Within two weeks Project Incredibleness will be unveiled. What is Project Incredibleness? It’s a secret, kind of. Stop asking.
In other news, I’m going to be making more of an effort to update this site in the future and will be attempting to write something for it every Wednesday, even if it’s just a round-up of other stuff. I’d love to write original content here, but right now I’ve got to focus all my efforts on Project Incredibleness. Stop asking.
With that in mind, there’s not a lot more to say right now, so I’ll jump straight to the links and leave it at that. Are hints as to the nature of Project Incredibleness embedded in these links? Yes, actually.
The Minecraft feature above was an interesting article to work on, actually. Firstly, it’s the most openly creative thing I’ve written for the site in a long while (it takes the form of a holiday letter, with screenshots as photos), which helped wipe away the feel of the grind away from my work. Secondly, I came up with the idea as a way to work more closely with Custom PC’s art editor. One of the weaknesses I’ve noticed affecting all major print publishers that move online is that they often don’t harness the strengths of a print production schedule. Sub-editors and art editors tend not to move across to work on sites, as their time is spent working on magazines. Thus, sites grow without people in these roles. It’s something Dennis has been less guilty of than some other publishers I’ve worked with, but it’s still a very dangerous precedent.
That’s not a criticism at all though; I’m not even saying that it’s a problem, let alone one that needs to be solved. It is merely something I wanted to explore, given that it’s as much a limitation of the online model as it is anything else. Magazines require teams of people working together, each with specific areas of expertise. Sites require individuals with a broader range of skills. It’s far more useful for a site to have a writer who can use Photoshop competently than it is to have two dedicated employees, generally speaking. It’s also much more common to find that combination than it is to find a writer who is skilled with InDesign and knows the various associated software packages. The reverse is true of magazines though, where you need people with dedicated specialities to prevent bottlenecks occurring in the endless cycle of edits and proofs.
Anyway, the Minecraft feature was my attempt to explore that issue. The above is as much what I learned as it is what I wanted to solve. One of the many things I like about our art editor is how open he is to working on something new.
Expert Reviews’ editor (and one-time Bit-tech editor, as well as my mentor) Tim Smalley left Dennis Publishing recently to work on new projects. I’m not going to post anything soppy here, but Tim was a great boss for the many years he worked with me. He taught me a lot about how to be a half-way decent journalist and was an exemplar of the idea that it’s better to do something right than first – a philosophy that runs in the face of most ‘journalism’. Good luck to him in the future.