Come chill out with MeFi Mag#5 August 5, 2011 6:23 AM   Subscribe

New month, new MeFi Mag! Read on for more about this and upcoming issues and deadlines.

The theme of this issue is cool. Inside we explore what that means, including cortex's story about being uncool in middle school; the science and technique of getting down to absolute zero courtesy of Springload; Potomac Avenue writes about how cool, yet warm, several punk albums are; klangklangstong interviews an artist about an exhibit on emptiness of the most expensive ice, diamonds and essexjan shares a a chilled salad for hot days. The issue also includes photos and artwork from gomichild, mrs.pants, jessamyn, -jf-, misteraitch, dirt dirt, pjern, knigel and a great cover photo by Kronos_to_Earth.

Order a print copy or download the PDF.

COMING IN SEPTEMBER 2011:

The Theme is GAMES. Whether you've loved or hated games, played or watched them, we want to hear about it. What's your favorite game? Best or worst time you had at or playing a game? What have games taught you? Who impressed you with how they play games?

August 20th is the deadline! Fiction, nonfiction, artwork and photos can be submitted here. Remember to include your MeFi name!


COMING IN OCTOBER 2011:

The theme is death, for it's the month of Halloween. How did you first discover death and how did it affect you? What does Halloween mean to you, what was your first experience with the holiday? When did you grow out it? Tell us about the best stash of candy ever got or memories of someone long gone.

And yes, we want to see your Halloween costumes, so send in your photos!

Shoot for a deadline of September 20th! submit your fiction, nonfiction, artwork and photos here. Remember to include your MeFi name!
posted by Brandon Blatcher to MetaFilter-Related at 6:23 AM (44 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

You all do fantastic work. Meta-Bits was probably my favorite part, but the whole thing is really well done. Just a really great job.
posted by cashman at 7:23 AM on August 5, 2011


Oh man, I forgot about that t-shirt of jessamyn's.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:14 AM on August 5, 2011


Awesome work all, as always.

Have many been ordering the print version?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:21 AM on August 5, 2011


That pic from the dilution refrigerator is just about the most sci-fi thing I have seen today. Great work, as always.
posted by Think_Long at 8:29 AM on August 5, 2011


It really is a great shirt.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:34 AM on August 5, 2011


We've been talking about adding recurring sections, and Metabits is Brandon's first stab at doing that. I think it worked out pretty well, though I might ask him to play around with the placement a little bit more.

The sections that I'd like to see, in general, are some sort of SCIENCE!, an interview with a member each time, the MeTa Bits recap, and I'd like to think about doing photo essays or something similar, and have a one-page essay in the front each time. Also some cartoons or something.

And hopefully, the games issue will do well enough that we can convince someone to contribute a game to each issue. Unfortunately, the people I know who make crosswords for a living aren't MeFites.
posted by klangklangston at 8:46 AM on August 5, 2011


Also, cortex, I really liked your piece.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:46 AM on August 5, 2011


Oh, also: If anyone has any special publisher discount codes for Magcloud, please let us know, because the games issue looks to be HUGE based on the amount of interest we've seen so far for it. I'd really prefer to not have people have to pay some $15 just to get a print copy (which includes myself, since Magcloud doesn't send any free to the publishers).
posted by klangklangston at 8:47 AM on August 5, 2011


Have many been ordering the print version?

Josh has the information from issues 1 and 2, I have the rest. He's supposed to be emailing me the information from those issue in a few minutes, so I'll post a comprehensive update when I got it all together. Some interesting things going on, from what I can see, stay tuned!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:49 AM on August 5, 2011


Wheeee!
posted by gomichild at 9:58 AM on August 5, 2011


In Google Analytics, is there a way to tell how many times a particular PDF was downloaded?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:07 AM on August 5, 2011


Have many been ordering the print version?

Here's the MagCloud stats, based on CSV files which were opened in Excel.

Issue #1: 226 total, 26 which were print copies

Issue #2: 215 total, 23 print

Issue #3: 138 total, 19 print

Issue #4: 16 copies all print

Issue #5 (the one released 3 hours ago): 13 total, 4 print

Why the drop on #3? I suspect because that was because the center spread had a graph that went across those two pages. Looked good in print, but not so good as a digital download. We hosted a different PDF that had that graph on the two pages in a easier to read format for digital downloads.

Why the huge drop on #4? We disabled digital downloads from MagCloud. The PDF had embedded sound, which MagCloud's process rendered inert, so it made not point to have a download. We directed people towards the PDF we hosted on our website.

Remember, these are just the stats for Magcloud. If there's a data wizard who wants to tease out more precise info, my email is in the profile, I can send you the CSV files if you'll share the information in the thread.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:52 AM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's awesome. Now that a poem I wrote has appeared in a publication, does that mean I can call myself a poet?

(dons black turtleneck)
posted by Afroblanco at 10:58 AM on August 5, 2011


Man this shit looks good. Y'all are some design wizard champs.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:07 AM on August 5, 2011


And afro: yes it does mean you are an official poet now.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:22 AM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have several half formed thoughts on games and gaming in my 750 words a day file that I would love to try and flesh out into something more substantial.

Great that people are actually buying print copies, that's very cool.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 11:53 AM on August 5, 2011


You're a poet and you don't know it.
posted by Sailormom at 11:53 AM on August 5, 2011


"Poems. no less! The laddie fancies himself a poet!"
posted by Afroblanco at 12:09 PM on August 5, 2011


So - can I actually just subscribe to this thing already?
posted by odinsdream at 1:57 PM on August 5, 2011


Do you want to subscribe to the print or digital version?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:20 PM on August 5, 2011


The next theme is "Games?" I've been working on something that might be a good match for that.

