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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
Weblogs, what are they good for? This Guardian piece concludes that a good weblog is something which manages to start a conversation, whether through sharing something interesting or even provoking a reaction (we were especially comforted by this: 'We'll start to wonder why gorgeous, perfectly-phrased and knowledgeable weblogs have small audiences and awkward, questioning, apparently half-finished ones attract thousands.') Admittedly, newthings hasn't exactly been a hotbed of debate since it started, but we're working on making it less of a daily link-fest and more of an ongoing project - the original subtitle.

Partly, this is due to the acquisition of thingsmagazine.net, a proper domain name where we can finally stretch our legs and experiment. Regular subscribers will have noticed that things 17, the winter 2002-03 issue, didn't quite make it out of the starting gates. There are many, very plausible, reasons for this, but in truth we needed a break - things has existed as a bi-annual publication for eight years, operating entirely outside normal working hours.

So how will things and newthings develop? We're very keen to retain our print dimension, and part of this will be to make it easier to buy back issues of the magazine. Perhaps most importantly, we're going to change the way things is published. From this Spring, we're going to dip our toes into the water of print-on-demand, a technology that doesn't seem to have made any serious impact on publishing. In fact, POD has a terrible reputation, the choice of unscrupulous vanity publishers out to ensnare unwary authors or the way to get hold of vast, expensive and obscure academic tomes.

We can't pretend this is going to be a hitch-free journey, but we hope (fervently, with our fingers tightly crossed) that POD will give us the freedom to commission more interesting new writing, broaden our audience, while allowing us the continued pleasure of producing a delightfully tacticle object twice a year - one of the main joys of working in any form of publishing. thingsmagazine.print will then join thingsmagazine.net.

Elsewhere, a grab-bag of photography and music today (with apologies for the lateness of the update). mp3it is a regularly refreshed site containing rare and unreleased tracks from a variety of left-field bands. Philip Greenspun's Alaska travelogue is full of fine, high-res images, as well as interesting tales of travelling up and down the Americas. We especially liked this ruined gold dredger and this unusual bus.

STOCK.XCHNG has free stock photos. Londonstills is chock full of city imagery, while the marvellously-named Greystock brings you 'images of the Mature Market'. And finally, an absolutely vast (4.3GB!) database of Roman antiquity, including satellite imagery, the 1911 survey of the Monuments of Rome (broken links, but the big images still load), funerary iconography and much, much more.