Sunday, February 01, 2009

an alternative to traditional online publishing

Maybe blogging isn't your thing, or maybe you feel as if you don't have the coding knowledge to create a custom blog using Wordpress or other CSS-based blogging applications. Perhaps you enjoy zines or full magazines and have always wanted to publish your own?

Well, there is an alternative out there that provides the ability to create a custom image for online content that is published's called OpenZine, located at

OpenZine is essentially a combination of blogging and zines, with a few website characteristics thrown into the mix. Although each OpenZine publication exists on the internet, and therefore is not truly handmade as are traditional zines, the individual publications still allow individuals or groups to self-publish content in a magazine-style format while including custom imagery.

How can you promote OpenZine while being a Blogger user?

Alternatives are a great thing. They ensure that the overall quality offered by competitors is high and they give people the option to utilize resources that suit their needs. On a secondary note, my blog doesn't make any money from Blogger and they don't make any money from me.

Sorry, OpenZine just sounds like a glorified blog.

Well, it has similiar qualities but it's a bit different. You can leave comments but from what I can tell, they are displayed at the bottom of the screen and are not visually associated with individual articles. One of the biggest differences is that each issue of your e-zine can have a different look, layout, and overall vibe.

Are there any advantages or disadvantages that I need to know about?

Well, that depends on personal taste. The advantages are ease of creation; uploading images, creating compositions, and publishing content is easy and doesn't require knowledge of web development. The only downside that I see is the url; your e-zine's url will be If you don't mind that, along with an ad posted at the top and bottom of the screen, then you'll be fine.

Have you considered using OpenZine, even though you have a blog on Blogger?

Yes. First let me say this...abstractLatte will always exist at and at its own dot com domain. As for OpenZine, I have an idea that I want to promote regularly and have considered making its primary web presence an OpenZine publication. I'll publish more info on that soon.

So if you're interested in realistic alternatives to regular online publishing, check out OpenZine at


Humby said...

Wow very nice writeup thanks!

abstractLatte said...

No problem. I think what you are doing with OpenZine is great and I wish you success for the future!

Christopher L. Jorgensen said...

The one problem I have the whole openzine thing is that some of the zines just are populated enough, which isn't a platform issue, but rather like real life, many zines just plain suck.

It's a neat idea, and occasionally I'll stumble upon one that seems pretty well put together.

I think I'll continue to prefer rolling my own, but I see the appeal.


abstractLatte said...

Your view of zines is similiar to the state of graphic design in the commercial world...since software allows more businesses/organizations to design for themselves, you have a wider range of quality than you would otherwise. It is the nature of the design-it-yourself approach; but at the end of the day, personal fulfillment is what matters so I say to each his/her own.