Discovering User-Generated Magazines: Everywhere + JPG

Everywhere Magazine: a crowdsourced travel mag

Perusing the shelves of Barnes & Nobles, I chanced upon Everywhere Magazine, where its tagline called on me: “The New Magazine Made by You”. It’s the first user-generated travel mag I’ve encountered this year, and boy is it beautiful. Our networked culture just made my fascination for magazines grow a notch more.

Everywhere Magazine: a crowdsourced travel mag Sure, most publications have always had a relationship with its readers, be it forum letters to contributed articles. However, magazines like these push the boundaries between paper and pixels, where editors work with users to put together an entire magazine.

Such work goes beyond the novelty of collectivism. In fact, I see it as a purposeful evolution from an earlier crowdsourced publication, JPG magazine, which features stunning photography based on selected themes and user votes.

Incidentally, after checking out, I discovered that the same publisher, 8020 Publishing, was indeed the one which started JPG magazine. What’s more interesting is how they do it…

JPG magazine (Issue 13) According to New York Times, “[o]nline readers vote on their favorite submissions appearing at Then a tiny staff of 10 designs a layout for the winners and about 50,000 high-quality slick-looking magazines are printed six times a year. They are sold through $25 annual subscriptions and on newsstands for $6 each. The online version is free. Readers can also download and print a PDF file of the entire magazine free, because the publishers assume that physically holding a high-quality magazine is more satisfying than viewing it online and therefore will not cannibalize newsstand sales.”

OK, I checked and does indeed have a free online version in flash (can’t zoom in) and in downloadable full quality PDF (wish I had a large ebook reader). On the other hand, just has a sneak peek of their issue 1 in PDF format.

Samir Husni, chairman of the journalism department at the University of Mississippi and well-known magazine business blogger of, said that “I don’t think it’s just about getting cheap content into a magazine. Seeing their own work in print makes people feel like part of a community.”

Photo by isriya

Indeed, amongst Mr Magazine’s 7 great magazine moments, Everywhere (travel) and JPG (photography) stood quite distinctly. I’m hoping next up to be a user-generated foodie magazine, where users get to highlight recipes and great places to eat (after all, food porn is popular on flickr). Speaking of which, would a user-generated porn magazine work?

BTW: Mooks (a fusion of magazine + book) is also my favorite new trend, which I’ve seen in the likes of the ever geeky MAKE and the totally elegant Monocle.

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