Zines beat blogs in permanence, attentive readership, thoughtful replies, editing, and the human touch. The mind map dances around these - or presents them differently.
Zines are made of paper, which bleaches and decays, but is a lot easier to thumb through than a blog entry you read on-screen. I can take someone upstairs and say, "here's the stuff I wrote from Junior High into the early 90s."
The web based stuff is harder to touch, harder to keep track of, harder to point at. When the power goes out, it just plain doesn't exist.
Part of my starting to do these Mind Maps was that when I looked at my blog, I saw little permanence. I saw few posts that survived to the next week - because I was commenting on technology and not really writing about sustainable topics. While writing about technology was a topic choice of my own, I felt that the medium - blogging - was also introducing some of that temporal nature to the writing.
So, for me, these mind maps help introduce more permanence into my personal blogging.
Attentive Readership & Replies
Gillmor and others have written extensively about the attention economy. My last mind map touched on this as well. With Zines, I enjoyed a small (seemed big at the time) but highly engaged readership. Nearly 60% of the people that received BVI-Central would write back or make an entire zine in reply. Long, thoughtful commentary.
The precursor to Podcasting was Cassette Zines. Yes, I had one of those too. People would spend hours creating cassette zines in response to my, or others, writing.
These attentive readers led to longer, deeper and more intense discussions. I am finding that blogs give us a huge surface area of discussion, but I'm missing some of the depth.
Editing and The Human Touch
Rick Springfield needed both and so do the rest of us. I fully recognize that my blog posts go out rapidly and sometimes could use some more massaging. I used to illustrate BVI-Central with ink drawings or collages and so forth. While doing the illustrations, I would often go back and change the text - because I spent more time with it.
When you received a Zine, it had the actual physical touch of its creator. Usually their hands folded them, stapled them, their tongues licked the stamp in the corner. There was often scribbled personal notes in the corners. Even though they'd printed up 100 of them, this one was personally for you and from them.
Zines can't touch that.
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