Once you're on the Internet for awhile, it's inevitable that sooner or later you'll
want to create your own web presence. After all, the Internet is all about vanity.
So, when you start thinking about what you want to do, you have a few choices.
You can do a "what-I-like" personal homepage; that's original. Or, you
could set up a fan page of some sort; there's probably still plenty left to
about Friends and X-Files out there. In truth,
there are an infinite number of ways for you to express yourself.
We chose the concept of the webzine.
Webzines are an easy way to get across your views on the Internet.
They allow you to blow of some steam and have a little fun. Best of all,
they're easy to do and (here's the secret) they look much more impressive than
they really are. So, we here at verbosity want to bring you our very own
twelve-step program to creating your very own webzine.
- Step 1: Start out by talking with your ideas among a few friends.
Then, totally disregard the concept of the 'zine for the next few months. Yep,
that's right. Pretend you never even discussed it. If someone brings it up,
leave the room. Psychologists call this phenonmenon incubation--allowing the
subconscious mind to mull over things. I, on the other hand, prefer to call
it a lack of motivation. But, it works. Also, note the importance of
having multiple editors around, preferrably in a triumverant. This way,
blame can easily be put off on others and there's always a group of two to
gang up on the one dissident.
- Step 2: After you've let your mind rest on the idea for a sufficient
amount of time, start back to work. At this stage there's not anything particularly
important you can do, so go ahead and skip to Step 3.
- Step 3: This is one of the most important steps in the 'zine process:
You're going to choose a name for your publication. Now, this name has to be
clever and easy to remember--one word names usually serve best. Also, a deeper
meaning to the name might be a good idea. For example, we chose verbosity
for the name of our 'zine. It's short and implies that we talk a whole lot without
really saying anything. I think that sums up our magazine quite nicely.
Really "alternative" sounding words work well, too. Something like
suck is a perfect example. Our theory
is that a 'zine called Barf would take the Internet by storm.
- Step 4: Now, you're probably going to want to get some sort
of content for your first issue. However, from a lot of 'zines on the Web, you
might tend to think this is more of an option than a rule. We recommend the
easiest way possible to get instant (seemingly) quality content: interview a
celebrity. Now, it doesn't have to be anyone too important; any
personality will do just fine. This works particularly well if they have
address; just send them a short list of questions combined with
a great deal of begging. It always seems to work for us! That will
bring us to the fun part.
- Step 5: Wait for the celebrity in question to respond to
your e-mail. This could take awhile. You'd be surprised to find out that
most "real" people have better things to do than sit around waiting for
fanboys and girls to ask them for an interview. Anyway, be patient.
- Step 6: Once you receive the response you've been so anxiously
waiting for, build your entire issue's content around it. That's
right--sacrifice every bit of integrity you might have (we, of course,
didn't have much of a problem with that) and write article after article
to support the interview. If the interview isn't fully completed by the
celebrity when you get it (not that we're bitter), just
pretend like it is. Nobody is going to read your first issue anyway.
- Step 7: In order to make your webzine really cool,
you have to follow a few rules in setting it up. There are three easy
substeps you can follow to pull this off:
- Use lots of lower-case writing. On the Internet, capitalization
will get you nowhere.
- Use the teletype font tag as often as possible.
Things appear more impressive with the Courier New
- Lastly, use a degree of alternative spelling styles. For
instance, try use "yr" instead of "your" or "you're." It
only simplifies matters. Also, words like "music" and "stuff"
look way kewler as "musik" and "stuph."
- Step 8: Establish early a number of columns and
conventions for the 'zine. This will make your 'zine stand out in
the sea of mediocrity that's out there. Also, be sure to start some
as soon as possible. These personal bits of humor should be so
obscure that only you, your co-editors, and your close friends could
possibly be amused by them.
- Step 9: Begin to incessantly hype your magazine.
Set up a "Sparf Magazine Coming Soon" page and begin
to advertise with cute little banners and ads. Join one of the
exchange programs that are popping up everywhere.
Either way, build a little anticipation. It will give the people out
there something to look at when your first issue is a week late.
- Step 10: Release your magazine with much fanfare.
Submit it to every search engine, new site index, and free
advertising forum on the Web. Within a few months, maybe even
Yahoo! will get around to
listing you. Begin to pester other webmasters and 'zine editors to
provide links to you. Don't worry--they're not really annoyed
by you. They were just starting out once, too.
- Step 11: Start waiting for feedback. This might take
awhile. Especially if your parents are the only people reading your
work. If you tried a
you're probably finding out about right now that it didn't work, right? Right.
- Step 12: Great job! You produced a webzine. Now, here's
the best part: it's time to do another one! That's right--you've got to put
out your second issue now. Go back to Step 4 and do it all over
So, you've got all the steps here that are necessary to create your very
own personal webzine. Spiffy, huh? When you're through, you should end
up with something like this:
If you ask us, it looks pretty darn nice. Now, get out there and get to work.
And, if you get a chance, would you mind linking to us?
[back to verbosity]
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