Acerca de

WHAT'S A diskurso ISSUE?

As an online magazine, we at diskurso are doing away with the chronological segmentation of a publication into the usual volumes (the first 12-month volume of a magazine usually starts on its month of launch and ends in the next year's same month) and issues (say, monthly or bimonthly issues), traditionally numbered thusly: Vol. 01, Issue 01. We're doing away with that. For the simple reason that we do not want to merely mimic a printed medium's definition of an issue, as when a printed magazine says this is its November issue or November-December issue or 4th Quarter of 2014 issue. Many online magazines have been doing this mimicking for a long time now that it got us thinking: perhaps this practice ignores the unique values and parameters of online publishing. Thus our formula for ours:

If we are to divide our contents into issues, then perhaps a diskurso issue can take the largest segment of them all---the year. More specifically, our year-issue's contents shall flow up (or pop in) in the manner of blogs, ignoring the printed magazine's requirements for writers' pieces to be collected at a given deadline for a period of printing by a printer, which printing is in turn aimed at a single-day outing when the printer finishes and the magazine distribution is scheduled to follow. We're ignoring that sort of urgency because we don't print our issues!

So, instead, our online magazine shall treat of an ongoing present time, which should be nifty for contributors whose pieces can be collected online anytime. This would be nifty for them because, to be specific, our gathering of writers' pieces for our online magazine is not going to be scheduled for strict deadlines prior to a single period (say, a day) of uploading. And because we accommodate content for an ongoing, unceasing train of deadlines set by the writers themselves for an ongoing, unceasing series of uploading, our way becomes appropriate for treating of the internet-directed, constantly-online word, a treatment worthy of internet publishing because it exploits internet elements and advantages. This results not only in the writer's liberation from editor-imposed deadlines but other liberties as well, in a way only the internet could give.

But why a year's span of time at all, then? Well, that's because there is also the need to organize uploaded files into digital folders for archiving purposes or for later reference. So, we at diskurso will still be slicing time---but into large annual series or volumes.

Let's talk about the effect of that. Well, because that is so large a segment, it will have the affect of a "magazine issue" presenting its contents in a freer, less stringent, carefree, relaxed, more open, and also a more participatory mode worthy of its being online. Come to think of it, isn't this the virtual effect of online magazine presences, whether intended or not, which effect should not be ignored? Well, we're not ignoring it, so we're taking our freedom further: for instance, we can swing from being "thick" in a month and "thin" in another, without worrying about load consistency in the printed sense. This carefree attitude also allows us to do away with the problem of holdover pieces, precisely because we are not divided into issues where a piece might be late for an issue or early for another. It is the piece's context alone in relation to the ongoing present time external to the publication that would decide whether they are already old hat or not.

Guess what else? While printed magazines are divided into the present issue (the one on the coffee table) and the absent ones (the shelved issues or the ones hidden in the rack among the umbrellas and rags), our most ancient of articles remain on the index of years, easily accessible through a quick click on links. Thus the usual issue concept's (monthly, bimonthly, etc.) having become unnecessary.

But what about the problem of marketing? Would not the marketing of online magazines require the "issue"? For if there is no issue, there is nothing that is marketable except for the magazine itself qua brand and its year volumes (the latter is just too big a product to market, coming out like an atlas). Well, guess what, in the age of Facebook shares and likes, the online magazine issue launch (release or outing) should now be considered ludicrous. After all, it is internet users today who---in the internet's usual participatory mode---"launch" and distribute. And it is not "issues" that they launch and distribute but specific articles! In that sense, every ever-present article is treated as an ever-present article at the disposal of the sharer as his own MyMagazine's editor of sorts. Every article becomes a sharer's content for his personalization. So, no need to launch issues; just articles (better known online as posts).

So, in closing, why mimic the printed magazine definition of an "issue"? Why mimic, when you can own a more appropriate and futuristic one? We choose to mimic the blog. [d]


(c) 2014 Jojo Soria de Veyra