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

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the something-about-paper dept.

The Media 56

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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Two issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506145)

and the fat lady sings.

Re:Two issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506167)

But they're on issue 6 and growing...

Re:Two issues (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47511407)

Back assward, like all Linux community garbage. Way to go guys, a form of media that contains long outdated information by the time it gets into readers' hands, wastes physical space, contributes to the overfilled landfills and funds the clear cutting of trees.

Spam (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#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:Spam (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506269)

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

Re:Spam (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 4 months ago | (#47506319)

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

Re:Spam (3, Funny)

M-Saunders (706738) | about 4 months ago | (#47506327)

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.

Re: Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506519)

Sending bank account details over mail? That's what that Nigerian Prince used to always ask me to do...

Re: Spam (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506697)

Subscribers dont have to send any bank details. Seller has to send bank account number to which subscriber can pay. This is safe. At least we this is how we do it in the EU :)

Re: Spam (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#47507179)

The major banks now give you the ability to transfer money to individuals without having to use an expensive wire or set them up on ACH. These are designed to directly compete with PayPal. See if your bank has one.

Re:Spam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506771)

Apple pay people to submit fluff pieces all over the world, or encourage them to do so buy letting them know they lose media access to the company if they don't. Does anyone complain?

Microsoft have an army of paid shills to defend their cause. Does anyone complain?

No one uses Linux these days outside of embedded and servers. A few dweebs having a little fun if fine.

Re:Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507557)

while i 100% agree with you, i just read through the free mini magazine and it was really good.

Re:Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507629)

but if it were Microsoft, all of the corporate sock puppets here would post about how they love it and give it a chance!

Re:Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47511631)

yeah you havent actually read any stories about microsoft here have you? there is almost unilateral hatred from this community towards anything microsoft does regardless of what it is and anybody who dares to go against anti-MS tide is labelled a "shill".

Re:Spam (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 months ago | (#47510137)

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.

If (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506197)

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.

Stop perpetuating stereotypes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506213)

Windows lusers don't buy either. They pirate, pirate, pirate, or keep using freeware past its free trial, etc. And Mac lusers only buy because they have more money than brains. Linux users actually buy more than closed sourcers (check out the humble bundle, for example)

Re:Stop perpetuating stereotypes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506277)

:Windows lusers don't buy either:

But they make it up in volume. 45.000 percent more would attract the best of the best, not the freetard crap let loose to those of your particular demonination, of which there are several, and what complany is going to do a dozen or more Linux versions when a single windows version captures 10.000 sales to every 1 of your demoniation. The same that do a Linux print magazine is your answer.

Re:Stop perpetuating stereotypes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47511691)

Linux users actually buy more than closed sourcers (check out the humble bundle, for example)

No they do not buy more, they buy far far less it's just that on average they pay more but given that Linux users make up ~2% and Windows users make up ~90% clearly Windows is far more profitable.

And Mac lusers only buy because they have more money than brains.

Actually on average Mac users paid less for the humble bundle than Linux, so by your logic Linux users must be pretty braindead. (FWIW I don't believe that to be the case).

or keep using freeware past its free trial

Freeware is free (of charge), if it's freeware there is no free trial.

Re:If (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506231)

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

Re:If (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47506279)

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 (5, Informative)

M-Saunders (706738) | about 4 months ago | (#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.

Re:If (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506481)

I sincerely doubt that is ever going to happen in any meaningful way.

Re:If (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507131)

Who cares? I hope you fail because print is stupid. Stop being such a carbon hog.

Re:If (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 4 months ago | (#47507209)

Cue the hipsters who suddenly discover how much they loved the smell of the leather-bound first edition computer magazines of their youth, and how much better these were than digital.

Re:If (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47509441)

Your $0.85 isn't going to help the FOSS community. Just pack up your crap and find another job.

Re:If (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#47511705)

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.

Re:If (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 4 months ago | (#47511711)

Oh nevermind, I'm guessing it's purely subscriber driven.

Re:If (2)

M-Saunders (706738) | about 3 months ago | (#47513715)

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.

Re:If (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 3 months ago | (#47519127)

Well that sounds like a good method.

Re:If (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 4 months ago | (#47512829)

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? because they're getting enough views for it to be a form of professional journalism because they're getting enough income that it pays their day to day living.

Re:If (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 4 months ago | (#47510251)

They can advertise Android eq.

Disappointed :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506203)

Was hoping this was an open source version of Google Voice...

lazy and fraudulent vocabulary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506267)

socialism != communism. The communist countries were not socialist. America was socialist from FDR until Regan.

Re: lazy and fraudulent vocabulary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506289)

1) Wrong article
2) You're a moron. What you say isn't even remotely close to being true

Great Magazine, But... (2)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | about 4 months ago | (#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

Re:Great Magazine, But... (3, Funny)

qbast (1265706) | about 4 months ago | (#47506361)

Drop Linux Voice, subscribe to some hardcore porn mags and in month or two you will lose 'dangerous subversive' label.

Looking good at the Windows front (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#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.

Looking good at the Windows front (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506469)

Those covers are 2-3 years old. I know it's hard, but please try to keep up.

Re:Looking good at the Windows front (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506603)

One thing is for sure - Windows chicks are much hotter!

Re:Looking good at the Windows front (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506775)

I have never had any of those problems with recent versions of Windows.

Nice work chaps (1)

Vanders (110092) | about 4 months ago | (#47506337)

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.

Nice work chaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507983)

Smells like a toilet though.

I never quit reading mags, they disappeared (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506409)

What happened to magazines? I never quit reading them, and would still read them today, but they're gone. Dr. Dobbs disappeared from the shelf. MSDN magazine is nowhere to be found. The C++ Report is gone. These used to just be on the magazine rack every month with all the other niche magazines. Did people really stop reading them? What happened to magazines? Did publishers pull the plug on specialty magazines? It's like overnight they just disappeared.

Re:I never quit reading mags, they disappeared (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508011)

2007/2008/2009...

Speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47506563)

Printed news is taking a whacking because once it's out on paper, it stays the same. A website can "print" a new story at ANY time. It's never been a matter of electronic vs paper.
Print is dead. Get over it and leave the poor trees alone.

As a subscriber (1)

gigne (990887) | about 4 months ago | (#47506571)

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!

Re:As a subscriber (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47506895)

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 (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#47506899)

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.

Re:As a subscriber (1)

gigne (990887) | about 4 months ago | (#47507467)

"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.

Re:As a subscriber (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47509385)

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. While there is still a demand for it, it would make no sense to refuse to serve that demand. The downside is that print production is hugely expensive and there is little money to be made from it while still charging a competitive price for the magazine.

There is an effort to keep the material in the print version as stories that have a longer 'shelf life' and everything current and breaking goes on line as soon as it is reported and edited. The print and web version - in theory anyway - complement each other. No sense in the online version being a mere facsimile of the print version.

Seems pricey (3, Interesting)

GrangerX (1959200) | about 4 months ago | (#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. :-)

Re:Seems pricey (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 4 months ago | (#47506957)

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.

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47507177)

lol at the people who spend money and time reading this stuff...

Best Linux magazine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47508331)

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.

Quite pricey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47509977)

Electronic version is priced at level of printed magazine. imho

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