teknidermy editor's notes art uproar puppy love fashion victim elwin the fool the skinner who came in from the cold show us your honz babyafied whodunnit? issue eleven
editor's notes

Editor's Notes

Damned if I do…

Even a master slacker like myself has work to do sometimes. Being the editor of an internet magazine carries very few duties, but the ones it does carry are heavy. And it's this that I am thinking about now:


Remember the GUI Olympics? I do. I remember being asked, “Why aren't you covering it” and I remember saying, “When it's over and something can be really ‘reported’ we will.”

Now, perhaps you are thinking, “where's the beef?” That's fair. The beef in on my hard drive; in my tek folder in an HTML document titled ‘guiolympics.html’. So, why not publish it here in these pages?


Well, basically, I said (and I meant) that tek would only report facts about the GUI O. Considering the size of the event, how many people poured time and money into it, and how much controversy there was about it, that would be the only responsible way to report on it… factually. Of course, it's terribly hard to report on anything without letting a little bit of opinion in.


Take this bit:

“When people think of Olympics, they usually picture something very grand. It's like the world on parade, all the nations trying to come up with their physical best — a profusion of events whirring around like the mad colorful variety of a medieval faire. When other places borrow this moniker, however, the term Olympics tends to lose a lot of its shine.”

Generally, that's all true. The average ‘image’ of an ‘Olympics’ is indeed something very grand and widely varied. And indeed, it will be generally found that any other ‘olympic’ is almost always pale in comparison. And to set up context, you need paragraphs like that one.

Unfortunately, that paragraph ends in a statement of opinion.


The real point here is this:

I'd love to print the article on my hard drive. Just the commentary on it would be a book's worth. And the author of the piece did a wonderful job (thanks Ima). It is quite the entertaining read… however…

At this point, I cannot edit the piece into a ‘factuary’. And I don't know if there would be any benefit in doing so. Unfortunately, Tek can't publish the article as it stands, however entertaining it might be. Balancing the desire to put good work on the site with the responsibility to the mag's stated ethic is the editor's job. Sometimes that job just sucks.


Now, I have a fresh pot of coffee, my image editor is fired up… time to dump all this responsible editorializing and get back to slacking. Masterfully.

— Kenray, October 6th 2002

Ah, the hardships of being an editor...

craeonics {10.12.2002|13.05}

hehe very nice masta slacka go and tease everyone and then go back to slacking!

crae what is up w/ this puke green text box? hehe
(I'm serious this text box I'm typing in is Puke green)

Doreen {10.12.2002|13.31}

What are you talking about? It looks great on, my screen. Hold up...

*craeonics goes fiddle with screen settings
*craeonics switches from 5000K to 9300K to 6500K and back again

Looking fine to me.

craeonics {10.12.2002|13.48}

crae, it might look ok to you, but it's puke green to me as well.

Jobeleca {10.13.2002|13.40}

uh oh me runs really fast away from crae! hehe

Doreen {10.13.2002|14.47}

Hmm, my puke is usually white-ish or yellow though.

craeonics {10.13.2002|15.25}

Since when did reporting have anything to do with facts?
I say publish it...
{:p

Elwin {10.13.2002|18.10}

I'd tend to agree. And I say that worried that the article is possibly a largely a partisan leftist critique of the GUI Olympics. Maybe it's very positive about it. I don't know. I do know that the people who participated in it seemed quite pleased based on the # of emails I've gotten wondering when the next one was going to be.

It would have been better if Tek had let Craeonics report on the events as they happened. Then there wouldn't be the issue of having overzealous editorializing.

I personally find the whole thing discouraging. There wasn't a summer GUI Olympics because no one wanted to volunteer and deal with "the community" again for awhile since we were so disgusted with the petty political nonsense dished out from a handful of self appointed elitists. Between Kenray's creaming it because of the originally stated rules (which were taken verbatim from a previous contest that was available on dA and elsewhere) to having a couple of the websites start to make after the fact demands on judging, the political stuff was a real turn off.

