for Diskmag Editors
Creating a successful Disk-Magazine is a difficult task. One has
to obey a lot of rules to build up a steady team of supporters
and to keep them motivated. In this Article the boring Crew
gives an insight into their most important rules. Unfortunately
there was not a single release of their Diskmag yet, but they
are confident there will be lots of them in the not so distant
future. Alone1 told us he held all his issues back to create a
release flood to sweep the market clean of any other magazine.
He also mentioned something about that traitor "Sammy Joe" who
stole the original "Maggie" concept from T.B.C. Concerning to
him, all Maggie issues were done by T.B.C. and Sammy Joe just
ripped them and changed the credits.
Alive: Can you name some general rules which should be obeyed to
make a disk magazine release a success event?
Xbore: It's probably the best if you don't have ANY idea about
the platform(s) the mag stands for. You can act freely and can't
be bothered to stick to the usual constricts of the platform.
Why not try to use ZX Spectrum hardware sprite effects on the
Alone1: Yeah, and it's a very charming style if you mix up all
kinds of technical expressions with each other. This way you
really show you are an expert.
Alive: What do you think about schedules and deadlines?
Alone1: First of all, never announce any deadline in public,
believe in people's feeling for the right time instead. We
didn't announce any deadline for our magazine in the past, and
look at where we are now.
xBore: Well, if you feel the urgent need to spread a deadline,
make sure to move it in most erratic ways at unexpected times.
This adds a lot more thrill to the creation process.
DaFool: If you want to handle deadlines really effective,
announce a deadline in public, miss it and issue a furious press
release denouncing everyone except you.
Alive: How do you coordinate Article topics and other essentials
of a disk magazine?
xBore: Don't try to coordinate article topics or styles, believe
in the mystical self organising powers of the universe,
morphogenetic fields will lead your way and help you to produce
another outstanding issue of your magazine.
Alone1: Yes, I completely agree with xBore on that. Just
magically expect menu graphics, tunes, and intro's to turn up
without asking for them.
DaFool: If you try to coordinate topics, make sure to assign the
same topic to several people without them knowing about each
other, this way you get a most complete view on the concerned
topics and a very unique style for your magazine in one go. In
fact the magazine will become art throughout the process, like
those Monroe pictures from Dandy Warhol. Each view shows
Alive: It seems you have a rather unique way to coordinate your
topics, where do you get your content ideas from?
Alone1: That's pretty easy. Just download articles from Slashdot
and put them on the magazine and mark the real articles as
XBore: What I usually do is to put all my articles into a Wiki
and allow anyone to change them at any time. After a few weeks
you have really rambling articles depending on what you wrote
Alive: During your research you surely stumble about lots of
secrets and information which is not supposed to be shown to the
public, how do you handle that?
DaFool: If someone tells you something in private, make sure it
will be on next issues front page in HUGE letters. Make sure
that privacy is just an illusion. This will build a castle of
trust around you and will also encourage others to spill their
guts on you.
xBore: Exactly, the public has a right to know anything about
everyone. Sooner or later it will be out anyway, so why not
unveil it directly and earn the fame for it?
Alive: How do you handle your team-coordination? Is there
something like a team-meeting or similar events?
Alone1: We usually announce Team meetings and miss them, if you
don't attend them it will help to build up the myth around your
Alive: What else can you do to motivate your team?
DaFool: It's also a good idea to idolise contributors who write
rambling and annoying articles, this is sometimes known as the
"Adok - EP rule"!
Alive: Since there are no secrets to be kept, what is your
secret for achieving a unique editorial and article style?
Alone1: Favour a "It's you alone and angry against the world"
editorial style, like Moondog did, in his 'teen' UCM issues ;-)
xBore: When editing other people's articles make sure to add
lots of typos and grammatical errors, since the readers and
especially the authors will simple love it 'coz it add a very
personal touch. Never fail at this point and you will build an
army of steady supporters for sure.
DaFool: Make sure to add embarrassing comments to otherwise
perfectly done articles, so they won't stand out from the rest
too much. Again the original author will love you for this,
since you help him to blend into the background more perfectly.
Alone1: Not to forget, if an article still stands out from the
rest get a babelfish polish, czech, english translation done on
it, this should teach those pricks not to overdo it.
Alive: One of our main problems was always the shell, how do you
handle your own shell coding?
Alone1: When changing the shell code, never make any backups.
That's for pussies. Real coders don't rely on backups but on
their genius. When you got no clue what's wrong ask Cosmo or
Alone1 to help with the code. If it crashes, that's will just
add more suspense and thrill to reading the articles.
xBore: I strongly advise you to never work on the shell code
before everything else is finished, this way you will keep
yourself motivated to finish the h@ck sooner or later.
DaFool: Make sure that your shell is fussy about which screen
mode it starts in. Keep it strictly ST rez for a Falcon release,
or better still, a Falcon screen mode for an ST version! Or just
use some odd screen mode nobody can display :)
xBore: Black is beautiful, you can't go wrong with it. So how
about releasing a black 'zine shell, with black menu graphics on
a black background, and when you click a black control button to
do something, it lights up in black to tell you it's done it!
Alive: Ah well that's some astonishing ideas you present here,
is there something else you might want to tell us about the
final assembly of the magazine?
Alone1: When putting the magazine together, always forget to
include some contributions. That will keep the tension of your
authors which is never bad in general.
Alive: Erm, I guess so :), what can you guys tell us about the
Alone1: Offer the the magazine only with some odd packing and
splitting format which nobody knows shit about and don't tell
anybody how to unpack and join it, just state that everybody who
can't manage to accomplish that is a lamer and teh suxx0r
xBore: Yeah Alone1 is right about that. In addition I'd suggest
to always Password protect the magazine shell, 'cause it's not
for lamerZ, only 1337 dudes should be able to read it. Don't
give out the password, expect someone to crack it instead!
DaFool: And finally, after packing, open up a hex editor and
corrupt the final archive not without blaming it on the servers,
your ISP or the NSA.
Alive: After release is before release, so what can you tell us
about your post release stunts?
xBore: After publishing an issue go public that the whole
magazine disgusts you and that it's the last time you'll edit it
also, do publicity stunts like "the magazine is dead you all
suxx0r" or likewise.
DaFool: Always tell some people "in private" you are going to
kill yourself soon, but don't determine the date too exactly.
This will make people write positive feedback to cheer you up,
hmmm well perhaps not...
Alive: What else can be done to increase the popularity of your
Alone1: Wildly announce lots of compos, with tons of prizes.
However either never announce any compo results or winners or
just make all prices go to yourself.
xBore: Never release anything but announce a lot. This way you
always keep the rumours going. We call it the "Cosmo-rule".
Alive: Thanks for all these insights.
Alive Team for Alive, 2006-06-15