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The Media Linux

Print Isn't Dead: How Linux Voice Crowdfunded a New Magazine 56

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the something-about-paper dept.
M-Saunders (706738) writes The death of print has been predicted for years, and many magazines and publishers have taken a big hit with the rise of eBooks and tablets. But not everyone has given up. Four geeks quit their job at an old Linux magazine to start Linux Voice, an independent GNU/Linux print and digital mag with a different publishing model: giving profits and content back to the community. Six months after a successful crowdfunding campaign, the magazine is going well, so here is the full story.
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Print Isn't Dead: How Linux Voice Crowdfunded a New Magazine

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  • Spam (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @04:19AM (#47506193)

    This is like the 4th story on "four guys who quit some magazine no one ever heard of start a new magazine no one will read"

    https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

    They have like 3k subs. Can we agree not to give them a story until they get 50k or 100k subs?

    They are using Slashdot as a promotional platform and place to farm refs for Wikipedia.

    Linux is great. These 4 guys don't matter.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They'd have at least one more sub if they didn't require Paypal (I'll never, ever use those thieving bastards).

      • by Wootery (1087023)

        At least they'll be stealing from Linux Voice, and not you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by M-Saunders (706738)
        Hi! We know that a lot of people dislike PayPal, and we're looking into alternatives. You can subscribe via bank transfer -- email mike AT linuxvoice DOT com for details.
    • This. And "some tiny minority continuing to do things the buggywhip way" may technically mean the buggywhip way isn't dead... but yeah, for all useful purposes it actually is.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    PCMagazine, unarguably the finest computer mag, second only to PC World, could not make it in print, neither will this. Advertisers need BUYERS and if it's one thing Linux users don't do it is BUY.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Linux Voice is not advertising driven. What you say makes no sense.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      ah but they don't actually seem to be making a profit..

      you know, you can always have a print magazine if you fund it through some other scheme than selling subs/issues.

      (few thousand subs is like nooothiiiing)

      • Re:If (Score:5, Informative)

        by M-Saunders (706738) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @05:19AM (#47506325)
        Who said that? We are making a profit... And we're going to give 50% of it back to the FOSS community at the end of the year.
        • by exomondo (1725132)

          Out of interest what is the advertising model?

          Also wrt the timeliness of information I wouldn't think that's an issue, if it's more technical focused than "news" then I doubt timeliness is an issue.

          • by exomondo (1725132)
            Oh nevermind, I'm guessing it's purely subscriber driven.
          • We only have one page of news per month. We're not competing with the internet for speed -- we're aiming to have the best quality technical content. "Getting information off the internet is like drinking from a firehose." Sure, there's a huge amount of useful stuff out there, but it can be hard to find it all. Those who are happy to trawl through it may not want our magazine, but those who like a monthly dose of features, tutorials, interviews and other content can get it with us.
        • by gl4ss (559668)

          how? my thought that you weren't making a profit was based on the subscriber number times the cost of subscription minus the print costs and minus *personnel cost*. surely you cannot be making a profit unless nobody works for the magazine and/or all the writing is done for free in which case again, hey, it's easy to do profit if you don't count the expenses and fund doing it with something else.

          which would actually mean that print is dead. see those professional youtubers? you know why they'r professional?

    • They can advertise Android eq.

  • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @04:58AM (#47506295)

    Could you not do overly dramatic headlines on the front cover, please.

    Last issue had "Learn to Hack" in massive yellow text.

    Right in the middle of the News Corp phone hacking trial, the Snowden leaks, some police evidence tampering stories, as well as a few other computer security related things in the press at the time.

    My postman avoids me now....

    Just a friendly suggestion,
    Ta

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @04:58AM (#47506301)
    At least "Windows: The Official Magazine" is doing fine. I can easily speed up [wordpress.com] my sluggish OS, and if that's not enough, I can fix any problem [blogspot.com], and as the ace in the sleeve I can find out how to reinstall Windows [photobucket.com] in just 1 hour. Once again we can see, that if I am in the proprietary software domain, information is easily available, and my workflow is never interrupted.
  • I was glad to see them succeed, and it's an interesting mix of "old" print media, and the "new" social networking and crowd funding. Like crowd funding a new 8bit arcade game, but less hipster ironic.

    Anyway, I prefer the Hobgoblin myself. Pool tables, you see.
  • I love the magazine. Great content. However...

    I currently have 4 unopened on my desk. Instead of the paper version, I read the pdf versions while I was out and about.
    I still read the dead tree in occasionally, it is great in my bathroom, but print is dying.

    Also Linux Voice guys, great job but please get some proof reading in there. Sometimes the articles are almost impossible to parse.

    Thanks!

    • If it wasn't for the bathroom, I'd be much more ignorant.

      I use PDFs and ebooks for a lot of things, but for randomly picking up potentially useful information, a print magazine works best for me.

    • Re:As a subscriber (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:49AM (#47506899) Homepage
      I find it a little disingenuous that they are saying that print isn't dying and then go on to say that they only have 3,000 subscribers.

      And my biggest problem with print magazines is exactly as you stated. If they have a print and online version, by the time you get your copy in the mail, you could have easily just already read the online version. Unless they purposely delay the online version, which is an equally bad idea. But why stop there. Why even delay individual articles until there's a whole magazine's worth. Why not just publish individual articles online as they become available.
      • by gigne (990887)

        "Why even delay individual articles until there's a whole magazine's worth. Why not just publish individual articles online as they become available."

        Excellent idea! We should call it a web log. I'm sure we could shorten that into something punchier.

        Joking aside, I do prefer the rollup content. I treat the magazine like a monthly digest and allocate 3 hours to read it all.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I work at a magazine. There are two editorial streams and each has its own department (they do overlap and collaborate of course). Most of the stories are the same for the web and print versions but of course there is additional content that is continually edited, update and uploaded for the web version.

        Subscription numbers are about the same for print and digital but we expect the print number to continue to shrink and the digital number to continue to grow.

        Print is on the way out, but is not dead yet. Whi

  • Seems pricey (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GrangerX (1959200) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:18AM (#47506711)

    I love linux periodicals, but the ones from Europe always seem to be extremely pricey, at least to US customers. For print, I intuitively understand that, but the digital-only prices always seem high to me.

    1-Year US/Canada Subscription: 95 GBP == 162.13 US Dollar
    1-Year Digital Subscription: 38 GBP == 64.86 US Dollar

    I keep looking at Linux Format, but that has even higher digital-only prices.

    My impulse buy point for digital subscriptions is maybe $50/year.

    For comparison, I looked up a subscription I do have:
    Linux Journal offers 24 issues for $49.50. I suppose it's more advertising-supported, but still.

    Oh well. I'm glad that these periodicals exist, and I hope they do well enough to hang around. :-)

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Yeah, $13.50 a piece for print magazines seems to be quite expensive, especially on a subscription plan. Typically magazines give subscribers big discounts. That doesn't seem to be happening here. For that price, I'll just leaf through it at the book store and only buy it if it has something that particular catches my eye.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So far, it's the best Linux magazine on the market, period. I also subscribe to Linux format and Ubuntu User, but Linux voice IS the best of them. Really recommended if you havn't read it.

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