Would it have been so difficult for someone to simply write an article about a nice multi-site contest in which skinners were finally getting some much deserved recognition where $10,000 in cash and prizes were handed out? A contest in which most of the actual participants -- the SKINNERS, the people this magazine was supposed to be created for, had a really good time. The only people I saw raising a stink about how the contest was run were non-skinners.

Having a contest in which virtually all the skin sites in "the community" cooperated with each other seamlessly should have been seen as a good thing (IMO). Was the GUI Olympics controversal? Not really. Not outside the tiny clique of non-skinners it wasn't. It's biggest critic was Shoggot for crying out loud. A guy who hasn't made a skin in years who presided over the least cooperative skin site (skinz.org doesn't link to any other sites, does anyone think a multi website contest for skinners would have been possible if it were run by Shoggot?).

But really, would it hvae been that challenging to just write up an article that discussed some of the skins that won the various events? You could still have editorial about the skins and themes without editorializing the validity of the name of the contest or whether you agree with some rule of the contest or the layout of the website or whatever.

It was a great contest that helped the community and demonstrated how far the skin sites had come over the past couple years that they could now work together in a friendly competition. And while it has gotten no coverage in any of the Tek issues, its biggest critic, Shoggot, got a nice long interview in a post-GUI Olympics issue.

Frogboy {10.13.2002|22.52}

Brad please do not blame kenray for my interview w/ Shoggot and I personally replied to you on wincusto in the news post over there regarding that. but see you mentioned that Shog interivew here as well so I will just copy and paste it here as well to make things maybe alittle clearer okay...
(cuz me has no time to type up another thingy right now sorry)

I know what you're saying Brad and respect that, just that it is difficult for such a small handfull of us (actually 3 at this moment) to cover so much when we get side tracked w/ that dreaded real life stuff, if we had more time to branch out more we could cover more, but unfortunetly it's not like that so it's hard enough to bring the things we do to the table these days...

as for IRC neither me, crae or ken hang out there at all, so we are not part of any IRC clique, so you're alittle off there...

Shog was a pleasure for me to get to interview cuz of my past history on skinz.org & never really knowing who he was other then him playing referee on the msg board when I upset ppl back then w/ my Doreenosis so getting that opportunity to interview him was fun for me to get to know him alittle better, plain & simple.

"His opinions" were part of the interview but were "not" the main reason for the interview, I simply needed someone to interview for Teknidermy asked him for an interview (never expecting him to say yes) and he did and that was that, I was never one of his many IRC groupies as you may have thought.

I get no pay for admining on artuproar or for Tek, it's all just for enjoyment okay, there's no motives here.
I/We do this stuff for Teknidermy only because I/We really love the skinning community nuts & all, just like everyone else.

Doreen {10.14.2002|01.50}

"Another words" if we had More universal help, we not only have more stuff for you readers but more balanced stuff to read as well... =)

Doreen {10.14.2002|01.54}

I have seen the article. And it was nasty. Believe me, you wouldn't be happy if we published that.

craeonics {10.14.2002|02.27}

Crae, that's my point. By publishing it, then at least Teknidermy would at least be showing the courage to be up front in its views of things rather than the subtle bias we otherwise see.

It's much like the difference we see in the real media. Conservatives get frustrated because they see the media at blatantly left-wing while the media tries to pretend to be "neutral" but because the media is so populated with people who have left of center opinions, those views still seep through.

The same is true here. When Teknidermy was first created, it was positioned as a skinner's journal for "the community". Kenray himself used those words. But in reality, it often seems (to me anyway) a scarcely hidden tool to advocate Kenray's views and those who feel similarly. And in my opinion, those views have increasingly become out of touch with the mainstream of skinning.

The GUI Olympics is just a good example. Sure, you could dig up a dozen or two people who didn't like the GUI Olympics. But at the ame time, I bet if Teknidermy had run the GUI Olympics in exactly the same way, those same people would have loved it. In short, they had a pre-bias on it. Despite the fact that the GUI Olympics was a volunteer effort (i.e. T-man and I weren't paid to work on it, we worked on it in our spare time).

I bet the population of people who Kenray hangs out with virtually is overwhelming negative on its feelings on the GUI Olympics. But the GUI Olympics was very well received by most people. So it is very telling that the article on the GUI Olympics Kenray had made ended up being nasty about it. It shows the constituency of people that Kenray hangs around and the people he believes the magazine targets.

