We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

I am working on an article about We Make Zines for the upcoming issue of Zine World. My deadline is December 24th. I am not really a journalist, so the article will probably be pretty basic, but I would like to get input from a variety of folks. Anyone who wants to answer any or all of my questions, please do so by Friday, December 19. You can either post your answers here or email them to me at cajungal[at]Safe-mail[dot]net with "zine article" in the subject line so I won't think it's spam.

In your response, please include the name you go by on We Make Zines, where you live, what zines you make now or what zines you have made in the past (you don't have to give me your full zine resume, just a couple examples.)

Here are some questions to think about answering:

How did you hear about We Make Zines? Why did you decide to join?

If you are on other social networking sites, how is We Make Zines different/better/worse than other sites?

What impact has We Make Zines had on you as a reader and/or writer of zines?

What aspects (forum, groups, blog, email, etc.) of We Make Zines do you utilize most?

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Full disclosure: I write for Zine World.

How did you hear about We Make Zines? Why did you decide to join?

I think I saw a post in Photocopied Heart, a discussion forum I came across too late, and whose discussion seems to have dwindled. I joined We Make Zines because it seems to be where zine-related discussion is online these days. alt.zines in Usenet is a small, dense core of oldtimers who post infrequently, and rarely in response to each other. The mailing lists zinesters and zinegeeks are also relatively quiet. We Make Zines is where the critical mass of people and posts is these days, as far as I can tell. I also somewhat like the nesting within the broader community of Ning, of which I was a member previously. Not that I've used the connection yet.

If you are on other social networking sites, how is We Make Zines different/better/worse than other sites?

I'm comparing it to other zine-related discussion groups, not comparing Ning to Facebook and other social networking sites. Right now, We Make Zines is better because of the critical mass, but activity seems to have slowed somewhat since I joined. What's the next flavor of the month? I might like more of a discussion forum orientation so it's easier to see what's new where on a daily or frequent basis, but I like the use of thumbnail images, ability to friend people, ability to set up regional and thematic subgroups, etc.

What impact has We Make Zines had on you as a reader and/or writer of zines?

It's introduced me to some new people whom I might not have encountered otherwise through my usual zine channels: Zine World, chance, alt.zines, etc. The group seems a little younger, newer, and Etsy-er (I have no idea what that means, actually) crew than I'm used to.

What aspects (forum, groups, blog, email, etc.) of We Make Zines do you utilize most?

Discussion forums, so far.
"Didn't you have an angry letter to Zine World a few years ago about how your website only got 5 hits after putting in a large ad in Zine World? I remember that letter."

Yul has had angry, anti-Zine World letters published in almost every issue of Zine World. For some people they were one of the highlights of the zine. The day his subscription ran out was a sad day indeed.

and regarding this

"Yeah, Zine World isn't perfect, but it's pretty much the only fairly consistent zine review source around right now."

you should check out www.xerographydebt.blogspot.com. I write for them so I'm not unbiased but it's still a fine site.





While I'm here I may as well answer the questions-
If I'm gonna say I'll answer the questions I should actually answer them-

How did you hear about We Make Zines? Why did you decide to join?

I heard about it through myspace somehow. I deiced to join because it sounded interesting and I was bored.

If you are on other social networking sites, how is We Make Zines different/better/worse than other sites?

It's only for zine people so there are no bands spamming you or porno site trying to send you virusses or anything else.

What impact has We Make Zines had on you as a reader and/or writer of zines?

So far not much of one.

What aspects (forum, groups, blog, email, etc.) of We Make Zines do you utilize most?

The forums are the best aspect of it. The groups are cool and I've yet to either post or read anyone's blog.
How did you hear about We Make Zines? Why did you decide to join?

I followed a link from a livejournal community. I'd been looking for something like it for some time, a social networking site focussed on zine-making. I thought this could be the one and so it has proved. I think I was one of the first people to join up.

If you are on other social networking sites, how is We Make Zines different/better/worse than other sites?

I use myspace and facebook regularly - myspace is too full of people spamming you with things you're not interested in (and I fear I may be guilty of some of that myself on there) - just a big mass of people mutually demanding everyone else check out their own stuff - but it is good for listening to music, especially of new bands since practically all of them have a page you can check them out on. Facebook has its positives especially as far as promoting events goes, but it isn't particularly good if you're hoping to get in touch with people you're not already acquainted with. The main difference between Wemakezines and other social networking sites though is the content itself and the focus on zinemaking.

What impact has We Make Zines had on you as a reader and/or writer of zines?

Hm - not a lot, so far, I guess I've made a couple of trades but pretty much gone along doing the same sorts of thing. It does make me feel very slightly more connected.

What aspects (forum, groups, blog, email, etc.) of We Make Zines do you utilize most?

I use the forum (as you can see), and the blog/profile things when I have a new issue. I join every group I think looks relevant to me but have to admit I'm not a particularly active member of any groups at the moment.

Good luck with the article.
Nowadays everything is about niches and specialisation. Zinesters get lost on big social sites. We make zines is a great way to interact with like-minded indie press people.
hurrah for zines
Thanks to everyone who answered my questions (and to everyone who participated in the lively discussion about Zine World). I appreciate the input. I received so much great information, no way will I ever be able to use it all. Please don't be offended if you wrote something and I can't use it. I do appreciate everyone who took the time to reply.

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