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What are some of the ways you can tell if someone is new to the zine scene, or if they are a long-time zinester? (I ask in the spirit of good humor and silliness, not mean-spiritedness.)

My example: Old-timers put anti-alien stickers (like below) on their envelopes, because they've had dozens of them hanging around since the mid-90s and they want to be rid of them.

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I don't feel like there is a lot of "newbie" input on this, and I don't want to offend anyone, but I would like to throw in my two cents.

As a "newbie", I have noticed a couple of things about "old timers". Firstly, "old timers are the only ones who really care if someone is a newbie or not.

Secondly, "newbie's" are the only people, in my experience, that order or trade zines. But "old timers" are always the ones saying that the zine scene has declined.

Once again, not trying to offend anyone, and sorry if I do, just thought I would share my thoughts.
not offended heather....but you are not
READING.................

i am the oldest 'old-timer' and
yet have the
freshest zine attitude... most gung-ho
and totally
UNENCUMBERED!!

your bias is sophomoric...because you are NOT READING


Heather said:
I don't feel like there is a lot of "newbie" input on this, and I don't want to offend anyone, but I would like to throw in my two cents.

As a "newbie", I have noticed a couple of things about "old timers". Firstly, "old timers are the only ones who really care if someone is a newbie or not.

Secondly, "newbie's" are the only people, in my experience, that order or trade zines. But "old timers" are always the ones saying that the zine scene has declined.

Once again, not trying to offend anyone, and sorry if I do, just thought I would share my thoughts.
??? i have been into zines for eighteen years & read about twenty a week. there are a lot of crotchety old-timers here that are on the verge of tears because it's not 1994 anymore, sure, but heather, i think you're a little off-base in terms of who reads zines. (though it's probably true that newbies don't care if other people are newbies or not.)
Once again, don't want to upset anyone. This is all based on personal experience.
can heather really be "off base" if she's basing this opinion on her personal experience?

i understand where heather's coming from in terms of it feeling like newbies are the only ones who buy or trade zines. a bunch of my orders come from old pen-pals and people i've already traded with, and then maybe 1/4 of the trades come from "old-timers" lookin for new stuff. however, it seems like a good 1/3- 1/2 of my zine orders/trade solicitations come from newbies, and often times more quickly and with much more enthusiasm. it's understandable. "newbies" are excited about establishing themselves within the zine scene, feeling out how it works, feeling out what kinda zines they like- not too far of a stretch of the imagination to consider that newbies might be making up the bulk of trades or orders, and even less of a stretch when considering zines that are primarily distributed through the zinester, not distros.

also, in my experience it was harder when i was first getting started to do trades with more established zines or zinesters, while fellow "newbies" or zinesters that hadn't been around for ten or more years were always happy to trade. factors like timeliness, enthusiasm, and quality of trades (ie amount of zines in a package, length of letters written, general enthusiasm) were all affected, so it seems, by my being a "newbie" (also, i'm sure, by the quality or newbieness of my first issue). even now after just two issues of my zine all that is completely different. don't get me wrong- i'm not sitting here whining about the fact that people didn't trade with me, i get it, especially now that i've been at it longer, why someone might not want to trade with every goddamned zine thrown their way, but it is noteworthy in the context of this thread to note the difference just a year has made with my "zine credibility" or my "newbie" status or whatever.
I still love trading with every god damned zine that comes my way. Problem is they don't come my way all that often. Part of the reason "old timers" don't send as many trades as "newbies" is that we've been burned enough times to make us more wary of just sending out trades willy nilly.

And I find that both oldies and newbies are equal when it comes to not responding to trades.
what eric said. i almost always honor trades (except in egregious cases, like zines about violence against women). i just don't get that many. but i still read tons of zines & am happy to initiate my own trades or buy zines when something catches my eye.

an "opinion" perhaps can't be "wrong," but an "opinion" stated as an empirical fact can certainly be off-base. & any assumption based on personal experience is subject to change as more information becomes available, no?
ciaraxyerra said:

an "opinion" perhaps can't be "wrong," but an "opinion" stated as an empirical fact can certainly be off-base. & any assumption based on personal experience is subject to change as more information becomes available, no?