That's why I'd be happy if Tek would publish its nasty article on the GUI Olympics. It would bring out into the open its biases that seep through anyway in more subtle ways. At least then things would be in the open. Tek could stand or fall based on its convictions. If under the surface the Tek staff is largely 'anti-Stardock" or more realistically "anti-company" it should be up front about that and quit trying to benefit from them (for instance, Tek could INSIST on making sure that its website is not located on the Stardock owned Deskmod server).

I guess you could say that my general opinion is that Teknidermy is out of touch with where skinning is today. And as a result it has slowly migrated to having a more and more focused agenda.

Frogboy {10.14.2002|11.10}

Brad there is no hidden agenda please... that is so far from the truth

Ken maybe you should publish that article?

Doreen {10.14.2002|12.14}

and a few other things we had submitted to us that we held back on out of "Respect" for the skinning community and to assure no "agenda" assumptions would be made?

Doreen {10.14.2002|12.16}

Brad - Now, I dont want to turn this into a fight, but saying that Tek is out of touch with skinning is a bit.....off? I mean, couldn't it be the case that you are out of touch with skinning because 99% of your efforts are related to Stardock products only? I'm not saying that insultingly, just stating a case. It's a big world out there :)

integer {10.14.2002|12.50}

"If under the surface the Tek staff is largely 'anti-Stardock" or more realistically "anti-company" it should be up front about that and quit trying to benefit from them (for instance, Tek could INSIST on making sure that its website is not located on the Stardock owned Deskmod server)."

Wow.
That almost sounds like a veiled threat.
NOT that it is, mind you, but if it WAS, it would be a darned GOOD one.
Not that it is, but, but, if it was, man, it would certainly be to the point.
And a threat - and a good one - but a veiled one.
Not that it IS one, but still...
Wow.

Elwin {10.14.2002|12.51}

just to clarify, I meant out of touch with non-Stardock skinning, not skinning in general. I know how these things are often mis-quoted......

integer {10.14.2002|12.54}

Our website is located on the Stardock owned Deskmod server?

hmm you learn something new everyday! I thought this was "Deskmod's" server... interesting

Doreen {10.14.2002|14.31}

Integer: I know what you mean. Truly there can be different concepts of what is "mainstream". In my mind, mainstream comes down to a pure numbers game. I'd say articles on msstyles would be legitimate since there are a lot of people doing stuff on that. More articles on Media Player, more articles on Winamp 3. Millions of people use Windows Media Player. Winamp, WindowBlinds. Those are mainstream at that point.

Now before Doreen says "We did an article on X" let me clarify - one article in the history of a webzine is not a catch-all. Winamp 3, for instance, could be covered in a dozen or so articles that discuss the philosophies behind it, techniques on skinning (and there have beena rticles on the latter) where Winamp is going to go, how Winamp compares to other technologies, etc.

The same is true of Media player. Or how about articles about the growing movement of skinners making a living from skinning? Success stories. Pixtudio and the Skins factory make a solid living now creating skins for big companies like Microsoft, Nintendo, nVidia and others.

Or how about articles that talk about how the big companies are starting to embrace skinning. Saying "we did AN article on X last year" doesn't really seem to cover it. Things change over time. Interviews with authors are nice but not really hard news. Having "Brad Wardell" tell you how great WindowBlinds is isn't terribly useful to readers. Writing balanced articles, on the other hand, on the pros and cons of different programs would be very usefl for a skinner's journal.

I've written articles on this myself which I've tried to be objective:

[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]

I have a vested interest in writing these articles but I did do them on my own time and all of them were done in the past month or two. But even without posting these links on a Stardock site, they get more visits per month than Teknidermy gets (Based on the hit counters and Alexa rankings). These are technical articles that people are interested in.

One thing I will say though, I can't see how one can be in touch with skinning in general yet be out of touch with Stardock skinning. That's not hubris, that's just statistical reality.

