Saturday, February 16, 2008

Slow Publishing - Part 3

in case you haven't heard, as part of our slow publishing debate, we've decided to suspend publication of Relevant Times in order to better practice what we preach - although i wouldn't say our general message or method of conveying it is preachy.

while jen and i feel strongly that print is NOT ready to die, when we carefully weighed out and examined all the pros and cons of how sustainable the print facet really is, it just can't win.

so far, everyone we've told and talked to about it is very disappointed. we're trying to keep a positive attitude about it all, but there is no denying that it is a tough decision and whether it is permanent or not, it will change things dramatically.

we are still working through alternative options that may be a more sustainable way to be in ink and get the word out to those who aren't all-digital yet, which is really probably 90% of the population.

maybe we need to do this to prove a point or maybe it is just that the print industry is sliding down the hill into history and it is the wrong time to start what has traditionally been a very difficult, environmentally costly, and expensive (not so sustainable) media venue.

look, we're about practical sustainability. there is nothing practical or sustainable about printing a bi-monthly magazine! while environmental concerns are a huge factor, money comes into play for anyone who is considering practical sustainability.

if we had a huge sustaining supply of money, we could print on the highest quality post-consumer recycled paper using all the least harmful processes now available, using a local printer, distributing the magazine using a fleet of hybrid and/or biodiesel vans.

as it turns out, passion isn't enough to produce those things. investors are interested, but shy in the current economic climate and not quick enough to act to make these things happen. anyone in magazine publishing knows that sales wouldn't be enough to carry even a traditionally produced magazine for a period of 3 - 5 years, let alone one that is done with the more costly sustainable practices as a priority.

so, we're doing what we do well - getting creative with what we have. i think that is a sustainable attribute jen and i both carry rather naturally.

we do have these wonderful electronic platforms and we're not afraid to use them! so watch out world. we may be sad because we don't have a beautiful color magazine in our hands today, but all is not lost and with your help, we will find ways to help communicate the news and resources everyone's come to use and enjoy from the print side.

i declare that print is NOT dead . . . is is just in a coma until we can find better, more sustainable ways to produce the printed word!

please let us know your thoughts.



Anna said...

It was sad to read this article since RT is such a fixture in the whole foods. Here are some ideas:

Have you considered speaking with Marcal, the toliet paper people in NJ. Perhaps you could team up with them to help you to get a good source of reycled paper for cheaper and have your newsletters delivered to some of the places they deliver their toliet paper in NJ. This would cut down on the amount of carbon footprint by combining services. Marcal does not sell in the health food stores but some stores that they do sell would be helpful to your business.

Marcal has been doing this so long. They may be able to help. Good PR for them too.

If Marcal is not the answer, there are other eco-friendly products that are made in NJ (applegate) who could help to deliver too. Just some ideas.

Another format is using Ideal Bite's concept of emailing newletters. I think the world is more email driven then you think. RSS, twitter, etc may be beyond people. Anna

Meg & Jen said...

i'm SOOOOOOO thrilled that someone read this and responded! thank you!!!! yes, we are sad and we appreciate your kind thoughts and support. Marcal actually just sold the company. i've been talking with their new marketing director on another project, but it is an awesome idea.

we are indeed doing a weekly eNews Update, which will probably go out twice per week - once for radio show info., and one for more general updates and our 'fresh ideas from the green divas', which includes recipes. we are true foodies! it is free, so please sign up! from blog or website now.

we do have a couple of things cooking including a syndicated column that should hopefully start showing up in all kinds of printed pages.

thanks again for writing us Anna!

I just saw your URL from your comment and i am connected dots. i LOVE your blog. really good work.

Let's keep communicating. i'm sure we can help each other.

i think i already put you on our 'friends' list.