Brandon Blatcher: You should also check the server logs to see how many people downloaded the PDF from your website. I think you're underestimating the size of the audience.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:39 PM on August 5, 2011


Pronoiac: Remember, these are just the stats for Magcloud.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:32 PM on August 5, 2011


Also, here are website stats for June, which I'm still not sure how to read exactly. Anyone want to help?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:34 PM on August 5, 2011


Urchin should actually be able to tell you how many requests there were for each individual pdf, at least with the versions I've used. Can you see those?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:36 PM on August 5, 2011


Probably, but I don't know WHAT I'm looking at, you know? Under Content Summary, there's Entrance Pages, Exit Pages, Top 5 Content, all of them listing the PDF, but with different numbers attached to them, so I'm not sure what I'm looking at.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:07 PM on August 5, 2011


Ah, IT Reports>Downloads, is that what I should be looking for?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 PM on August 5, 2011


Or rather IT Reports>Pages & Files.

But under that section, there's Top Files and Downloads, each listing different, wildly different numbers for a specific PDF of an issue. Top Files is twice as large as Downloads, for the same PDF, so is that difference between actively downloading a file or just reading the PDF in the browser (passively downloading)? *Pulls string* "Math is hard!*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:23 PM on August 5, 2011


Hmm can you take a screenshot of that? I'm pretty sure that downloading and in-browser viewing are the same thing. I used to have access to Urchin via one of my web hosts and don't anymore so I'm sort of doing some of this from memory.

Oh look: here is the answer.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:33 PM on August 5, 2011


Cool, that explanation makes sense. Thanks for helping!

Here's the stats for Downloads of the PDFs from our website, from April 1st to Aug 5th:

#1: 358

#2: 289

#3: 560 (where the PDF had a more useful center spread than the MagCloud PDF)

#4: 1,052 (MagCloud PDF download was disabled)

#5: 85
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:59 PM on August 5, 2011


Do you want to subscribe to the print or digital version?

The print version, of course!
posted by odinsdream at 7:14 PM on August 5, 2011


Odinsdream, there is currently no way to do print subscriptions with MagCloud. Supposedly they're looking at it, but there's nothing definitive.

The only option is to have people send us money for the issue, then we'd bulk order the issues, which MagCloud could then mail out to everyone. But it's quicker for you to just order the issue yourself, particularly since we don't have set per issue price.

If you sign up for MagCloud account, you can follow us and be noticed when an issue is posted.

Sorry I could give you a yes to your question, but hopefully there was a solution in there that makes things a bit easier for you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:37 PM on August 5, 2011


No problem - I'll just keep an eye here for posts as issues come out. It does take some of the surprise out of it, though.
posted by odinsdream at 7:44 PM on August 5, 2011


Unfortunately, the people I know who make crosswords for a living aren't MeFites.

Did somebody say crosswords? I don't do them for a 'living', but if you're OK with a 15x15 grid cryptic, I could provide.

But when I say 'cryptic', I mean typical UK newspaper style; US readers would be pretty much at sea ...
posted by woodblock100 at 11:18 PM on August 5, 2011


"Did somebody say crosswords? I don't do them for a 'living', but if you're OK with a 15x15 grid cryptic, I could provide."

Yes, please.

Ideally, in the overthinking realm, you would make a crossword (or cryptic) and then provide a 500 word description of the process of making the cryptic.

(Though do note that I have no Will Shortz so errors in the cryptic will only be discovered when I complete it or when readers yell at us.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:43 PM on August 5, 2011


OK, I'll send something over later tonight. If I lay it out in InDesign and save as .pdf, would that do? Maybe if you have time, you could ask some of the Brit members to try it out ...
posted by woodblock100 at 11:50 PM on August 5, 2011


I think so, though Brandon coordinates the art, so he may have a preferred format. We do lay it out in In Design (in some horrible future version that doesn't work with my noble, archaic CS). He might prefer it an .inx file rather than a .pdf.

And not to get greedy, but a cryptic with a woodblock border illustration would make an amazing page, dotcha think? Even maybe a spread?
posted by klangklangston at 12:07 AM on August 6, 2011


woodblock border illustration

That's up to you guys ... pull whatever you want from my site, if you find something useful.
posted by woodblock100 at 12:19 AM on August 6, 2011


I have indesign CS-CS5 installed, so a package would be best. Just tell me what version you're using.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:00 AM on August 6, 2011


I have been known to complete the telegraph cryptic crossword on rare occasions in the distant past. Times and Guardian, - couldn't get my head round them.
posted by adamvasco at 2:53 AM on August 6, 2011


OK just uploaded - a CS2 package.

errors in the cryptic will only be discovered when I complete it or when readers yell at us

Family and friends have done my puzzles, with no problems surfacing, but it might not be a bad idea to have a few UK MeFites maybe 'read' it in advance, if you're nervous ...
posted by woodblock100 at 3:39 AM on August 6, 2011


My name in print, at last. :-D
posted by essexjan at 5:16 AM on August 6, 2011


Thanks woodblock, got it!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:22 AM on August 6, 2011


got it ...

OK, but given that the crossword puzzle thread currently on the front page of the blue has a grand total of ... two ... comments, I rather suspect that this is really of pretty limited interest ...
posted by woodblock100 at 4:53 PM on August 6, 2011


We've gotten a bunch of cool art already, and the MeCha denizens have a pretty great photo friday thread if any of you need story ideas.

I'm thinking of writing an article about two-square, the negotiated sport. Remember, while the deadline's not for a week, getting anything in early always makes copy editors happier.
posted by klangklangston at 10:19 PM on August 12, 2011


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