MeFi Mag revisited July 23, 2020 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Let's travel back to the spring of 2011, where several Mefites had the idea of starting a Metafilter magazine.

It all started in this thread where the idea was proposed. Lots of discussion occurred!

Eventually, Klangklangston took the plunge with me, and we were off and running. After eight issues, on a mostly monthly basis, we reenacted the final scene from Reservoir Dogs but managed to escape with some sanity.

Below are links to the eight issues, including the original MeTa post announcing the issue, a link to MagCloud where you can order a print copy of the issue, and a link to a free, downloadable PDF of the issue.

Please note that ordering a print issue from MagCloud costs money, but that's just for having the issue made and delivered; no one except Magcloud makes any money off that printed copy.

Here are the links:
Issue 1 (Collector's issue with gold-foil-stamped cover—at least in your mind) - MeTa announcement post #1 | Order a print copy of #1 | Download a PDF of #1

Issue 2 (Proving issue #1 wasn't a fluke) - MeTa announcement post #2 | Order a print copy of #2 | Download a PDF of #2

Issue 3 (The travel issue) - MeTa announcement post #3 | Order a print copy of #3 | Download a PDF of #3

Issue 4 (All about work) - MeTa announcement post #4 | Order a print copy of #4 | Download a PDF of #4

Issue 5 (Cool things for hot times) - MeTa announcement post #5 | Order a print copy of #5 | Download a PDF of #5

Issue 6 (Let's play a game!) - MeTa announcement post #6 | Order a print copy of #6 | Download a PDF of #6

Issue 7 (Halloween fun) - MeTa announcement post #7 | Order a print copy #7 | Download a PDF of #7

Issue 8 (Let's talk about sex) - MeTa announcement post #8 | Order a print copy of #8 | Download a PDF of #8
posted by Brandon Blatcher to MetaFilter-Related at 3:28 PM (30 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

Shout out to heyho for helping me edit and double checking links!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:22 PM on July 23 [2 favorites]


Wow, this takes me back. Thanks for posting it.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:54 PM on July 23 [1 favorite]


Of course, now all I can see is the mistake I missed. Dammit, Brandon!
posted by heyho at 7:59 PM on July 23


And now heyho has to appear on the MetaFilter podcast as Brandon Blatcher!
posted by hippybear at 8:50 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


What! This is amazing! I was a mefite in 2011 but totally missed this, I stuck to the green (I mean, have you seen some of the threads on the grey back then?) Tempted to order print copies because I know I’ll never actually read the PDFs, but print magazines...well, it’s either that or a shampoo bottle, if you know what I mean.

What is in issue #2 that brings up an 18+ warning on magcloud— unlike, oddly enough, the sex issue with no such warning? Is it how to hide a body with pictures?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 8:59 PM on July 23 [3 favorites]


Another one who totally missed this. The issues are absolutely gorgeous.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:12 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure the 18+ warning on issue 2 was Klang trying to be a good citizen and choosing that option when publishing it on Magcloud. I uploaded most of the later issues and am not a good citizen, so I didn't click that option.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:14 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


I thought this was such a cool project. Thanks for posting it again.
posted by michaelh at 9:11 AM on July 24


MeFi Mag was a really wonderful project, I'm so glad y'all were able to pull off the issues you did. I still have paper copies sitting around the house. Nice to see you bring it back around for folks to revisit, Brandon.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:14 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


I actually thought the files were lost, then discovered at least the web PDFs (but not original design docs). Figured I'd share. But damn 2011 seems like decades ago, heh.

Hopefully this inspires someone else to do something similar!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:14 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


With all the lino I've been doing I keep having zine thoughts; it'd be a very different beast but it'd be fun to do a scrappy black-and-white MeFi art zine.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:24 AM on July 24 [3 favorites]


Is msalt still here? Did he become a famous comedian?
posted by Meatbomb at 11:53 AM on July 24 [1 favorite]


ouh. A picture from a free camera. lemon scented paper.
I highly recommend all issues. I still have my old copies, it was an endeavor of cool.
posted by clavdivs at 11:54 AM on July 24


but print magazines...well, it’s either that or a shampoo bottle, if you know what I mean.

