In the blog-saturated digital culture of today, polluted by the noisy, and often meaningless outpouring of just about everyone’s consciousness, print is perceived as passé, old, and dead.
Not so soon.
Perhaps as a backlash against the etherealness and intangibleness of online self-publishing platforms—this one included—there’s a quiet, but powerful surge of interest in making handcrafted magazines, or just zines as they’re called.
“It just feels good to make something by hand,” says Jenna Wortham [technology writer for the NYT who edits] Girl Crush [a zine]. “At the end of the day, though, you can describe a blog post, but you can’t recreate it. It’s really neat to hold something in your hand that you actually created.”
Online craft mecca Etsy currently has nearly 50,000 distinct handmade publications listed for sale, approximately 3,000 of which are self-defined as zines.
What makes a publication a zine?
A zine must be self-published and handmade. It’s often published in small enough quantities that its creator can personally keep track of everyone who has it.
It’s self-funded and sold either at a loss or only to recoup the cost of production. It eschews advertising, though some zinesters will promote other zines in their pages. And a zine follows its own schedule.
So, it appears that blog posts will run parallel with backyard publishing.