Thursday, January 17, 2008

Travel Reading

Earlier this week, I received the prototype issue of a new magazine planned by 8020 Publishing, the San Francisco-based business behind JPG Magazine. Titled Everywhere, the magazine's tagline is "Travel is all around you," and that seems to be a solid theme throughout: Place matters.

This prototype issue is edited by one Todd Lappin, the man behind Telstar Logistics, a member of the Well, and one-time editor at Business 2.0 and Wired. The man's got cred!

I had some time to spend with the magazine this evening, and it's an interesting read. Like Monocle, they map their content in the front of the book so you can pick your bits geographically if so inclined. But otherwise, all places are roughly equal to another, and there's a heavy international angle. The magazine's about finding yourself places, and what it means -- and how it feels -- to find yourself there. It's not travel how to, and it's not adventure travel. It's more like being travel. Wherever you are, there you go. Do, be, do, be, do.

My favorite items included pieces on old postcards and re-photography, the Postcards section (akin to JPG somewhat), the "Tokyo People Watching" article and accompanying guide to street food lanterns, the "Geeky Tucson" and "Tumbleweed Tucson" companion pieces, the Dan Gillmor gear bag roundup, and the mention of the Point It book (I agree; it's a necessity.).

Given Everywhere's relationship to JPG, it's little surprise the mag is as photo heavy as it is. That's not a bad thing, necessarily, but it would be neat to get some more writing in there. And maybe even some more resource listings. The blog mentions are OK, but it'd be good to highlight some of the Yelp-style hotspots in some of the locations, if possible.

Still, I'm a growing fan of 8020's Web-meets-print community publishing model, and if JPG and Everywhere are at all successful, the model is highly extensible. Not to encourage them to spread themselves too thin too soon, but picture, if you will, similarly styled periodicals on cooking, parenting, and other lifestyle-oriented themes. Pretty cool possibilities!

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