The Digital Companion

The online journal to Offscreen — for all the things that don’t fit into the magazine. We regularly publish behind-the-scenes posts about the making of an indie magazine. Why not grab the RSS feed and follow along?

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The last sneak peek before our launch of issue No8 tomorrow! If you haven’t done so, it’s a good time to check your order status to make sure that your subscription covers issue No8 and that your shipping address is still current.

Quote from the upcoming Issue No8. Launch next week.

Quote from the upcoming Issue No8 which launches next week. .

“We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have. In the tradeoff between timeliness and timelessness, choose the latter. The zeitgeist rewards timeliness, but your soul rewards timelessness. Work on things that will last. Inside each of us is a little ten-year-old child, curious and pure, acting on impulse, not yet caring what other people think. Remember what you were doing at ten, and try to get back to doing that thing, incorporating everything you’ve learned along the way.

Jonathan Harris’ essay on Navigating Stuckness is a beautiful summary of what it means to be a maker.

“Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time. This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman, for it’s hard to better capture something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that — a myth — as well as a reminder that our present definition of success needs serious retuning. As I’ve reflected elsewhere, the flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.

Congrats to Maria Popova for seven years of running Brain Pickings. I really loved her birthday post about seven things she’s learned. The above is something that’s very close to my heart as it’s one of the few gripes I have with the fast-moving, short-lived nature that is the web (industry).

“Getting a great deal on a subscription isn’t the reason to get a magazine. But great content is. (…) The measure of a great magazine is how hard it is to throw the darn thing away.

There are lots of other great nuggets in Huit Denim’s Magazine Theories.

No6 on pre-sale here next week.

Photo by Graham Hancock

As you can tell, I’m getting more and more excited about the upcoming launch of issue No6. Here’s another little teaser…

Photo by Michael Shane.

A quick sneak peek of the upcoming issue No6. Going on (pre)sale later this month!

Photo by Steven Stone

Why does a printed magazine or a book feel so good?
I think about books and magazines as objects, and when you have a valuable object at home, whether it’s an artwork or a piece of wood from the forest, the object has a source or origin. If you take a book, we already know that there is an author, a genre, a style – it’s not just a platform for print, but an object with a complex origin. The articles, materials and images in a digital text are, in a sense, abstract – they have origins but those origins are not concrete. (…)

When you are offering high-quality creative materials, people need time to process what they are seeing and take perspectives on it. Print allows that because it is an object. But if you have it in digital form, you treat it according to the laws of the tablet or computer. Designers of touchscreen technology have deliberately eliminated many of the natural aspects of touch – whether it is a hard or soft surface, whether there is any friction – because otherwise it wouldn’t function as well. But it has created a kind of diminutive of human touch.

Some really excellent points about the difference in the reading experience between digital and print in the latest issue of What’s Next. You can read the entire article in PDF form here.

Thanks to Marc Vallée for finding the digital version of this. And no, the irony of it is not lost on me. ;)

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