Jump to content

The Legio Report: a B&C e-zine idea


Dosjetka
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

 

While pottering around the B&C, and the blog system in particular, I spotted @sibomots' blog post Paper System Never Fails. Reading through this got some gears turning and I figured I could share them here for extra eyes and thoughts on the matter.

 

+++++

 

Title idea: The Legio Report

 

Pitch: Write and publish a regular e-zine that would focus on showcasing the creations of the B&C community. This e-zine would be divided into sections based around a general theme (my current ideas are Warhammer 40'000, Age of Darkness, Other Games, and Community Hub*), with each section containing 2+ articles. These themes can be modified/refined as time goes on and the team expands.

 

*The Community Hub would inform readers of upcoming B&C events, recent staff changes, but also potentially share some readers' "mail"/comments, and therefore wouldn't necessarily adhere to the article format.

 

Frequency of publication: Since we all lead busy lives, my suggestion would be that this e-zine would be published no quicker than every two months to give us time to collect, edit, and publish the content.

 

Typical content: project log/army/kill team showcases, hobby modelling/painting/gaming tutorials, opinion pieces, short fanfiction pieces (or larger ones split up over multiple issues). This is a non-exhaustive list and can be expanded as/when necessary. The only hard rule is that the article must have content published here on the B&C as its basis, and must aim to showcase that content.

 

Team composition: At minimum, we need a lead editor (me), a content editor per article category (3+ to start with), a proofreader, and a graphic editor, giving us a minimum total of six team members.

 

Team roles:

  • Graphics editor
    • leads the creation and implementation of the publication's graphic identity;
    • creates, finds, or outsources the creation of whatever graphic elements are necessary for the publication;
    • collects and collates all the material into a e-zine format using whatever software they are familiar and comfortable with;
    • converts that into a PDF file for wider distribution/download;
    • explores options for potential future paper-format printing & publishing;
    • provides support and constructive feedback to team members;
    • regularly attends online meetings organised by the lead editor.
  • Proofreader
    • proofreads all text-based content;
    • checks final graphic layout before it is published;
    • provides support and constructive feedback to team members;
    • regularly attends online meetings organised by the lead editor.
  • Content editor
    • searches for and collects content published on the B&C that would be appropriate for dissemination via the e-zine format;
    • secures content author permission to use said-content;
    • edits the content (with or without content author's assistance) and prepares it for delivery to the graphics editor;
    • provides support and constructive feedback to team members;
    • regularly attends online meetings organised by the lead editor.
  • Lead editor
    • oversees the creation process from start to finish;
    • has final say in what content will (not) be published;
    • sets the general guidelines for the publication and ensures its long-term success;
    • provides support and constructive feedback to team members;
    • schedules and leads regular online meetings;
    • manages communications with the wider community and the B&C staff;
    • manages personnel;
    • can optionally submit/edit articles for the publication, time- and energy-permitting.

 

Required skills: You, in no particular order,...

  • are able to function as a part of a diverse team;
  • are able to work to a strict deadline;
  • are able to function independently when the situation/task requires it;
  • value other people's feedback and are able to respect differing points of view;
  • are capable of providing constructive feedback and advice to others, including the project lead;
  • are willing to learn and grow as the project develops;
  • are proficient in using the necessary digital tools that your role would require, in addition to an online communication tool such as Discord, Zoom, Teams, etc;
  • are proficient in the written and verbal use of the English language.

 

Bonus skills:

  • Familiarity with copyright laws and "best practices";
  • [...]

 

Recruitment deadline: Call me ambitious but I'd like the initial team to be formed ideally as early as 31st October but at the very latest by Monday 14th November.

 

First (digital) publication date: Ideally Monday 30th January 2023, Monday 27th February 2023 at the very latest.

 

+++++

 

Phew, that took me a while! But I'm pretty happy with this outline and would very much appreciate any feedback you may have! :smile:

 

If you're interested in joining this project, please send me a PM with the subject line "B&C e-zine application: [insert position name]" containing what your motivations are and why you think you'd be a good candidate for the position you're applying for. After considering suitability, I'll send you a reply and, where suitable, set up a very basic voice/video interview as soon as possible.

 

In the meantime, thank you for reading this far and take care!

