What’s in an Idea?

What all goes into an idea?

Well, our Idea consisted of:

  • 3 core team members
  • Over 30 contributors
  • 21 logos
  • 24 interviews
  • 20MB of production files
  • 6 digital formats
  • Over 150 images, icons, logos, illustrations and photos
  • Upwards of 15 frameworks evaluated
  • Hundreds of emails, Twitter DMs, text messages and phone call
  • Less than 20 in-person meetings
  • Some Macs, a couple of PCs, some iPhones, a few iPads and a Windows Phone 7
  • A handful of messy, convoluted platforms & workflows

And I’m not going to try to think about the collective hours. There are only so many hours in a day, and we all have full-time jobs and families. It was definitely a labour of love.

Cover Issue1

Cover Issue 1

Launching Idea Magazine was tough. I’ve been dreaming of creating Idea for years. On one hand, I just wanted to kick it out the door. On the other hand, I would have killed for another couple of weeks to make more fixes, edits, changes, revisions. But at some point you have to ship.

In the last year, I’ve learned a lot about digital publishing and creating an environment that both accommodates and enhances reading experiences. I’ve learned there are a lot of religious wars about reading formats, but that there isn’t “The One Best Way.” Mostly, though, I’ve learned how difficult it is to build, reformat and distribute these publications. I’ve watched as people struggle with CMS after CMS, built to publish but not built FOR the people who are publishing.

This can be better.

Stewart Curry, the incredibly talented designer that I somehow convinced to work on Idea with me, saw these same problems. As we worked together on building the platform for Idea, we realized we were going to need a system and that the method we were using was unsustainable. We decided to take some time to build a platform not just for Idea, but for other publications who are struggling with similar issues of usability, functionality and sustainability. We’re calling it WOOPIE, for Write Only Once, Publish It Everywhere. I’m going to take a much-needed break between now and the new year, and when I come back I’ll be focusing on that.

Making Idea come to life after thinking about it and believing in it for the last few years is honestly a dream come true. Building a platform to enable other people create something like this for their own communities is an amazing opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started.

[Oh, and yes, Tuesday Newsday will resume next week.]

One Comment

  1. I really enjoyed the first issue Martha. You and the team can be very proud of the work you’ve done. I look forward to seeing the effort continue!

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