Those egotistical diskmag editors
I guess being a diskmag editor is a lot like a road sweeper. You are often unseen, unrewarded and often misunderstood. They have the unenviable task of cleaning up after lots of messy people who simply drop their ASCII litter into a pile and expect to witness a near perfect diskmag a few days later...
Correction or corruption?
One of the most difficult tasks for an editor is knowing when and when-not to edit some text. For most non-editors there is a great temptation to change a word here, a line there, rearrange paragraphs and generally transform an article into a completely different thing, something far, far away from the original writer's article. After all, this is what an diskmag editor should do, isn't it?
The scene and coding documentation has always 'suffered' from spelling and grammatical errors. Abbreviations, jargon and abstract concepts which in most other types of journalism would rarely be allowed, are accepted and encouraged in diskmags. The use of smiley faces is a good example of how scene articles differ from non-scene ones. This means an editor has a tough choice, should he/she go for a more correct, 'professional' approach and try to correct every single problem, typing error and spelling mistake, OR, should he/she accept small errors and keep the original feel of the article?
God or gimp?
This is another dilemma which faces diskmag editors. If the editor doesn't have a philosophy, a mission or (to some people) a huge ego and tries to impose their style on the articles then some readers will attack the mag for lacking any 'soul', any style and anything which helps to make it stand out from the rest (i.e. 'just' another average diskmag). But suppose an editor has a strong personality, a powerful wish to shape the mag into their vision of what it should be, to become a 'tyrant' (or 'prophet' hehe). Then many people will attack the editor for stifling creativity and the freedom of the writers. Thankfully most/all diskmags have a NO censorship policy which, IMHO, is one of the most important aspects of a diskmag. A good editor is one who knows how little correction should take place.
Dictator or Dummy?
After a certain HugiNews I saw lots of people attack Adok, but why? To this day I still don't understand the reason(s). From my communications with the real driving force behind Hugi I have always found him to be thought provoking, helpful, even tempered and above all else approaching each subject with a neutral/different point of view. All the characteristics which I think diskmag editors need. I know some of his comments have been misunderstood, perhaps this is like he said, due to his lack of :) symbols in his articles. Communication is a dangerous tool, especially when a misunderstanding is quickly blown out of proportion, wars start this way, don't they?
As Adok is such a well known (and well liked/disliked) person this makes him, like most other famous people, an easy target for attack. The Hugi diskmag has also been the target for criticism and rightly so, if anyone has a gripe with someone/something then they should be allowed to voice their views. Those 8 magic letters 'F-E-E-D-B-A-C-K' has always been welcomed part of Hugi and other diskmags, without how can things improve?
Without us, you are nothing...
This could be a common insult used against a diskmag editor. Without the writers there would be no articles to edit. But it's also true the opposite way around; without editors who would publish your articles? It's kinda like Greenpeace complaining about all the trees being cut down, but without them they wouldn't have any paper to print their 'save the planet' messages on (an egg and chicken kinda thing). Some people in the scene need to admit that they can live side-by-side with others even if they don't share the same views. Who knows, one day they might realise that without these diverse characters, these egotistical Gods/gimps/goofballs the scene would be filled with boring accountants, all nodding their heads in unison, all having the same idea, using the same words and creating the same productions.
The scene is dying...
This is a rather subjective state. I guess for long-term sceners it may sometimes appear this way, but for newbies the scene is a great new adventure filled with new 'stuff'. Of course it also depends what kinda mood you are in. If things are going well, then the scene looking bright and shiny, birds are singing etc.. and if things are going badly then the scene is coughing up blood and the reaper is tapping on the door...
Editors have a difficult task, they need to remain unbiased, neutral to the scene, to take an outsider-looking-in point of view, and yet they need to be active in the scene in order to fully understand and be respected within it. Love them or loathe them, they are a valued part of your precious scene. When was the last time a group (for example "LEGO TIRE PU") managed to produce 19 productions which each had close to 2 megs of text in them? Which groups have managed to organize a great number of news items, reply to feedback, put together material from all around the world from upto 50 or more individuals and still manage to form a coherent piece of work at the end of it? And which groups have manged to do this regularly every 2...4 months?
Yes, diskmag editors!
So please, support the scene, support diskmags and support the staff involved for bringing you hours of audio/visual enjoyment over such a long period of time.
If you still think the scene is dying, then consider helping a newbie, try doing something you have never tried before, coding, drawing, tracking or writing and you may discover a new enthusiasm for your favourite old scene.
I would like to send a big THANK-YOU out to all those editors, musicians, coders and artists who continue to make enjoyable diskmags. Without you I wonder how many great productions would have remained undiscovered, how many people would have given up or would have never been as motivated to push themselves into producing better quality productions. Diskmags provide an easy way into the demoscene, a portal to the world of creativity with all forms of expression being a form of art in its own way.
So whatever your Muse...
stay active, stay happy!!!