Here are the steps that went into the creation of a single page of the magazine’s next ten issues, which ran about 120 pages apiece: We’d lay out each page, run a script through it, convert it to a .php file that was then uploaded onto a server and spot checked for errors. If you messed something up, you did those steps all over again. Mess something up that affected multiple pages, you did all those pages over again. (And all that was after the real work, the thing we were interested in doing, which was finding good writing and making it a bit better and then giving it some readership.)
For its youth, then, this magazine was essentially made by hand. It tried, however imperfectly, to work around the lack of publishing platforms geared toward making the production of good, special-feeling content more easily accessible. This was also before the social web really took hold of us all. We were at a breaking point when a friend of ours met a dad in a coffee shop named John Herr, who rebuilt the site so it had an actual CMS, which meant it took two hours to build an issue as opposed to ten or fifteen. (Bless you, John.)
The publishing platforms available to literary-minded kids today are much better: there’s Medium. There’s Atavist. It’s now a better era for writers and other artists who don’t have lots of time to waste, as some of us fortunately did. I think it’s no coincidence that there is a greater range of voices now entering literary publication and being heard and I hope things only trend further in that direction.
Our contributors and editors lived across the country and world, but came together on occasion to release yet another issue of this thing. It was hard to tell if anyone was ever actually reading it but we kept plugging along. In the meantime something happened: a lot of people warmed to the idea that there are good things to be read online.