e-Publishing? Isuuu?

December 28, 2008

Has anyone used Issuu to epublish? If so, what do you think?
I’ve been considering switching platforms for the arts magazine. I like PacerCMS, but I don’t have much time for development these days. I chose PacerCMS because it created a nice issue and did everything I wanted out of the box (and it pretty much does, once I created my CSS templates). So, I don’t HAVE to switch to anything… but whoa, does Issuu look good. However, the free version is ad based. ;-(

Is there anything opensource like Issuu? I’d rather run something on my own server, but I understand these can be embedded into a website.


new art, new writings, new music — it’s moonshine!

August 5, 2008

Lots of new writings, new art, new music. I’m finishing up my art interviews with artists (the creativity series) and a short (!) book review.
Oh, and of course, the cover graphic is mine. 😉

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These are the dog days of summer, is it any wonder that everything seems to droop a little? Stay inside in the cool and check out the latest writings, music, paintings, photography… Moonshine celebrates a milestone, which would not be possible without the wonderful artists and writers who share their thoughts, writings, and art. Read, see, and listen!

ORIGINAL WRITINGS
Part 1 of Jasmine Rizer’s serial, “Keeping it in the Family“; Fab Irony’s “Oz Redux”, and McCabe Coolidge continues his series, Seven Questions with
“Don’t you Miss the Farm?” Thoughtful poetry from Brenda L Basham (Bloodshed of the Holocaust; Imagination; and Unlock the Power ), Russell Lee Hale I (Knobby Knees; Memories ), John S Moon (World ) and Sandy Vanderbleek (life flow ).

FROM THE STUDIO
Studio views features Sandra Babb’s essay on improvisation, Rolling with the Punch Bowl and Hannah Leatherbury’s audio interview (a podcast) with multi-media artist Sherry Lynn Wood about her latest project to collect mantras via her Mantra Trailer. (courtesy of the Southern Arts Federation).

ON CREATIVITY AND THE CULTURE OF ART
robin fay continues to explore Creativity (pt. 5 in a series, focusing on the artistic process) while Drék Davis explores his own Confessions of a Wayward Artist. Amber Moore jumps into the playful and educational world of the Children’s Museum of the Shoals in Look and DO Touch: Children Learn with Hands-On Activities in Florence, Alabama.

ART & TECHNOLOGY
Lori Lejeune gets creative with 3D digital art in From the Studio: An Exposition on 3-d Digital Artistry and Donna Rosser aka The Barefoot Photographer shows us how to take our photos to the next level with Lensbaby in Getting Creative: Your Photography and a Lensbaby.

REVIEWS
Book reviews for August are Southern Comforts: Rooted in a Florida Place by Suyde Cauthen, a memoir of growing up in the South, and Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, a magical novel set in North Carolina. Music matters features a review of The Rest of the Year , the new CD from the Georgia folk trio, the Solstice Sisters. Hannah Leatherbury talks with Charles “Wsir” Johnson about the necessity of knowing how to repair and create his own instruments while living in a rural community as well as his experience getting commissioned by Chuck D. (from Hannah Leatherbury, courtesy of the Southern Arts Federation).

Check in with a Short Girl comix, book reviews, work from the Southerncreativity gallery (@ Flickr), art announcements & calls for entries.

If you’re on this list in error, please do let us know, so that we can remove you from the list (and sorry for any inconvenience).

To receive moonshine in its entirety via email, drop us a line at southerncreativity.com@gmail.com

If you would like to contribute to moonshine, please drop us a line at southerncreativity.com@gmail.com


new art, new writings, latest issue of moonshine is available!

June 10, 2008

For those interested, the latest issue of moonshine, a magazine of the southern arts is available
online (& free) at
http://www.moonshine.southerncreativity.com

(moonshine is run on pacercms opensource newspaper & journal software; for more info about that), drop me a line.

details:
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It’s not just the weather that is hot. Take a break and check out some smokin’ work from Southern writers & artists. It’s so hot, it’s cool. Read, see, and listen!

oRiGiNaL ArT
James McCallister goes to Ask the Ducks, while Jasmine Rizer’s serial, “Tough Love” concludes. Lisa Taylor comments on Barbecuing for Jesus and Mccabe Coolidge begins the first of The Seven Questions.What haven’t you done that you’ve always wanted to do?

