Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Verbum, Desktop Pioneer, Launches Paperless Edition

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Verbum, Desktop Pioneer, Launches Paperless Edition

Article excerpt

San Diego, Calif.-With the affectionate forbearance of readers and advertisers, Verbum Magazine: The Journal of Personal Computer-Aesthetics has made its reputation by taking on the unknown, publishing with desktop tools as they have become available, Now it's gone a step further.

A limited-edition CD-ROM version of the magazine, called Verbum Interactive, appears this month, complete with paid advertising (both interactive ads and product demos). If all goes well, regular quarterly editions will follow beginning this summer.

In many ways, Verbum Interactive will resemble its paperbound sister, a hybrid fine art and trade magazine that reaches designers, desktop publishers and multimedia producers with a circulation of 40,000. It will run digital versions of regular Verbum features such as Gallery, an exhibition-in-print of current computer art. The first issue, for example, will feature an interactive exploration of Picasso's famous painting Guernica. Also included will be interactive columns and feature stories and a database of products and resources. And because most people don't want to read computer screens, readers will be able to print out magazine-style pages directly from the screen for later reading.

Distributed on a 300 MB disk, the digital magazine will cost $49.95. The limited first edition will require a Macintosh II with five megabytes of RAM, a 13" color monitor and an Apple-compatible CD-ROM player, but Verbum founder/publisher Michael Gosney doesn't want to limit Verbum Interactive to a single platform. Certain technical issues need to be resolved to make cross-platform publishing possible, says Gosney, but he is confident that this will be achieved by the time the CD-ROM magazine goes quarterly.

Verbum's common thread through the years has been its experimental nature, says Gosney, and it has survived by dint of a lot of flexibility and forgiveness on the part of advertisers and readers: "We didn't quite get out four issues last year, but no one seemed to notice," he comments. …

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