Thursday, March 22, 2007

CEO of Spark Magazine gives a talk at Verum's place...

Pages from the in-world copy of the 1st issue of Spark Magazine flip back and forth to reveal the fancy and slick publishing layout. Spark's CEO, Aidan Aquacade appears very animated in this pic...I am not sure if he is jumping for joy like a motivational speaker or has was just in the process of descending from the heavenly realms usually reserved for the exclusive access of embedded journalists.

Well, I am still waiting for marching orders from my news bureau in Second Life. I was getting too impatient waiting for my bosses at NowPublic to find me some news event to cover (I am not officilly a full time embedded journalist yet) so I decided to at least kill some time by attending Aidan Aquacade's lecture at Verum's place... Who knows? I might end up doing some freelance writing on the side for his Spark magazine?

Here I am sitting pretty as usual with my blue mohawk and my business-casual news-wear...Yes, I am a corporate suit and tie guy at heart! I always have to make sure I look my best for all the gals still rezzing their pristine primmed hair next to me. I will have to admit this to the general public sooner or later! Since when did the news every really report objectively and without some sort of bias based solely on the optics of the situation? ;-)The gal rezzing her hair while standing up is the event's hostess, Verum Vacirca.

Here is a side-profile where I can show off to the reader how neat and tidy my flexi-prim tie is looking these days :-) Aidan Aquacade is in full form standing up with his ripped denim jeans...rock'n'roll!

I took this pic to feature another news and gossip CEO, Lanai Jarrico of the SL Enquirer (where Aidan still freelances as a writer). She is sitting directly behind me and asked some good questions...

