Future of the Hugi Magazine
Hugi is a diskmag. Diskmags are a really great type of magazine. They can be easily distributed for free and quickly be spread all over the world via the Internet; there's no need to print them and deliver them via snail mail. They can be downloaded and read offline; there's no need to stay online and pay phone fees for longer than what the download takes. They can even be printed if you prefer it this way; there's no need to read them on screen.
What makes diskmags such as Hugi unique is that they are embedded in their own custom, coded multimedia interfaces, with graphics and even music designed specifically for them. In case you do not like that, the Hugi engine enables you to save the articles as HTML files and view them using any program of your choice.
Diskmags seem to be much richer of useful and interesting features than any other medium based on written text.
However, there is one thing diskmags do not have. It's interaction.
When you read an article and have an opinion about it, you are free to contact its original author or the Hugi staff. You may discuss the matter with them via email. This will be more or less a kind of private discussion limited to a small number of participants.
You may also write a reply article for the next issue of Hugi. You may even include the discussions you had via email in that article so that more than just the few people involved will learn the arguments of all the parties. This will also enable other people to post their remarks and take part in the debate. However, they will have to wait for the issue of Hugi in which your reply will be published.
Perhaps you have written the reply on the very day a particular Hugi issue was released, right after downloading it. Nonetheless you will have to wait for the next issue until other people will be able to read your comments. This will certainly not be less than three months. If you have bad luck, it will even be more, up to twice as long.
A solution for this may be to publish your comments on a special page of your personal website (or blog), or perhaps post them to an appropriate forum such as comp.sys.ibm.pc.demos or pouet.net. This is a good solution. The only snag to it is that there is no link from the article inside Hugi to the place where comments on it (will) have been dropped. As a consequence, by far not every reader of the article will also learn about other people's opinions on it.
This is one of the reasons why we inside Hugi Core & Royal Family are currently discussing the idea of making Hugi an online magazine in the future. There will be a discussion board for every single article, just like it is at slashdot.org, for example. Thus people will be able to immediately drop their feedback, and others will be enabled to comment on it.
The fact that public discussion seems to be important (not only) for sceners is best demonstrated by the example of pouet.net. Just take a look at how popular this site is and how much activity there is. Compare it with the relatively low number of articles diskmags receive per issue. It is not that people do not have ideas or opinions, it is just that for some reason most of them do not write articles. But if they have the opportunity to make statements in a discussion board, they will make use of it. And thus they will inspire each other, and then there may be some interesting new ideas that might be worth writing a real article about.
Another reason for making Hugi an online magazine is that it allows us to update it whenever there is something interesting to report about. This is not possible with a diskmag. There has been the idea of adding a new article once every 2 or 3 days. Of course this ambitious plan requires that you keep on submitting enough articles.
Even if the idea of making Hugi an online magazine will materialize, I want to keep up the diskmag tradition. I am planning to collect all the articles published over a certain period and when there are enough of them, and if they are balanced content-wise, I will create a new diskmag issue of Hugi. This will also serve as an archive, for the articles will be deleted from the web server and will survive only inside the diskmag issues.
Publishing Hugi as an online magazine will also make it easier to access for new readers who have never read a diskmag. Diskmags have a great disadvantage in this respect: As they are executables, some people are reluctant to download them because they are afraid of the chance that their PCs might get infected by unknown viruses. This threat does not exist with an online magazine.
If Hugi gains new readers, both their horizons and the horizon of the magazine will expand. And the scene will also profit of it as it will get new fans and supporters.