Sandy Vanderbleek tests the headwinds of reality while Gilbert Head visits Five Flowers in Summer and The Alley of Dreams, Revisited. John S Moon is on Night Watch and Russell Lee Hale II gives us Gypsy Hearts.

sTuDiO ViEwS
Studio views features Hannah Leatherbury’s audio interview (podcast) with abstract painter Liisa Salosaari-Jasinsk (courtesy of the Southern Arts Federation). Plein air painter Sandra Babb braves the heat and is Eating Up the Profits.

cReAtiVitY
robin fay continues to explore creativity (pt. 5), with artist interviews focusing on the medium and its impact on artwork; Carmela Cattuti explains What is soul focus? and Dorothy Birch provides some tips for An Inspired Summer.

tEcHnOLoGy & aRT
Donna Rosser aka the Barefoot Photographer provides practical tips and advice for photographing artwork in Digital Images of Your Work.

cULtuRe oF aRT
What have you done with your vacation photos? Amber Moore is here to help with ideas in Vacation Memories Make Great Art. Diane Moran shares her story of her travel to New Orleans: creating artwork, fundraising and more in post-Katrina New Orleans in the The Heart of Art.

mUsIc maTtErS
Music matters features an audio interview with Jazz Vocalist/Composer and Educator, Nnenna Freelon (from Hannah Leatherbury, courtesy of the Southern Arts Federation).

bOoK rEViEwS
Need some quality reading for your summer reading list? Check out these offerings:
Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist by Nancy Goldenstein
reviewed by Jasmine Rizer; Little Things: A Memoir in Slices by Jeffrey Brown
reviewed by Andrew Shuping; and Time and Materials: Poems 1997-2005 by Robert Hass
reviewed by Heather Kline.

mOrE
Check in with a Short Girl comix, book reviews, work from the Southerncreativity gallery (@ Flickr), art announcements & calls for entries.


latest issue of moonshine arts magazine is up

February 8, 2008

One upgrade, some code tweaking, and voila….

the latest issue of moonshine arts magazine is live.

podcasts, video, writings & art…

@ http://www.moonshine.southerncreativity.com


e-zine using wordpress

September 17, 2007

I’m going to add this to my e-zine list, but I think this e-zine template for wordpress looks really good.

I do wonder about the pre-publishing and issue creation, though. One of the advantages of pacercms is that I can create the issues prior to publication. I do think draft posts could accomplish some of that, but…


e-zine using wordpress

September 17, 2007

I’m going to add this to my e-zine list, but I think this e-zine template for wordpress looks really good.

I do wonder about the pre-publishing and issue creation, though. One of the advantages of pacercms is that I can create the issues prior to publication. I do think draft posts could accomplish some of that, but…


creating a e-zine — software choices

August 13, 2007

So you want to create an online newsletter, a magazine or e-zine? What should you use?
There are many choices, some of which depend on budget size. My budget size= ZERO dollars.
My investigation actually began in May with Drupal. These were reviewed as of August 2007.

System requirements for most of these (but not all): Apache or IIS server; MySQL or another db server; PHP ; also: installation experience; templating; CSS, patience

  • Drupal => Opensource. Largescale CMS (content management system); hosted on your server.

Not really magazine software but flexible enough to build most anything; also appears scalable with support for multiuser/multiauthority levels. I see a few drawbacks to Drupal — first the terminology is a little hard to wrap your head around if you are used to folder/subfolder/index/page thinking of web design. Drupal out of the box is eh…. ugly, too. Once the site is setup, then it has been structured and built with modules. No offense to the developers, they have done a great job, but they are in desperate need of some graphics & design folks. Although, one of the latest templates is following CSS/Zen Garden model, so at least one template provides some customization. Biggest drawback in creating a magazine is that it involves many modules and it takes quite a bit of time to put together.

I have wrapped the rest of the art site in drupal and will be working on pulling the site together into a more cohesive look. However, the lack of bridging between drupal and things like coppermine (image gallery) means that I may end up dumping drupal. Not sure. I’m trying to decide if I should choose choose flickr or coppermine or both. Another topic. 😉 Anyhow, Drupal does have modules for blogging, image galleries, etc. but definitely not as rich in functionality as some of the opensource stuff out there.

For my project: Third choice. With the various modules, Drupal does meet MOST of my requirements. However, its big sticking point is the lack of good module just for a magazine. There is a periodical module, however, I didn’t have satisfactory results with it; it seemed very limited and inflexible. Of course, I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to bend it into what I envisioned, either. If you have time to setup a magazine in Drupal and want an overall robust & dynamic site (beyond the magazine), it would be a good choice. Beyond the Drupal installation, you should be willing to spend considerable time building the architecture for your publication.
Templating will be another issue. Can you give a true magazine feel? Not sure. Is there help? Sometimes. The user community is big, but it seems like a lot of questions just go out to a void, where they are never answered.

