[GSBN] Is it time? - Natural Building Magazine
larskeller at gmail.com
Tue May 27 01:09:14 CDT 2008
Hi Mark et al.
I think you are spot on Mark. I do not know even a few of the magazines you
mention, but I think I know more than a few people who would love to
subscribe to such a magazine.
2008/5/26 Mark Piepkorn <mark at buildinggreen.com>:
> I've floated the idea of Natural Building Magazine past some GSBNers
> over time, including Judy and Matts, Joyce, David E, Bruce K, the
> Bills, Lars, and others.
> This isn't a public announcement. Yet. I'm writing to see what
> thoughts this august body produces. (The GSBN list is underwritten by
> TLS, and is its de facto - if underutilized - advisory board. Is it
> sacrilegious for me to be posting this here? I hope not. See
> Feel free to respond offlist if you don't feel comfortable posting.
> If warranted, I'll set up discussions somewhere.)
> The seed for Natural Building Magazine was planted over a decade ago
> when I was editor of TLS, during a conversation I had with Carol
> Venolia (who had already stopped producing the seminal Building With
> Nature newsletter by then), Cob Cottage co-founder Michael Smith (who
> still irregularly produces the Cob Web newsletter), the inimitable
> and indomitable Bob Theis, and others, at a gathering of natural
> building practitioners convened by Ianto Evans in Oregon. The feeling
> was that a publication providing depth and space for all natural
> building techniques and materials would be an awfully good thing to
> have around. Something visually enticing, usable, inspiring, robust.
> There was speculation that Natural Home (then in development) might
> be it. It wasn't. But it's opened some doors.
> Despite the increasing numbers of books on natural building hitting
> the market, I haven't been convinced that there's enough of an
> audience to support a regularly-published "all-comers" magazine.
> (People tend to have pet materials and techniques that they latch on
> to.) But I think the time might now be right, and I'm looking to you
> (admittedly biased) people for reassurance, caution, advice, and
> ideas about the prospect of a "continuing education" magazine for
> people who already have at least a fairly good clue about natural building.
> I've been devoting time and thought to how this magazine might work.
> There are no funds backing it - just time and thought. See
> It's not connected to any company or organization.
> I imagine a reader-written print publication like TLS, Countryside,
> Back Home, Owner-Builder, and Whole Earth and Mother Earth in the old
> days. I'd like to see some combination of the best aspects of
> publications like Find Homebuilding, Green Building Magazine
> (formerly Building For A Future), Owner-Builder, the Journal of Light
> Construction, Energy Design Update, Environmental Building News, TLS,
> and classic books like Shelter, the Whole Earth Catalog, all of Ken
> Kern's books, and the spirit of Art Boericke's. I'd like it to have a
> strong visual aspect, to be "magazine-like"... to be smart,
> applicable, inspirational, somewhat radical compared to other
> building magazines (but mainstream-accessible), on-topic yet eclectic. See
> Why reader-written? Because that emulates natural building itself.
> (And what's a little editorial schizophrenia among friends?) There's
> still a symbiosis between professional practitioners and
> owner-builders in natural building; I hope it stays that way.
> Self-builders bring their daring, professionals bring their wisdom,
> and everybody shares their personal expertise. See
> Why print? Because I don't want it to be what the internet has
> become. I want expectations of it to be higher, and the contributions
> better thought out. That said, I also acknowledge that the future is
> digital. But as high as the failure rate of niche print publications
> is, the failure rate of niche web publications is even higher. The
> economic models of both have disaster looming around every corner,
> but having been involved for several years in both web development
> and print publication, my sense is that print presents a better
> opportunity for near-term success for this idea, even though it bears
> a higher price tags in just about every way. (Many years ago, David
> Eisenberg told me, "You can't be sustainable for the world if you
> can't sustain yourself." By extension, a publication - digital or
> print - can't be sustainable for the world if it can't sustain itself. See
> To be sustainable, it needs people to participate, both as readers
> and writers.)
> Having made the argument for print, the first issue - Issue 0 - will
> be a free download... a combination proof-of-concept, sample issue,
> and working-out-the-bugs process. Want to help set the tone for
> future issues by contributing the sort of articles you'd like to see
> down the road?
> There are still important details to be worked out.
> Mark Piepkorn
> The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.
> - Kilgore Trout
> GSBN mailing list
> GSBN at greenbuilder.com
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