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Author Topic: Thinking about starting an Arduino magazine  (Read 2836 times)
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Phoenix, Arizona USA
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You get me wrong - I know there are much others out there. But I want to make a free, downloadable, community-made magazine. Not really like a magazine, but more like, ehm, let's call it an e-magazine

If done right, it's maybe a possibility; if I am understanding you right, you're aim is perhaps something like the various QuickBASIC communities that are/were out there - some even had small "e-magazines" with contributions and such. If its just a hobby project and small - something for fun, I can see it being a "one-man" operation, perhaps growing to a vibrant community; but if it grows too popular too quickly, that could kill it just as quick as if it remained small - simply because you can't scale it yourself. Now, maybe if you built things right so you can track this information, you could then use it to build a case for investment and such - but I would write that business plan right now, and have it on hand should that occur. Because if it hits off big quickly, you're going to want to have or get cash-in-hand quickly to hire that web shop (or hire your own in-house team - which I wouldn't reccommend - you need to have focus on the magazine, not on the coding - if this happens) to build you a slick site. You won't want to dilly-dally around trying to write a business plan as your userbase and homebrew site teeters under the load. I've seen this happen to sites, too.

What would be nice, though - is if you can somehow get your community to write and submit articles (good articles), and have them compiled into a downloadable PDF each month. I can envision a site where there's a forum, plus each member has a profile page where they can "blog" - then you have other members rate blogged articles monthly, and top 10 (or whatever) get a slot in the magazine at the end. There would still be a fair amount of design and layout work needed as the "deadline" rolled around, but most of it could probably be taken care of by the website design itself...

Hmm - I could see such a site being interesting - and the magazine being more so; the only issue is that the site and magazine is for beginners - but you need someone at the beginning who is -not- a beginner to "prime the pump", so to speak - otherwise you could get into a "blind-leading-the-blind" debacle with your magazine - with articles that show projects that either don't work, have bad explanations, or unsafe practices - and no one would know differently...
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Left Coast, CA (USA)
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Will you be able to use the name 'Arduino' in the title of your product, or will you have to secure permission first?

Lefty

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I think the Arduino failed to get registered status because is is simply a name of a person, it's like trying to register a "Peter".
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I'd definitely implement torrent distribution, hackers and geeks know what a torrent is, and how to use it (allow regular downloads too of course, but give the option of torrenting it)
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If I was being mean I'd say it's called Hackaday and Make Magazine smiley-grin
Seriously.  There already exist quite a few magazines that cover the target market, and are usually pretty hungry for well-written articles.  Which they'll pay for.  Once you've start getting a bunch of people complaining that their articles are getting rejected by Nuts and Volts, Make, Microcomputer Journal, and etc because they have "too many arduino articles", THEN it'll be time for a separate magazine.
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You're talking about static websites. As a hobby PHP developer, I must admit cr0sh is right. My dad is setting up a webshop, and the company that is going to build it asks €6.500.
For a system that I am aiming to, $20.000 seems reasonable. However, as I don't have that much money, I'll develop it myself (I have already written some classes of it, just to maintain my PHP skills).
I bet with the number of people on here talking about this we easily have the skills to whip up a decent website.

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I think the Arduino failed to get registered status because is is simply a name of a person, it's like trying to register a "Peter".
That was a long time ago.
Arduino is now a registered Trademark in the EU and US so it can't be used in the name of something.

I'd suggest that keeping it more open to include projects from similar microcontrollers wouldn't be such a bad idea either, ATtiny chips, projects on wiring boards etc. A magazine for arduino folk need not just be on arduino boards or arduino hardware as many people use home made boards and don't use the IDE but theie projects still turn up on the forum or online as an 'arudino project' due to the nature of it probably using the arduino bootloader on an ATmega chip.

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Seriously.  There already exist quite a few magazines that cover the target market, and are usually pretty hungry for well-written articles.  Which they'll pay for.  Once you've start getting a bunch of people complaining that their articles are getting rejected by Nuts and Volts, Make, Microcomputer Journal, and etc because they have "too many arduino articles", THEN it'll be time for a separate magazine.
Yep
If you look around, there are an awful lot of magazines/websites around to satisfy people's hunger for arduino projects.

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Seriously.  There already exist quite a few magazines that cover the target market, and are usually pretty hungry for well-written articles.  Which they'll pay for.  Once you've start getting a bunch of people complaining that their articles are getting rejected by Nuts and Volts, Make, Microcomputer Journal, and etc because they have "too many arduino articles", THEN it'll be time for a separate magazine.
Yep
If you look around, there are an awful lot of magazines/websites around to satisfy people's hunger for arduino projects.

There are 44 653 Arduino forum members. That are 44653 people who found the way to the forum. In 2010, the point of 130 000 sold arduinos was reached (with clones, it would be at least two times that, I suspect). Is this market saturized? I didn't think so. I also believe in it being free.
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Now that Google is using Arduino too, that will bring in more folks looking .
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As a counter-example, there is "element 14", a professional vendor-run electronics forum, that recently funded and ran a series of Arduino tutorial videos.  They've had under 100 views each...

http://www.element14.com/community/groups/arduino?view=video

(I don't know how good they are.  I didn't watch them.  It seems to be really difficult to hit the sweet spot between "don't explain stuff I already know" and "well, that's all over my head anyway."
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With electronic media it's easy to deal with that

With Youtube videos you can add a button: Click this to skip to after the part where I explain what a resistor is and what it does

With PDFs you can add links to ... well, that...
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What would be nice, though - is if you can somehow get your community to write and submit articles (good articles), and have them compiled into a downloadable PDF each month. I can envision a site where there's a forum, plus each member has a profile page where they can "blog" - then you have other members rate blogged articles monthly, and top 10 (or whatever) get a slot in the magazine at the end. There would still be a fair amount of design and layout work needed as the "deadline" rolled around, but most of it could probably be taken care of by the website design itself...

I think this is the most likely idea.  It's fairly straight forward to set up a decent blog site given the how good the various blog engines are, and it'd be cheap too. 
Get that going with a decent number of articles and good community support (thus making it clear which are the most popular articles) then launch the mag.  Change it so the front page of the site is all about the mag, have the blog as a secondary think (bit like the forum here).  With a bit of luck readership would be far in excess of active blog members but the blog would still be healthy.

You could start of with a newsletter rather than a magazine, highlighting the best of the blog, best external links and maybe letters to the editor.
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