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Editor Note

Editor’s Note: The Future of Magazines

Geary Yelton

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I like magazines. I’ve always liked magazines. 

I first read about synthesizers in Time magazine, and I first read about MIDI in Polyphony. When I was in the second grade, I couldn’t wait to tear into each month’s issue of Highlights for Children when it arrived in the mail, and I read it from cover to cover. (That was also the year I wrote and designed my first four-page publication.) As I got a bit older, I cancelled Highlights and replaced it with a subscription to Boys’ Life, and eventually, Guitar PlayerKeyboard, and Rolling Stone. By the time I reached my senior year in college, I was editing the school magazine.

Traditional print magazines had a good run, but after years of writing for a publication that consistently lost money and suffered an increasingly tight budget, I realized it was time to try something different. That “something different” is what you’re reading now. Synth and Software is somewhat of an experiment, but one with no hypothesis to predict how it might turn out. My greatest hope is that it will fully embrace whatever magazines may become in the future and that it will endure and thrive many years from now. I know that may be a lofty goal considering most publications still struggle to monetize the Web. Still, I feel we have something valuable and unique to offer our readers, and with your support, I’m optimistic about where it might lead. If you like what you see here, please spread the word and tell your friends about us. A new, free Web-based magazine like ours can only support itself with a growing subscriber list to attract advertisers.

As recently as a month ago I wanted Synth and Software  to closely follow a print magazine’s model, with all its content posted on the first of the month. I quickly found out how impractical that was when our Web traffic fell dramatically after the first few days. Someone tried to convince me that we should post one article at a time, stretching them out over the course of a month, and I see the practical wisdom in that. I want to do things a bit differently, though.

For this issue, we’re posting several articles at the beginning of the month (actually a couple days later because of the holiday weekend), to be followed by more articles next week, a few more the week after that, and a couple more the final week of September. If you’re enjoying our publishing adventure, that will give you something to look forward to throughout the month, and I certainly hope you do. The way I look at it, we’re all in this together.

–Geary Yelton, September 2019

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