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Aug 27, 2003: Keeping Up with the Best New Stuff

A couple months ago, still new to the iPod, I naively asked you loyal Bloug readers to tell me how you learned about new music.

Wow. Ask and ye shall receive. Over 20 thoughtful responses at last count. Folks, there is plenty to chew on here, and I've only just begun sampling your advice. Thank you very much.

But I read too. I like various varieties of art. I watch the boob tube on occasion. I even understand that there are other interesting media out there. And I want to learn more about the new, cool stuff in all of them.

So what about this idea: we grapple with a number of variations on the "how do you keep up with...?" question right here on Bloug?

I envision an informal series where we share our Internet-Age tips on learning about new fiction, blogs, poetry, recipes... Whatever the medium or genre, to goal would be to suss out techniques simply for keeping up.

Maybe some enterprising sort could gather these together into a useful series of edited guides or even a book (not me; too busy). Well, that's getting ahead of the game; first, let's get started with something new:

What are the best ways to learn about new magazines? There are a zillion out there, and new ones all the time. Even in with limited shelf space, Borders blows me away with its selection, and yet there are clearly many more out there. So how do you find out about magazines?

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Comment: Brenda (Aug 27, 2003)

Fortunately for me (or unfortunately) the few magazines I subscribe to tend to sell my name to like-minded publications. So one cool mag leads to the next, and so on, and so on...

But the chain usually originates with browsing at Border's, or a recommendation from a friend. That's how I found my all-time favorite mag, Bust (http://www.bust.com)-- a recommendation from a friend who thought I'd like it.

Comment: Jon Magliola (Aug 27, 2003)

Well, something tells me this thread will fastly become one of them; places to find out about cool mags. But usually, it's thru friends (that know about such things), and blogs (that know about such things).

Here's my latest turn-on: My girlfriend, a voracious, unstoppable reader, recommended "Believer". She was very right. And the site aint too shabby either, with a novel "Idea Share" section: http://believermag.com/ideashare/index.htm

Comment: vanderwal (Aug 27, 2003)

I see what people are reading on the train to and from work. I also examine Amazon's magazine subscriptions. I spend time at the local Barnes and Noble and Borders, but lately I often find our local Tower Records has new mags that pique my interest.

I have weaned off some of my subscriptions, but need to add the http://www.economist.com back into the fray as there is nothing that is as broad and well written. I often find keys to solutions in reading things outside the topic areas that are needing solutions.

I have a thing for tech (programming types, XML, Java, sysadmin, linux), Mac-centric, cooking, pop-lit (New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly), design mags (currently CA, How, and Step, but looking for an e-design replacement), finance and business (fortune and money), and home remodel magazines.

I often get invites to new magazines to try for a year for free. Sometimes I take them up. Business 2.0 was the last one I accepted and kept. I tried Darwin, but it was not too hot the first four issues, which is all I got free to start. I really want to see Dad Mag from Britain.

Comment: Livia Labate (Aug 27, 2003)

I often notice how magazines are advertised online and always wonder if people really subscribe. Even though I am not a huge fan of print mags, I always feel inclined to subscribe when I see them online (probably because the ads accompany Web sites with content I am already faithful to), but I often have to stop half way through the subscription forms because they (the ones I chose at least) are not delivered abroad (outside North America or Europe) - and they don't tell you that upfront in some cases. Funny that... But I'd definitely identify friends' suggestions and my favourite Web sites as the source of my subscription intents. Interestingly, the magazines I DO subscribe to are all local (Brazil) and all of their content is fully accessible online (which is great if you use them for research).

Comment: ML (Aug 28, 2003)

Keeping up with stuff...

Just from following some folks in the blog sphere I learn so much about new print stuff that aren't already on my radar screen. I also attend many conferences that are non-academic and boy do i end up getting many free subscriptions within 6 months of the conference. Also at work we have a magazine rack where people share like crazy. I also enjoy hanging out at the campus bookstore.

Comment: Paul Nattress (Aug 28, 2003)

I get attracted by certain articles advertised on the cover of magazines and buy an issue. If it's a good all-round read then I'll buy some more but if not then I tend to avoid that mag (even if something on the cover catches my eye again).

It takes time to find a mag that speaks with a voice that you can relate to. You can buy several mags before hitting on the right one.

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