn, Rion Nakaya Marc North Fredrik Olsson Janete Rebizzi Andrea Scher Nate Shepard Laura Sina Hugo Solo Christina Sponselli Heather M. Stanfield Jane Tam Brian Utley.