a place for zinesters - writers and readers
At the end of this month it will be 3 years since I started We Make Zines. I would love to hear any stories you all have about how WMZ has helped you connect with someone (or something) special.
Did you find a long lost pen pal on We Make Zines?
Did you meet your bff here?
Did you find a zine you've been looking for forever here?
Did you find people doing zines right in your town?
Did you start a group or event with people you met here?
I love being able to connect people. I suspect there has been some of that on WMZ in the last year. So, please indulge my ego a bit here and let me hear any stories you have of finding a great connection on WMZ. Thanks!
I was relunctant to participate on other social network sites(myspace/facebook) for various reasons--even though pages were made for me without my consent. So the participation I had with them was getting my friends to leave my po box (that i've had since 1991 and just renewed for a year) for people to write to me the old way. At first I did the same tactic with We Make Zines, and I got atleast one instant response--finding a new penpal in Wisconsin who writes me these elaborate imaginative funny letters. I've written a few other people i've found in WMZ and would do more, but it would seem that people prefer to communicate thru a computer. I'd rather not spend the time on a computer or encourage other people to do so--than say doing things in the world. Yet I find a lot of potential in We Make Zines, there's a lot of good ideas. I'm glad you have a call out for ZineWiki stories as well, since that is one of the other sites I will check up on and contribute to. I appreciate the photos of recent zines and often will visit the site just for that.
I'll probably have a better story for the fourth year.
Redguard/Greg Butterfield invited me to WMZ, so after some hesitation and I think encouragement from Heath Row, I decided to give it a go. I have no idea why Greg invited me and I asked him if we'd ever "met" in a personal note I sent to him with a zine, but he never got back to me. Our politics are obviously very different. I'm just mentioning this for what it's worth, and I hope Greg's not offended.
I can't say I haven't made some pretty good contacts & friends on WMZ and I appreciate them, but I think my snail mail contacts are much more numerous, by say, maybe 3, 4 to 1. Of course I'm not sure, I haven't actually counted. As I think I wrote in my .Zap!!omania, I really think the papernet and internet are different cultures. The people who prefer one to the other have very different personalities.
I have my snail mail address on my WMZ page, but in the last, how many, 3, 4 years?, I don't think I've gotten more than a couple "out of the blue" trades, letters or inquiries in my POB from it. Or from my "new issue announcements". I'm not whining about that, just telling it like it is. (I also put my POB on facebook, but nobody's written me from that, either.)
I've started a "no e-mail" trade group and a few people of joined---which I much appreciate---but very few. I even send zines to everyone on that group, but it's been months, and no reply.
Samantha Blythe started Libertarian Zinesters and I think we're the only two members. I sent Samantha a few zines, but she never got back to me. I don't know if she left the group because of the anti-Christian climate of the neo-zine scene, whether she thought I was too unChristian/heathen for her, or she just lost interest. I thought a dialogue might've been interesting, but I get the impression frank & intelligent dialogue isn't much liked in the new zine scene.
In fact, I generally don't like to bring them up, I've contact at least half a dozen people responding to their call for submission or expressing a zine they were all enthusiastic about writing, but with no follow up at all.
I was thinking of posting on the "Old Zines You Wish You Could Find" thread, but I couldn't find it. (I suppose I have the title wrong.) I've written queries on my blog. No interest at all. (One problem with the blogs and posting on them, to my knowledge, if new comments come up, they don't come to the top, like the discussion forum.)
I do drop in now and then to see if there's an interesting discussion or blog post, but don't stay long. I'd really rather discuss these in zines &/or APA's anyway.
Hope I haven't seemed too negative & whiny, Krissy. I appreciate your efforts and I do find WMZ useful. I value having a blog I can link to for people who prefer the Net. Structurally, in layout & design, WMZ is A LOT easier to navigate, look at, and use that Facebook.
Again, I think it's personality/cultural issue. I'm part of a sub-genre of amateur publishing that most WMZers aren't really into. But I've been accumulating a lot of contacts through the snail mail that's put plenty on my plate right now, so I'm okay with that.
Hope you get more feedback.
I've definitely found a love of letter writing through WMZ. A handful of the people I trade with, I make an effort to write to frequently, even when it's not to trade zines. It's really great considering I didn't really write letters (or think about writing letters) much before becoming active on WMZ.
It's not the most amazing or thrilling story, but a story nevertheless. And one I like to tell. :)
Just got invited to this thing, and so far (roughly half an hour) I'm impressed with the concept, the layout, the ease of use. I'm about a 2 or 3 out of 10 on the scale of internet-literacy but yeah, it's cool, what am I trying to say? Just, I guess, looking forward to exploring the site. Peace!
ive certainly discovered new zines from WMZ including James N Dawson and Neilzine and it did give me a burst of energy again after many years being lazy and feeling my age :D ... so all in all it has been a positive thing, though i have to agree with James on the difference 'tween internerds and paper nerds... i like mail (but i have to admit im just as guilty at times of not writing/replying) but it is frustrating to sometimes not even get a message acknowledgement that yr zine has reached someone... but what the hell, its still a great idea and i have found zines i prob would have missed so all in all its a good thing...
When I started LVZL a year and a half ago, I reached out to people on WMZ for submissions. I watched the forums for awhile, read some amusing discussions and then it happened. A box of zines? For the cost of shipping?! Mind you at this time the LVZL pretty much consisted of my personal collection, a guy who unloaded his MMR's on us and an order I had just gotten from Microcosm. Totaling around 120 zines, which when you put them in protector slips on a shelf- don't look like much! I pounced on the offer and recieved in the mail shortly after this big ol box FULL of zines from Billy the Bunny. It really filled out the shelves which in turn made more locals take notice and dig around in their collections (Vegas had some pretty rad zines/zinesters in its day!) to donate. Connecting with WMZ has brought a pretty consistent stream of zines into the library from all over the world and has helped us grow from 120 zines to, at last count, 800! It has also helped me connect with touring zinesters like the Zines on Toast crew and Billy who donated those zines and threw the first ABQ this year was in town and we got to hang out! I get surprise notes in the zine drop box from folks who heard about the LVZL and brought their zines with them to donate while on vacation! WMZ has been great for Las vEgas' tiny corner of zine culture and helped build a home for printed word lovers who come to town :) So thank you to everyone who has submitted to the library (I have all the addresses saved and WILL send out postcards with a thanks as soon as I find the money!) and thank you Krissy for WMZ! -Jeff @LVZL
Great story, Jeff. Good work on the library! Thanks!
I've met one of my closest friends on here. What started with a simple zine trade turned into thousands of emails, phone calls and letters.