Edited by Dosjetka
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm all for this. Realistically, it's just a revisitation of the Legio Imprint idea. We've thrown this idea around for many years, with the earliest extant proposal dating back to 2007 (though I know that we discussed it prior to that, at least as early as 2004, and probably before then). Our problems in the past have always been in getting past the ideas stage into the making it happen stage. If there's anything I can do to support this from a site admin perspective, I'm more than happy to do that. That might include things like creating clubs (for specific issues - clubs are replacing special projects forums), setting up site structure, creating categories in the Downloads and Galleries, etc. I would also be able to help out in terms of behind the scenes work (editing and/or compiling everything into pdfs) and contributing content when my hobby time allows.

 

The key thing, though, is that this has my enthusiastic endorsement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the the idea too.    Maybe quarterly instead of bi-monthly. 

 

You covered the roles very well.   I think it would be important to devise a table of contents.

 

E-newsletters, e-zines, etc.. have something in common -- a regular structure.   Edit to suit:

 

  • The title page/cover/photo
  • Credits/staff
  • Urgent/letters-from...
  • Interview Frater/Mod
  • Article A
  • Article B
  • Article C ?
  • Questions
  • Upcoming Events
  • Back-cover photo parting shot.

 

I agree with BroT in that these ideas are terrific and just need that energetic nudge from concept to PDF.  That takes some doing.  

 

After you make your Table of Contents (this one or yours or whatever), then ...

 

But nonetheless, you got to get your team assembled.  

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's good work, Dos.

 

On 10/13/2022 at 2:09 PM, Brother Tyler said:

That might include things like creating clubs (for specific issues - clubs are replacing special projects forums), setting up site structure, creating categories in the Downloads and Galleries, etc.

 

The Cabal of Dead Ink was set up as a Special Project and writer's room to try and get this off the ground small. If there's anything in there you want, you can certainly give us a nod and we'll see what we can do.

Edited by Mazer Rackham
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm tempted to volunteer to help fabricate the PDF.  But I'd do it only if LaTeX was used for typesetting.  It's a beautiful system for making documents.

 

I could be coaxed into making a template (skeleton) that just needs filler per your ToC.

 

I was developing back-end for web sites before there was a thing called Windows 95.  So, what I've seen in that time is that what matters the most is content and artwork.  

 

A lot of popular 'quarterly newsletters' start out as just plain text (literally plain text) sent via email mailing list.   The key is the content.  The artwork and style can come later as content is collected.

 

For a comparison, check out the Cryptogram:

 

(It's not a web-zine, but it started out as a simple text-file newsletter)

https://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram/2022/?post_type=crypto-gram

 

and an older one:

https://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram/archives/1998/1215.html#contests

 

The other advice is to model the framework after the magazines that you admire the most.  

 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

 

It solves two puzzles:

  • What readers like and are familiar with
  • What you like to read and maintains your level of effort (as the editor)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an issue that has reared its head and caused problems in the past, so I want to get ahead of it:

 

Would we prescribe/develop a style guide to maintain consistency?

 

Since GW is based in the UK and uses UK spelling (e.g., armour, honour) we might look at an authoritative style guide from the UK. The University of Oxford Style Guide is one example. It's only 30 pages and available as a free .pdf, so it's much more accessible than something like the Chicago Manual of Style.

 

Some lessons learned from previous efforts:

  • Don't aim for too much content. The overall effort will take too long as life's little complications jump in the way. An example of this is the Eye of Terror issue of the Legio Imprint, which clocked in at 116 pages and over 4.2 MB. That issue took quite some time to complete - at least six months and perhaps over a year (I don't recall off the top of my head and the discussions are no longer available). Smaller issues can be completed more quickly, allowing for a more rapid publication frequency. You might also have multiple issues in the works at the same time, publishing them as they are ready and having some redundancy in case a particular article/issue is delayed.
  • Keep the format professional, but at a fanzine level. The editor of the Eye of Terror LI issue, Octavulg, was in law school at the time and imposed footnotes and citations based on his academic experience. Those detracted from the flow of reading, making it look more like a peer reviewed journal than a fanzine. I'm not opposed to notes, but recommend using end notes.
  • Curating existing content (from the B&C) will yield better results. While some members might be able to create entirely new content for an e-zine, we're going to run into deadline problems if too much of the content for an issue is completely new. Curating existing content is a great way to showcase the work of our members.
  • Having submissions in unformatted text makes things easier, allowing us to plug stuff in to whatever formats we decide upon. Contributors should include suitable images (we may need to develop/publish guidelines) with explanations of where each image should go in the text, perhaps with cues in the text. Trying to fit pre-formatted content into issues can become very problematic and frustrating.
  • A pdf/print version is a nice goal, but having an online-based version, similar to that which sibomots linked, is an achievable starting point. We could even use the pdf/print version as a reward for site supporters.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be very happy to take over the proofreader position. I do that sort of work anyways as a freelancer and I have an education in languages. I can do about 150 A4 pages of text per week and can, if push comes to shove, adapt relatively easily to other people's schedules. I have experience in making small zines in Word; I do that for the local department newspaper at my University. It's nothing too fancy, but until we have someone who can do either LaTex (I've tried learning the application but it's too tedious for my taste and I have no day-to-day application for it) or InDesign (I might be able to get access to this via my Uni but I can't make any promises) I'd be happy to help out on that front.

