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The previous issue of Tek came out in October last year. That's seven months ago! What happened? Better sit down, 'cause this is going to be a long one.
That's something I wondered about a number of moons ago already. I then posted a news item to inform people that it could take some time before the next issue would be out. Prime reason being that either things were just going very slow or time was going faster and faster on us.
That's just a symptom though. The prime reason for it was different. In the comments on said news post it became clear that the three of us who make up Tek, Kenray, Doreen and me, where becoming more and more disconnected with Skindom.
Kenray was busy pursuing his new study of medicine, whilst supporting his wife in her career, reaching for the skies with his band and trying to make a living with his design work in the meantime. And I probably missed some things in between. Even worse, he seemed to be pretty satisfied with the results of the last Community Skin project, Red Leader, and concluded that he wasn't really into skinning anymore.
Not that that come as a big surprise to us, since I've been playing editor-in-place for him for quite some time. Like now.
In the meantime, Doreen sold her soul to the devil and bought herself a new toy: a G4. I could have (and did, ofcourse) told her on forehand that those “oh so cute” aqua icons wouldn't have much of a lasting appeal. Soon she fled into the realm of EverQuest and we saw even less of her than before.
Nowadays she's almost completely moved over to the PocketPC and like the rest of us has become somewhat disconnected with the mainstream aspects of Skindom.
Then there was me, and ever since I finished school, started working and had to deal with computers on a daily, professional level, I started to resent these bitbashers more and more. Let alone traverse the endless stream of repeated newbie questions, cyclical pointless topics and holier-than-thou commercialists that invest our once beloved boards these days.
Aren't we a happy bunch? I really should focus more on the skins themselves and less on the things surrounding them.
All this might give you a clue why it has taken us so long to cram out this issue. We're just way too disconnected from it all these days. But far more interesting than my meanderings is to see what has happened in the rest of the world in the meantime. And I'm going to be a wee bit flexible chronologically, but bare with me.
In the time that we were gone, one ezine died, one was resurrected, two new ones sprung up and one other seems to have wandered of into limbo.
The one that died is (obviously) RazorArt, while the comatose one is DeviantMag. Not that I have been following things around there, but the main reason for RazorArt to drop it seem to be similar to why I don't feel part of it anymore. Too many people with the wrong attitude. DeviantMag on the other seemingly has the biggest staff of them all, with tons of stuff when a new issue is released. But the key factor here is ‘when’. It seems to have an even slower turnover than even us here at Tek, which can have negative effects on the continuity of an ezine: you lose readers if you don't publish something every now and then.
On a happier note, Ravi recently blew ‘new life’ into Shell Shocked, an ezine focussing on shells, by setting up a mailinglist with several site owners, admins, developers and what not, to discuss and work on new articles and issues. This seems to work great, for new issues are popping up at a rapid pace. Though I wonder if having so many people on board won't cannibalise on the number of people reading the ezine. Those that work on it, form a large part of the audience (or so I suspect) and thus will yield less intereaction in the eyes of those who are not on the list.
The two new ezines are ModZine and LastNode. ModZine seemingly being a direct spin-off of Virtual Plastic, primarily focussing on hacking Windows' look and feel, utilities and tools for us power users and cursors and icons to make this crummy interface be oh-so-more bareable. LastNode on the other hand feels like something that came from DeviantArt, discussing not only articles about skinning and icons and what not, but also digital art, video games and other digital youth culture phenomena.
Where some die, new life springs forth elsewhere. I may be rather cynical and sceptical about Skindom and the state of things, but with new ezines popping up one can't say that it's all in decline. Unless these are just the last spasms ofcourse?
But does this mean that we are tossing the towel in the ring? If that were the case, I wouldn't be rushing to get this issue out by tomorrow, now would I? Argh, so many bunnies to draw still!
— craeonics, May 31th 2003