My friend Ulrike Reinhard has just released the first issue of WE Magazine, a fascinating labor of love that explores issues of collaboration and identity, while challenging the notion of what consitutes a magazine. WE is available for purchase or download via Lulu.com, but all the content is available online under a creative commons share-alike license.
Ulrike explains that this release is the preview of a quarterly magazine, focused on the idea of understanding what “we” means in the age of the internet, and what “we” are capable of, collaborating, competing, sharing and creating in different ways. The project was sparked by an observation from Henry Jenkins, commenting that YouTube really needs to be considered as WeTube, a place that isn’t just about individual creators but about the communities that lead to creation.
I’m working my way through the interviews in the magazine, which often include videos as well as transcripts with thinkers like Joi Ito, Dan Gillmor and Sugata Mitra. Ulrike was kind enough to interview me for the magazine about Global Voices while I was still recovering from eye surgery – if you’re interested in watching an interview with me as I squint uncomfortably, please check it out. But make sure you check out the whole thing – I think WE is onto something, and I think it’s great that they’re sharing their thinking with the whole web, customers and browsers alike.
I would have left this comment on the WE magazine site, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to comment on articles. Being Indian myself, I followed the Sugata Mitra article first, and I have to say that he has managed to overgeneralise, mischaracterise, and broadly insult Indians from across the country. Personally, I am appalled that they’d publish an article of this sort.
Sadly, I have to agree with Ashwin’s negative first reaction to WE. A quick flip through made it seem more like a kind of expanded multi-media blogroll of a small group of buddies than a magazine. But having cool friends doing interesting thing does not equal being inclusive or representative. (separate question whether inclusive is what makes good media, but inclusive is what they’re self-proclaiming) and as Ashwin’s comment makes clear it’s not a recipe for quality journalism either.
I hope the enthusiastic folks at WE, who obviously have lots of good energy and intentions, will a) walk the walk about getting input from their audience (no comments? are they kidding?) and b) work a little harder to figure out who their audience is and what they might want.
@Ashwin + @Persephone Miel
Thanks for your good note!
Not allowing comments on http://www.we-magazine.net was just through an oversight. Comments were enabled on the “home”-blog, but not on single pages. Sorry for that!
Comments are switched on now and should be enabled for everyone on every page and article.
Maybe you give us a second chance discussing your feedback and critics over there? We would love to do so…