Elwin: My statement regarding the server was not intended as any sort of threat. I just am a proponent of moral consistency. It's like those politicians who campaign on the "evils of big business" during the day and then attend fund raisers designed to get campaign contributions from those same evil big businesses. Or the famous book authors who rant against the logging industry while ignoring the fact that their books require considerable amounts of trees to be cut down.

Hopefully through this discussion I can convnce people of one thing - I do care about Tek. This thread has only had 230 hits (probably 50+ from me alone) and I've spent a good hour or two on typing it. I'm not posting out of some capitalistic opportunitic reasoning. I'm posting because I care about Teknidermy. If I didn't care, I'd just ignore it.

Frogboy {10.14.2002|14.41}

One of the Deskmod servers is owned by Stardock. Tek may or may not be located on the server that is owned by Stardock. Stardock loaned the server to Deskmod unconditionally. But obviously, if Kenray privately believed that SD and other corporate interests are the root of all the problems (and I'm not saying or implying he feels this way) then surely he wouldn't want to be directly benefiting from those corporate interests. It would be like the PETA protester at a animal rights conference eating a McDonalds hamburger. ;)

Frogboy {10.14.2002|14.46}

Well Brad I did not know about the server issue, I'm serious I was under the impression that the server tek currently sits on was Deskmods server.
and I'm alittle slow at times so I caught that comment only after Elwin's post, and did take it as a threat from you that if we at Tek don't get w/ your ball game we may not have a server to sit on,
I was coming back here to post to you that I don't plan on doing interview/articles to assure that our ezine has a spot on your server and call it quits, I don't know ken or crae's feelings on this yet. but this crap gets to me, we do this stuff for fun and we don't expect to please everyone but when you hear things like "this" and you know the time invested it takes to get the interviews/articles done it gets frustrating!
crae was sick and drawing them bunnies and stuff, ken is busy w/ his things and still tries to keep this going...

if there were some money behind it yeah you better believe we would be trying to please more ppl but that was never the case or the goal of Teknidermy. The goal was fun & to bring a few good reads to the skinning community, which that in itself should make it "Totally obvious" there was no hidden agenda on our end, how we supply our content.

Doreen {10.14.2002|17.08}

at any rate...
*Doreen takes a break from this hobby for a while

Doreen {10.14.2002|17.10}

I'm sorry Doreen but I don't have any sympathy for you on this. When *I* do something that is just for fun and for my hobby and I get called a "criminal" and "evil" and worse, you're the first one to defend the person calling me names.

But if someone offers even the most mild criticism you suddenly discover that criticism stings. If my comments on Tek "gets to you" then you can imagine how Shoggot and Co's libel against me "got to me" and how it must have felt to see you interview him and you defend him on the various sites where he posted his vile nastiness.

Frogboy {10.14.2002|20.45}

Brad me needs no sympathy from you or anyone else... trust me okay
(and if you really knew me I tend to defend "alot" of ppl, but you only seem to remember me defending Shog?)

#1. You make it clear each issue we're not a skinners journal (fine no problem your opinion)

#2. You say you made a box on wincustomize specifically for Tek articles but we're not worthy of that box (fine no problem, no one asked for it)

#3. You mention we may have an agenda (when we don't) and clearly bring out the point that Tek could be sitting on "Your" Stardock server? (me has a problem here)

I take that as a threat or a hint of somekind & I don't like it. Ken & crae may not mind it or have a problem that's there biz but I do & me don't care to do any interviews/articles that may reside on "your server" since that would be like as you said:

It would be like the PETA protester at a animal rights conference eating a McDonalds hamburger. ;)
Frogboy {10.14.2002|14.46}

You consistently bash us & that is totally fine I'm serious, and your opinion I respect that but I won't be sitting any of my stuff on your server okay? That's not fair to "you"

and I've had enough of this hobby now that's all... I don't feel it's fun anymore okay?

Doreen {10.14.2002|21.18}

Doreen, you're a hypocrite. You have no idea what "bashing" means if you take my criticsm as "bashing". And you completely blew off my previous post: If Doreen does something as a volunteer effort then one shouldn't feel free to criticize it. If someone else does something as a volunteer effort then Doreen will defend strenuously anyone who not only criticizes it but makes personal attacks on the actual volunteers.

