Where are the Good Web Magazines . . . in America?

What’s the deal anyway? My business is pushing 4 years old and that doesn’t include the year or so where I was trying find a job and no one was interested in some old guy (in internet years) who had just finished school.

I remember this one interview I went to. This guy was really old in internet years, maybe 30, and he was considering hiring me to create cookie-cutter websites so he could make millions getting people to click on Google ads. He was going to pay me something like 12 bucks an hour, but the catch was I was going to have Monday and Tuesdays off and have to work Saturday and Sunday.

“Will you be willing to do that?” he asked me. “Yes,” I said without hesitation. I needed the job. A little later he asked me again. After the third time I looked him in the eye and said with visible irritation. “Look, if I had experience in this field, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be talking to you and I wouldn’t be considering this job. I need some experience, so I’m willing to accept a situation that under normal circumstances I would never consider.”

Strange, he never called back.

Well, thankfully, my business did take off and here I sit working at home with a number of great clients I enjoy working with and who pay me to do something I love. I’m a freelancer, a one man show and what that often entails is doing everything. I’m mainly a PHP programmer, a CSS kind of guy, but I also do Flash, javascript, web design, heck I’ve designed CD covers, taken photographs for people, done research for people . . . basically anything that people need for their sites. If you’re a freelancer you know all about this.

A couple of years ago I started looking for a web magazine. I still love the printed page and though I love my job, it’s nice to get away from the computer screen every now and then. One of the first magazines I found was Practical Web Design which is actually the American name of a magazine that is published in Great Britain: .Net. A really excellent magazine. Lots of information about a wide variety of subjects. It’s full of controversy, fencing, fighting — true love. I thoroughly enjoy it.

A little later I found another magazine, Web Designer, also published in Great Britain. Not as good as .Net, but good nonetheless. I ordered both of them. They’re not cheap, but well worth the cash.

So then, I thought, there must be a good web magazine in America. Has to be right? I mean Al Gore invented the internet, right? This is our baby, right? Not a thing. I can’t find a good American web magazine. If you know of one let me know, please. I did order one that you can get free 4 times a year or subscribe to if you want it 12 times a year: Website Magazine.

That’s a promising name. When I got my first issue, I read one article and was so disappointed I wrote the editor. Here’s are excerpts from my letter to Peter Prestipino:

. . . The one article that caught my eye was “Choosing the Best Web Content Management Solution.” Not only do I program custom Content Management Systems, but I’ve worked with WordPress, Mambo, Joomla and opensource ecommerce systems that are essentially CMS systems: Zen Cart, OsCommerce and most recently, Magento.

I was extremely disappointed in this article. There was very little concrete, practical information. Not mentioning any of the systems (either opensource or commercial) that are actually available was a huge oversight of the author. WordPress, which is used by hundreds of large companies and large development firms, deserved at least passing notice by your author. I skimmed the rest of your magazine and will not be subscribing.

. . . I don’t understand why the U.S. can’t seem to publish a great web site magazine for developers.

It’s too bad.

Regards . . .

Haven’t heard back.

Why doesn’t America have a great web development print magazine? Are we so far ahead of the game that everyone is reading on line? Is everyone glued to their Kindles reading O’Reilly books? Maybe I’m just old school, but I’d much rather relax in bed reading a book or magazine about web development than sit in front of my computer screen doing it. I spend enough time in front of computer screen already.

2 thoughts on “Where are the Good Web Magazines . . . in America?

  1. Hey Glen:
    I sure am glad you didn’t take that first job with the guy that wanted you to work weekends….I wonder where I would be if you and I hadn’t started developing sites together…flying by the seat of our pants. I sure am glad he didn’t call back.
    Kim Jones

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