 

That said, I am also heavily in favour of not publishing more often than once a quarter. Once every two months might prove very hectic considering that things need to be collected, proofread, edited and formatted - and that is all providing that there are no complications in terms of quality guidelines.

 

In terms of editing, I am extremely against enforcing one english language standard across the whole magazine. Each article should have an internally correct orthography and grammar, yes, but if a User wants to write in an american/british/australian/etc. standard english, then they should be able to do so. As @Brother Tyler says, we also shouldn't go too overboard with professionalism. Footnotes are certainly overkill. Endnotes might be an interesting space to explore but even that I feel should be done sparingly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I know I'm a bit late to this discussion, but having actually put an issue together I can offer some insight.  

 

As to the specifics: too much content is definitely a problem. If I were eyeballing it, over the timeline described I'd say people can handle 2-3 articles each, tops, and the overall editor and layout guy should do none (depending, of course, on how positions are broken down). Reviewing the imprint, I wrote like five articles and edited like five more. Or more than that, even. That's too much. Checking those dates, the draft table of contents is in May of 2011 (though some notes in the files make me think we started well before then), the issue released in...whenever it released. So at least 13 months, probably more like 18. I remember thinking the time it was taking was ridiculous. There WAS a significant wait between having it done and release, but not that significant. Do something smaller, and definitely aim for showcasing what already exists rather than creating new content. At most one new-to-issue thing per issue. That said, I think one new-to-issue thing per issue could serve a useful purpose. 

 

A BIG bottleneck was the difficulty of having to do all the layout, because it's very hard to break that down over multiple people. I would urge either extremely simple layout, or only one person having to do it. I did it in Word, since that's what I had. Surprisingly doable, also surprisingly annoying. 


I would also note that people need to be using the same software for editing and drafting. I had Word, others had other stuff (I think. It is over a decade ago now), making the articles play nice together was a nightmare, especially since we were doing all the coordination through PM since that was how the board was set up at the time (and things like Discord did not yet exist). That bit would likely be easier today for a bunch of reasons. 

 

You'll also need to ponder whether you want content submitted, content you find, or both. And whether you want to showcase already popular stuff, or try for more obscure things. The Librarium was, in theory, supposed to serve much the same purpose as this magazine seems to intend (and I think a magazine may be a better format for it), but if you are selecting stuff it hurts the feelings of those overlooked, and if people are submitting stuff you may become a quality indicator or end goal whether you want to or not. Careful thought is required regarding that aspect. 

 

As to the footnotes, I did not 'impose' them (at least I certainly don't recall anyone particularly wanting endnotes), nor were they overkill given the purpose of the articles containing them. Footnotes were used in the fluff articles for two reasons: first, endnotes are the devil and inferior to footnotes unless your note is extremely lengthy (barring internal PDF linkage or hyperlinkage, in which case they're roughly equivalent). Second, hobby discussion at the time had a huge trend of "oh, I read somewhere" and the footnotes put the original source of the information right there, on the page, where even the most stupid of readers can find it. Basically, the idea was to prioritize the actual official material over "some guy wrote it and put it on the Internet." I recall that being one of the explicit goals of the articles (which were written by the sort of people who care about that sort of thing, so minimal human misery was created by requiring actual citations). I used them in the campaign report because stopping the battle report to explain the rules seemed disruptive to those who did know them, while making people check the end of the article for needed explanation seemed unwise. 

 

There are many things about the Imprint I'd do differently now. But footnotes were the right choice, and I'll fight the man who says different. :P 

 

Good luck, Dos. Hope it's worked out. :) 

Edited by Brother Tyler
Unnecessarily confrontational statements removed.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.