Once again, I apologize for coming off weird, I didn't think I was stating my opinion as empirical fact.

I feel that the response to my comment has been fairly negative, and in a way I feel like my voice in this zine "community" is being repressed because some people simply disagree. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with what I say, go for it, but an important part of community is making sure people feel that they have a voice and can speak out, as opposed to making them feel silenced if they have something to say that isn't the easily accepted norm. And when someone says something that may irk or offend you (not offend you as in call you a name...know what I mean?), I feel it's important to at least listen and try to see where they are coming from. To disagree but still incorporate their imput and feelings.

Anyways, since making zines I have felt very distanced from the main zine "community" for reasons I stated earlier in this forum, and now I am kind of feeling worse with the reactions to my comment. I don't want to attack anyone, hurt anyones feelings, etc, etc.
I'm with Eric on this one--I'm still totally into trading, but I don't get anywhere near the amount of unsolicited zines in the mail as ten years ago, or even five years ago. And I should be more proactive about ordering/trading zines (every time I get a new Zine World I circle several dozen listings with the intent of trading with them), but I just never get around to it anymore. Sure, I still send out my new zines to my list of regulars, but after doing TEN FOOT RULE for almost 13 years my "auto-comp" list is rather large, even with my best intentions of paring it down to a more manageable number. By the time I get around to making the appropriate amount of zines, putting them in an envelope with some sort of note, and posting them (and with that amount of people, postage gets expensive fast!), I don't have the energy to do new trades.

And I'm also with Coco Negro--when I started I was intimidated with trading with certain zinester's because of their perceived "largeness" in the zine community. And I wonder if the shoe is on the other foot now, not that I think I'm a "big" zinester, but because of the length of time I've been doing zines maybe some newer people feel intimidated about trading with me?

I guess what I'm staying is I'm still intoxicated with the idea of trading, even after all these years. I really do like seeing people's first ever zine, because it's fun to see their progression if they stick with it. And new zines, especially zines from people I don't know or from distant corners of the world, really make my P. O. Box happy. So please send me zines and I will trade with you! You can find out my P O Box on my page. (And please don't email me asking to trade--just send it!)

And I guess I'm firmly in the old-timer camp because I remember those old anti-alien stickers, got drunk with Aaron Probe (I also went to a zine event where Larry from Genetic Disorder was drunk, don't know if that counts.) And does anyone remember Amusing Yourself to Death?
"And does anyone remember Amusing Yourself to Death?"

AMUSING YOURSELF TO DEATH said my zine was "The best first attempt at a zine I've ever seen." I was quite proud of that for a while even though it wasn'nt all that good in retrospect. Still am now that I think about it. To tell the truth I may have even preferred it to ZINE WORLD but it disappeared after I read maybe 2 issues.

Like Shawn I also circle a whole bunch of zines in ZINE WORLD and XEROGRAPHY DEBT that I never quite get around to trading with which is sucky on my part, but that's what happens. Trading is still great, but maybe addressing the envelopes and writing the notes and going to the PO isn't as fun as it used to be.

And if anyone wants to trade (first attempts at a zine, last attempts at a zine, whatever. I haven't refused a trade yet) I think my contact info is on my page and if not you can e mail me at eric.lyden(at)gmail.com and I'll get back to you asap.
Amber / Culture Slut said:
*Not all first zines, but a lot. Since Coco Negro is here, I'll tell you that her first two zines were pretty damn amazing in my books.

thank you, m'dear!
The last time I posted hear I was feeling really down and persecuted and like an all around jerk, but reading these new posts really brightened my mood. Firstly, because I am not the only "newbie" that feels this way, and secondly, because this topic took a turn for what I was looking for and for what strengthens a community...discussion and resolution.

So thanks for thinking, talking, and understanding folks. I think we're back on track.

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