Frankly Doreen, I don't give a crap whether you took something as a threat or not. My statement wasn't meant as a threat. But I'm not going to jump through hoops to convince you of that because I don't care.

Part of this discussion has been trying to understand why Tek choose to cover the things it does. We get an interview of Babya but no "first look" of some new skinning program.

My assertion has been that perhaps there is a hidden agenda of the site. Maybe I'm just totally wrong. You say that there's no agenda, you're just all "just volunteers and cover whatever". That's fine but people still have the right to express their opinions -- even if it's a volunteer effort. Just like when Pat and I were volunteering 20+ hours per week to the GUI Olympics while getting called profane names by Shoggot and othrs who you vigorously defended and while Kenray was on other sites implying that we were trying to rip off skinners, you are volunteering here.

But what we don't do is coerce people. If we were going to act like fascists or something we'd pressure people not to carry msstyles. Heck, Stardock's main webserver hosts HOverdesk themes (i.e. machines in the building). My point is that IF Kenray really has a private and intense dislike of corporations in skinning (and Stardock in general) then he should know that he is quite possibly directly benefiting from those same companies.

If you dont' want stuff on our servers, that's really none of our affair. Deskmod has multiple servers, we only supply one of them. I don't know if Tek is on ab SD one or not. But I can tell you that I don't care if it is or not.

Frogboy {10.14.2002|22.05}

Doreen - don't throw the towel in because of one person's opinion. For every 10 likes you'll get a dislike. Rise above it and bloom :)

integer {10.15.2002|00.40}

Ho boy, looks like Doreen's about to take one of her 'breaks from skindom'.

Now about this highly subtle constructive criticism. The prime factors here are manpower and time. We have neither of those, so therefore we don't nearly cover as much as we might (or might not) want to.

To give you an example of how things are: the main content provider is Doreen, then a whole time nothing and then a wee bit or two from me or Ken. Doubt that's going to change anytime soon. Unless Doreen calls it quits. Then it'll be nothing, more nothing and in the far distance a wee bit or two from Ken and moi.

craeonics {10.15.2002|02.42}

Doreen - listen to Integer. I think most people who visit the site like Teknidermy. I visit here every issue right away so I must like something here.

Frogboy {10.15.2002|10.22}

nah Brad you visit here every issue right away not cuz you like something here but cuz you wanna be a pain in the a**! hehe

Brad and the rest of you guys, I know you think I'm acting foolish and that's fine, but the truth is I just need a break okay =)

after all these years I think my mouse drives around the skinning community on auto pilot! so I'll have to CutTheRedWire to stop that today... hehe

I'm not dropping off the earth, just taking a break, so you guys enjoy things and have fun and take care! (please don't post anything else here regarding this it's not necessary) Thanks

Doreen {10.15.2002|12.09}

Gee... a stardock controvercy thread. Been a while since I saw one of these.

I like how tek is run. The articles are interesting, and this is my fav mag. They are fine to me. They are not anti or pro corp. I'm anti, and trust me it takes one to know one. I feel they handled the article well. That fact that it wasn't posted speeks well toward good judgement and good journelism. Ken was honest about why it wasn't posted: it was too opinionated.

Stardock has plenty of controvercial opponents and threads. Their sugnificance is subject to oppinion. I'm neutral (one of the few), so I really don't care either way.

*CutTheRedWire loves Doreen *hugs* =^.^=

CutTheRedWire {10.15.2002|19.44}

I say take a break doreen you deserve it.............. as for the tempered frog, I say get over shoggot and the GUI/O and move on.....

fuzzy wuzzy {10.16.2002|00.57}

testing...... testing who's fuzzy wuzzy?

fuzzy wuzzy {10.16.2002|01.00}

Fuzzy Wuzzy is one of the names that get picked whenever someone tries to post anonimously.

craeonics {10.16.2002|02.03}

...

kmr {10.17.2002|17.23}

teknidermy editor's notes art uproar puppy love fashion victim elwin the fool the skinner who came in from the cold show us your honz babyafied whodunnit? issue eleven
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