Masthead CMC Magazine / May 1, 1996

Two Years on the Web

by John December and the CMC Magazine staff

Without doubt, a hard part of publishing this magazine every month for the past two years has been content, content, content. The slogans that you might hear at Web conferences, such as content is king, are basically true.

The technical work on the magazine--getting Web space, managing the process of producing this magazine monthly, HTML markup, even incorporating my publishing company--has been relatively easy. There's nothing complex about hypertext markup language, and the syntax of HTML has about as much to do with writing for and publishing on the Web as replacing a typewriter ribbon has to do with writing a novel.

So our focus has been on the hardest work of Web publishing: context--acceptance and use of this magazine within the larger community of people interested in computer-mediated communication, building a revenue model so that we can pay writers, building a staff of people and their work processes to increase the quality of our product, and building editorial policies and communicating these to editors, authors, and readers.

I've learned a great deal over the past two years. My work on this magazine has been, at many times, one of the most frustrating things in my life and at other times the most rewarding--I doubt that this mix of difficulty and reward differs greatly from what many people experience in hard work.

[]Rush frames the larger issues facing electronic publishers.

I wanted to mark this magazine's second anniversary with some introspection. I asked everyone on the CMC Magazine staff ^six questions about their experiences. Together, I think we have some gained insights into the ^important skills and the challenges we've faced in Web publishing: -developing consistency, using hypertext well, and waiting for better tools and recognizing our rewards. [TOC]

Copyright © 1996 by John December. All Rights Reserved.

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