Feature Article
A Netazine

January 1, 1998
By Scott Lewis

Yes, this month's article is the same as this site, A Netazine. What is a Netazine? Why create a Netazine? Why did I create a Netazine? What is necessary if you want to create a Netazine? All this and more in this months feature article.

What is a Netazine

A Netazine is a magazine on the Internet. Simple. Some Netazines are just online versions of their printed counterparts. This Netazine, and many others like it, exist only on the Web.

Why a Netazine

There are literally dozens of reasons for having a netazine. One of the best reasons is because it is easy, to a point. Any Joe Webmaster can throw together a few pages on the Web and have an instant magazine for all to read. Most Netazines go further than Joe's homepage, though. For instance, The Site is a Netazine that supports MSNBC's show of the same name. These two were created together, so you could think of the show as supporting the netazine. Turbozine is an automotive Netazine with no relation to any other media, so it is a Netazine in the truest sense of the word.

By putting these magazines on the Net, their publishers have escaped a huge amount of effort in creating a print magazine. Cost of printing in large volume is expensive, and creating a circulation from scratch is very challenging. It would take a sizable amount of cash for a startup company to create a magazine, convince other companies to buy advertising space, and generate loyal readers to purchase the final product.

On the Net, you just upload the pages to a server, and your done. At least you are done if you don't care if anyone reads your netazine. (This article is not about generating visitors to a web site, Netazine or otherwise.) The cost of web space is cheap, Heck, I am borrowing the space for this Netazine so mine is free. There are many places on the Web that will host your pages for free. Some of these places might have restrictions or requirements for your pages, but these would hopefully be small concessions for the potential to reach millions of readers.

Why Did I Create a Netazine

Actually it took me a while to create this Netazine. At first, I just played around with building web pages, and creating a home page. That was easy enough. This is one of my favorite aspects about the Net. I love coming across personal home pages. Especially ones that are not based on computer games.

Then I created some gaming pages. The trouble with the gaming pages was that it took too much time to maintain the content and didn't leave me enough time to play the games.

Then the idea came for me to write a series of articles. After spending a couple of months on the format, I decided to create this netazine. At the moment, The Feature and Scott's Column are the main reasons for this netazine. I use Scott's Column to tell all of you about what is going on in my life, both personally and professionally. The Feature is a chance for me to write about a topic I feel strongly toward.

The best part about this Netazine is the ease in which I can add pages. I takes me about 10 minutes to setup one months pages. Then I just have to figure out what to write about. I keep a text file with potential topics, and use it as a resource when I come up dry.

What You Need For A Netazine

If you are interested in creating a Netazine there are a couple of things to consider. First, read The Archive on my previous articles on web page design. All of the information there is useful in creating a netazine. Next, you need a topic, or area of interest.

That is actually enough to start a netazine. It helps to be able to write, but you can use this venue as a means to develop those skills. Just keep a focus. It is best to keep your subject matter consistent. If you never write about the same topic twice, then you will have a much harder time maintaining loyal readers.

What Else

What else is necessary for a Netazine? Just about anything you can think of. If I had more time I would create more graphics for my pages. Don't worry too much about technology. Java, Shockwave, ActiveX are all good, but they don't have a lot of need in a netazine. Unless your Netazine focuses on those topics, or on a topic that would merge well with multimedia. A music Netazine would probably make good use of these technologies.

One last thing. Always ask for feedback. Get people you know to view your site, and critique it. You should also ask for feedback from your readers. In fact, while we're on the subject, tell me what you think of my netazine.

Good Luck and let me know about your web sites.