Here is an excerpt of the raw chat transcript:
[19:03] aidan Aquacade is Online
[19:07] You: thanks
[19:07] aidan Aquacade: I could build a series of panels
[19:07] aidan Aquacade: like this
[19:08] aidan Aquacade: whoops
[19:08] Verum Vacirca: lol
[19:08] Angela Eclipse: lool
[19:08] aidan Aquacade: I also came across these little machines which display pages by navigating menu buttons.
[19:09] aidan Aquacade: I didnt like this format though
[19:09] aidan Aquacade: although the content is good
[19:09] aidan Aquacade: so I came across the book format
[19:09] aidan Aquacade: Although this these are all quite good ways of doing it, they all had an imbalance of good and bad points. Convenience for the reader was my main priority in making the magazine, because if its inconvenient, then very few will actually read it.
[19:10] aidan Aquacade: So while looking at all the other available publications, I found this book format. This is quite easy to put together, and with the right equipment, it is possible to make it copyable and transferable. So I decided on this format.
[19:10] aidan Aquacade: The main disadvantage of this is that it can be quite hard to read. That is why I took the decision to publish it in such a large size. Although I have had mixed feedback about this size, it seems to work well, but just to make everyone happy, I also distributed a coffee-table sized edition too.
[19:11] aidan Aquacade: The main disadvantage of this is that it can be quite hard to read. That is why I took the decision to publish it in such a large size. Although I have had mixed feedback about this size, it seems to work well, but just to make everyone happy, I also distributed a coffee-table sized edition too.
[19:11] SecondLife Spark magazine- Issue 1, March 2007 (small edition) whispers: [READY] : Published by aidan Aquacade.
[19:11] SecondLife Spark magazine- Issue 1, March 2007 (small edition) whispers: [READY] : 22 pages.
[19:11] aidan Aquacade: I want to move on to the area of content now. Basically the areas I chose to include in the magazine were mostly things that I have a personal interest in, such as emerging art forms, and also simple things such as where to hang out when you're bored in sl.
[19:12] aidan Aquacade: As this is a free magazine, it works much like all free-to-distribute media products: we rely on advertising revenue to pay the bills. This also, either fortunatley or unfortunately effects our content, as we need to attract consumers in order to appeal to advertisers.
[19:12] aidan Aquacade: This is quite the balancing act. I find however, that being an amatuer magazine takes care of that to some extent. I included the slogan "by the avatars, for the avatars" in the editorial page of the first issue. I find that having a pool of writers, both people who are rl writers and people who are not, can strike the balance between; being an approachable magazine for the point of view of average Joe, as well as attracting people who see reading/writing as a major interest.
[19:13] aidan Aquacade: I find that its important to discuss new media forms
[19:14] aidan Aquacade: this is why I had Wrong write his peice about Machinema
[19:14] aidan Aquacade: I like the idea of sl as a media form in itself
[19:14] aidan Aquacade: the problem is that we need to have a vertain amount of commercial content too
[19:15] aidan Aquacade: so I need to balance the stuff that has a specifeic audience, with the more wide-appealling stuff
[19:15] aidan Aquacade: excuse my use of the word "stuff"
[19:15] aidan Aquacade: :p
[19:15] aidan Aquacade: This is quite the balancing act. I find however, that being an amatuer magazine takes care of that to some extent. I included the slogan "by the avatars, for the avatars" in the editorial page of the first issue. I find that having a pool of writers, both people who are rl writers and people who are not, can strike the balance between; being an approachable magazine for the point of view of average Joe, as well as attracting people who see reading/writing as a major interest.
[19:16] aidan Aquacade: it's important to include things that readers can identify with as far as living a second life is concerned. If we are to be successful in growing at a steady rate as a magazine, an essential part of that has to be inclusivity.
[19:16] Macaria Wind: ;-)
[19:16] aidan Aquacade: We want people to become familiar with Spark magazine in sl, and encourage people to write, because it is a great way to improve your writing skills and be published for people to see it.
[19:17] aidan Aquacade: The magazine is also published asa PDFdocument on: www.secondlifespark.moonfruit.com. I'm hoping as the magazine grows and gets better, I can use it as part of my CV; when I apply for work in the media. I also find that people like to read SL papers when they are in the office, and SHOULD be working...
[19:17] aidan Aquacade: The way I went about finding people to write for the magazine was by posting notices in the various writer's groups. I got a lot of responses this way. Some responses were from professional journalists while some were from people who've never written before. There's a lack of pressure to write in sl, its far more anjoyable to work informally, and I found that this attracts a lot of people to writing in sl.
[19:18] aidan Aquacade: I was also lucky enough when I was finding writers, to find someone who is also a professional graphic designer in rl. Rosisante, who wrote the article: "To be the Best", in the first issue, designed most of the pages in the magazine, and the process of passing the material back and forth material between each other got to be quite similar to a peer-reviewing process.
[19:18] aidan Aquacade: Well that's all I really have to say for now, I dont think I have left anything out, please feel free to ask questions. Or if you would like to write articles for our magazine then add me as a friend, or join the SecondLife Spark magazine group.
[19:18] aidan Aquacade: :-)
[19:19] You: I have a questiom, Aidan
[19:19] aidan Aquacade: ok Newton
[19:19] You: *question
[19:19] You: I recall when you were first starting this magazine you wanted it to be more "rock and roll" (not necessarily your quote) than other SL magazines...is this still your philosophy with regards to presentation and content?
[19:21] aidan Aquacade: it is to a certain extent, although i am wary of just cornering one area of the market, I dont really want Spark to be a specific interest magazine, as it's a free magazine, we need to attract advertisers
[19:21] aidan Aquacade: i hope that as it grows, this will be less of a priority
[19:21] You: yes but maybe making it "rockin'" in that Rolling Stone slick kind of way...would that not attract advertisers?
[19:22] aidan Aquacade: i think it would attract a specific type of advertiserd, as you know, there are a huga amount of clubs in sl, and ive learned by now that you could make a magazine that is 100% club ads
[19:22] You: lol
[19:22] aidan Aquacade: and i have actually seen mags like that
[19:22] Lanai Jarrico: *raises hand*
[19:23] aidan Aquacade: Lania
[19:23] Lanai Jarrico: Lanai *fixesnae tag*
[19:23] Lanai Jarrico: lol
[19:23] Lanai Jarrico: I dont think you should limit yourself a wise avie once said if you do you fail
[19:23] Lanai Jarrico: touch all areas :)
[19:23] Lanai Jarrico: boo to lag
[19:24] aidan Aquacade: that is true, I dont want to limit myself at all, maybe something I learned from working for your fine publication :-)
[19:24] Lanai Jarrico: :)
[19:25] Brando Dingson: *raises hand*
[19:25] aidan Aquacade: anyone else?
[19:25] aidan Aquacade: shoot Brando
[19:25] You: I was thinking more along the lines that if your zine evolved with that Rolling Stone spirit and pro slickness, you might be able to attract RL advertisers :-)
[19:25] You: ooops, sorry
[19:25] Brando Dingson: There's many different publications in SL
[19:25] Brando Dingson: seems like they all cover the same kind of content
[19:25] Brando Dingson: what makes yours so different?
[19:27] aidan Aquacade: I think that our emphasis on the magazine being made "by the avatars, for the avatars" is an important part of it, I want it to be seen as the people's magazine, so that you feel as if you can familiarise yourself with the writers, and identify with them
[19:27] aidan Aquacade: Newton Dinzeo: I was thinking more along the lines that if your zine evolved with that Rolling Stone spirit and pro slickness, you might be able to attract RL advertisers :-)
[19:27] Brando Dingson: :-)
[19:28] aidan Aquacade: we haven't looked into RL advertisers as of yet Newton, as you know yourself, people always have a strict set of rules when making lines between sl and rl
[19:28] aidan Aquacade: maybe further down the line it will be on the table
[19:28] aidan Aquacade: we'll just have to see
[19:28] You: yeah, do you also want to divide SL and RL for Spark?
[19:28] aidan Aquacade: yes, but not strictly
[19:28] You: you mentioned how you might want to use it for your (RL?) CV
[19:29] Lanai Jarrico: *rasies hand*
[19:29] aidan Aquacade: that's a fringe benefit really ( I hope)
[19:29] aidan Aquacade: Lanai
[19:29] Lanai Jarrico: Mixing rl and sl news isnt that hard to do there r a lot of rl sl businesses
[19:29] Lanai Jarrico: charities
[19:29] Lanai Jarrico: ect.
[19:30] You: oh I meant strictly SL news but to be consumed by an RL audience as well
[19:30] Lanai Jarrico: oh
[19:30] You: Roliing SLone ;-)
[19:30] Lanai Jarrico: lol
[19:30] aidan Aquacade: yeah that's true, it just really didn't come up in the first issue, but we are working atm on something about the voice client
[19:30] You: *Rolling
[19:30] aidan Aquacade: so rl will come in there
[19:30] aidan Aquacade: and oh yeah
[19:30] Macaria Wind: *raises hand*
[19:30] aidan Aquacade: Macaria
[19:31] Macaria Wind: Fashion, music, gaming, travel, business all will attract advertisers if the mag is easily accessible AND visible. Many RL businesses and non-profits are here in SL – would giving them some page space help with ads? Do you have professionals photographers or do writers submit their own pics? If a writer were to submit articles and sell ads, would they be paid for their services?
[19:31] You: I gotta split for a 7:30 appointment..thanks Aidan :-)
[19:31] aidan Aquacade: good luck Newton
[19:31] You: :-)
[19:31] aidan Aquacade: the writers generally take their own photographs

6 comments:

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