Wikipedia’s overview: Drupal

So Mambo was “the” CMS for a little while and then the developers left and started Joomla and then somewhere along the way Drupal arrive. At least, that is my take on the situation. Throw in a few egos, some developer politics, and well, there ya go. ;-D Several Mambo sites that I explored have changed to Joomla sites now. Mambo still exists. Joomla is around. Both are supposed to be more user friendly, but I don’t know. The graphics are kind of cutesy, and the development seems to be lagging. Mambo ( oops, only Joomla now offers this!) has an add-on commercial magazine module but it is a little out of my price range. Without being able to test and know for sure that it would work for what I need, I wasn’t willing to risk the money. Why didn’t they offer a trial? Probably because having a trial of a module is a hard thing to do. Oh, well, their loss! Also, all of the weird stuff going on between Mambo and Joomla seems a little sketchy. Both seem scalable; module built sites.

Wikipedia’s overview: Joomla
Wikipedia’s overview: Mambo

For my project: Fourth choice (Joomla); Mambo (unsure)

  • WordPress => Opensource. Originally blog software, but with plugins can work as a miniCMS. Runs either at wordpress.org or on your own server.

Pros: WordPress is amazingly easy to install. It has a huge user community. It is easy to template. It supports just about everything on my list although the prepublishing thing would probably be accomplished by marking posts “draft”. I’ve seen a few magazines done with wordpress but they still felt a little bloggy. This was my second choice because it is easy to use, the user community is strong, lots of plugins, and easy to format. Multiuser/multiauthority levels, built in. Cons: Not really magazine software; definitely bloggy.

A template for a e-zine using wordpress: morning after

For my project: Second choice.
Wikipedia’s overview: WordPress

  • PacerCMS => Opensource; newspaper publishing specific; runs on your own server.

Never heard of it? Me, either, until I stumbled across it at opencms. The developer posted a little blurb that he had created this for his student newspaper. Hmmmm… Interesting, but could I turn it into a magazine? Does it meet my needs?
Just about everything!

  • Almost “One push” installation — very easy
  • Issues with category & article support
  • RSS feeds for categories(sections) + overall site
  • HTML in articles; image/media upload (not sure about mp3; I have embedded youtube)
  • Database driven; template files & css
  • Archives
  • Pre-publishing
  • Articles can be edited/moved/etc.
  • User submitted articles/review process
  • Very good user support via the development group at google groups (really excellent!)
  • Spam control (everything goes through a review)
  • Security (no server problems yet, but not really sure)

I can’t really say enough good things about PacerCMS. It is easy enough to template it to give a different feel but still use all of the built-in features of newspaper publishing. Additionally, as it is very much in development, you’ll want to keep up with the new files releases as they come out.

For my project: The winner! See it in action at http://www.moonshine.southerncreativity.com

Products that absolutely would not work:

  • PhpCow => For 19.95 you can host a magazine/newspaper on their site, using their software. Hmm. For a LOT more, you can host it on your server. Out of my price range.
  • Bricolage => Opensource. Bricolage is only backend magazine/periodical publishing and wouldn’t run on my server due to some security issues.
  • Campware => Opensource. Really looks cool, but I wasn’t sure if I could install it. I have to secureftp into my server; so although I have root access; it’s not easy to get shell access.
  • Serendipity/Expression Engine: Both of these seem bloggy and if I were going to go that route, I would go with WordPress. Expression engine is commercial software which is nice (and I currently use it for my art blog), but probably out of my price range for a small magazine.

Products which I looked promising/would consider/found after the site was up:

  • CoFAX: Developed and used by the Knight Ridder newspapers. I did look at this earlier, but wasn’t sure if I would legally be able to use it. TOS is a little unclear.
  • Props: Yet another project that seems to have fallen by the wayside. Yet, very promising.
  • Prensalibre: I feel more comfortable working with php + mysql (this is perl), so although this looked promising, I took it out of the potential list at some point.
  • Phpnews => A definite possibility although I couldn’t seem to get a clean download from the sourceforge site. I really wanted to test this one!
  • Hyperjournal => Nice looking opensource software for academic journals. Hmm. Maybe one day we’ll grow into that.
  • Open Journal Systems => Another outgrowth of the academic journal publishing; very largescale. I thought this one might be flexible enough in licensing to encompass an arts magazine, but a little bigger than what we need.
  • Collegepublishing => Web based service free “for their partners”. Only for college campus newspapers. I’m sure there are tons of this kind of thing out there.

RESOURCES

Resources/reviews for Academic publishing

Free virtual sandbox to test opensource CMS before you download & install