90 Driving Force

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    The twists and turns we take in life can be truly amazing. I’ve discussed a number of times how I want to bring together some new leadership to rebuild the SPA and, since last issue, I have entered into discussion with, like, five different people about different areas to address. It basically started with last issue’s editorial about developing an Availability Guide—which, as it turns out, is something people would really like to see. I’m not ready to name names and do introductions yet, but it looks like we’ll have at least two top-level developers join the initiative to achieve it. I may get an initial version of the new supplement into production soon, just to help us focus on how to improve it. Theories and discussion are great. Action is better.
    If you do the math, the Availability Guide only accounts for two of the five people I mentioned above. It all sort of twines back into SPA redevelopment, but here’s story #2. I’m driving down the road one day and spot a sign in a driveway. It’s for a music recording studio, like ten minutes from my house. So, I write down the name, look it up online later, and send the owner/operator an email. Basically say, ‘hi, I’m Ian, I happen to run this here international magazine. Would you have any interest in having people you record be featured?’ I mean, music is a side of things we’ve been touching on and dancing around for a while; getting an Indy studio involved seems like a no-brainer. And so, very soon, we’ll have an interview with the studio set up and, Cristie Hine, who runs it, will be joining the magazine to write articles and otherwise work with us to expand on the crossover audience-building opportunities.
    Meanwhile! It’s come to my attention that a local arts association has a class they run on making zines at the local library. And so, another e-mail introduction later… and hopefully soon, I will be helping teach such, and hopefully be able to attract some of them to work with the magazine, finally developing that layouts team I’ve been wanting to develop since Jay left us to open a tattoo shop.
    Which just goes to show how horribly disjointed small press has really become, and how social media fails to really connect outside your own circles. How does a class on making zines get started up in a small town like the one I live in, and I have no clue? Simple. We don’t have a real network guide that can be pointed to, where everyone says, that’s where we all meet. We have to get small to get big, get all of these local scenes connected into a network setting where we can set up real resources that can give fans, hobby-level publishers, and pro want-to-be level publishers, the ability to learn what they need to know. Like where ALL the places that carry ANY indy stuff are. If only there were an Availability Guide. Hmmm, so there you go. Folks, I say it all the time: I can’t do this all by myself. So cool, now I’ve got five people to talk to about making things better. Problem is, knowing the big picture the way I do, I know five is not enough. It’s going to take all of us, pulling together.
     How do we get there? Well, there is a clear and well defined first step. Go to the Indyfest website…click the register spot in the top/left…and get your profile started. It’s really that simple.


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