I honestly don't know what means and am curious! Educate me please!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:34 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I'd like to know too! My brain went somewhere very... dark. (I blame those doctor blogs I see on the blue.)
posted by heyho at 2:36 PM on July 24


Ha, I meant bathroom reading! I deleted an explanation of “putting them next to the toilet to read” because it seemed gross to let you know that not only do I poop but also can’t do it without something read, so, there ya go. True MF confessions. (I hope true confessions are a feature in one of the Metafilter magazines!)
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 2:40 PM on July 24 [5 favorites]


I have modded from the toilet, we're all in the same big poop fam here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:47 PM on July 24 [4 favorites]


Wow.
posted by heyho at 2:51 PM on July 24


Probably more information than we strictly needed there.
posted by Grangousier at 2:54 PM on July 24


Well. That's enough MeFi for this hour.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:34 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


Hey, if you’ve gotta deal with a shit show somewhere on the site, I guess what better place is there to do the modding from?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 3:57 PM on July 24 [2 favorites]


I visited cortex a while ago, and one of the fun site things he showed me was that he has all the copies of the magazine up in the living room. I didn't get copies at the time they originally came out, and it was really cool going through them - you guys did great work. Thank you for putting together this post so we can all see them again!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:12 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


putting them next to the toilet to read

This has always struck me as being weird, I have to admit.
posted by aramaic at 4:20 PM on July 24


Hey, Mefi Mag was great! I was reminded of it recently when I found a PDF of issue #3 on an old hard drive—I had a story in that one.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 4:30 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


So is this the stiring of a Phoenix?
posted by adamvasco at 6:05 PM on July 25


No, The Phoenix is a completely different magazine.
posted by Grangousier at 1:50 AM on July 27


oh man, it's been a while

I still have all of these on a drive somewhere, including all the edits and stuff.

"Pretty sure the 18+ warning on issue 2 was Klang trying to be a good citizen and choosing that option when publishing it on Magcloud. I uploaded most of the later issues and am not a good citizen, so I didn't click that option."

Nope! I clicked no 18+ options, at least not consciously. I'm gonna guess it got flagged somewhere on their end, maybe because of the talk about weed?
posted by klangklangston at 9:44 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Weirdly, even though I apparently got an email back in March saying it was going to be deleted, the Basecamp we used to organize MeFiMag originally is still there! That was kind of cool to discover. (I just did a backup of the data, for posterity.) It was fun copy-editing for those issues back in the day. It's been too long since I made anything like this, and I was just thinking about it recently when I was in a breakout session at an online conference and we decided we should create a submission project. I owe my breakout session partner some email. But heh, no one who worked on MeFiMag with me will be surprised by that. Looking back at these email threads, seems like just about every issue I had trouble returning stuff quite on the schedule I hoped, haha.

Like everyone else, I really need to go through some old drives and consolidate files. Maybe that's another project I can do in the next few months to put off some other projects (a stack of books to read, a spreadsheet with ideas for my own book, etc.). I was going to say it had been a while since I worked on a project that created any sort of physical, published object, but that's not strictly true—in 2018 and 2019, I read over a dear friend's shoulder as he finalized a book that actually has some really important info for our present circumstances, about how to safely blow the whistle and leak info to the press.

Anyway, this is very cool to see. Thanks for this post! Cheers to all of y'all who worked on this, in what feels like another lifetime entirely. (If you consider that every human body turns over its cells in 7 to 10 years, well, it really was another lifetime! And this year has felt like a lifetime in itself.)
posted by limeonaire at 9:05 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Except eyes, your eyes do not change. The eyes that made this are the same eyes reading it now.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:21 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


How can MeFiMag be real if our eyes aren’t real?
posted by michaelh at 12:31 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


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