A Steady Drip :: This is just a brand

THE IDEA
A Steady Drip is a magazine without a print book and without a website. It is just a brand and editorial direction. The content is commissioned and edited, but then published on the contributors’ platforms. So when you visit ASteadyDrip.com, you see a very basic table of contents, which links out to individual artists’ sites, be they writers, photographers, singers, or graffiti artists.

THE CREATOR
Andrew Kornylak, a smart young editorial and commercial photographer who has worked on several projects that did very well as viral videos.

THE CATALYST
1. Several videos Andrew put together for a non-profit receive 500,000 impressions total.
2. Andrew teaches a seminar on mixed media production at the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar about reaching a large audience through multiple channels.
3. National Geographic Adventure, one of Andrew’s big clients, closes.
4. The preview of Sports Illustrated on a tablet PC comes out.
5. Andrew starts wondering: “What is the future was going to be like for guys like me, who are still trying to work and get paid for it, but who are also exploring this whole alphabet soup of platforms?”

THE BIG IDEA
Andrew: In this new landscape, if I were to start a new magazine but I wanted to totally eliminate the overhead, even starting and maintaining a website is not as easy as you think. Maintaining content, art directing it, building your audience are all difficult and expensive.

So what if you could leverage all these independent producers, and by tapping into what people are already doing?

That way you don’t have to start with any subscription base. Even if no one subscribes, if you have 100 contributors, and they have your brand presence on their platform, so your presence in the marketplace is at least the sum total of all of their readerships. Why reinvent the wheel?

And it doesn’t even matter if the contributors are really different. Because they are already doing what they do best, on the platform that works best for them, for an audience that’s already eager for their stuff.

THE GOAL
This first version of A Steady Drip is basically just a proof of concept, mostly including Andrew’s friends. Over the next few months he’s hoping for lots of feedback and ideas for how to refine the project.

Andrew: I think in the future, publishing will be about independent content producers like you, me, and our friends. Right now magazines are going broke trying to garner an online audience, and yet the little guys who do it so well still don’t know how to make money off their platforms. But soon, independent content producers will be hired by editorial publications not just for their creative abilities but also for the audience they have worked so hard to cultivate. Creatives that can bring the whole package to the table will be at a premium.

THE PROS
1. Very low overhead
2. Built-in audiences
3. Can easily adapt to new technological developments
4. Low overhead means real money can go to paying contributors

THE CONS
1. Any cost/time burden falls on just one person right now
2. No funding model yet
3. Can be difficult to coordinate independent creatives
4. Need editorial vision/staff to focus content

THE QUESTIONS
1. Is this a good way to deliver content? What works and doesn’t about it?

2. Do you think advertising can work on platform? Since ads would be decoupled from the content, how would advertising even work?

3. As the audience, do you like that the art direction is very loose and you never know what you’re going to get?

4. As a content producer, would you be interested in being part of a project like this? Is the extra traffic you’d get as valuable as, say, your photo on the cover of a print magazine?

PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS. IT’S UP TO ALL OF US TO HELP FIND AND REFINE THE STORYTELLING TOOLS OF TOMORROW 🙂

P.S. One of the reasons I’m so interested in A Steady Drip is because Paul O’Sullivan, Yumi Goto, Jeremy Wade Shockley, and I came up with a similar idea for the IMPACT Online Exhibition. We asked photographers to put up a gallery of images that spoke to the theme of “Outside Looking In” on their own blogs, then we linked out to all of them from a post on RESOLVE. The idea had so much potential, but the webring technology we used was clunky, so Paul has worked hard to build this smooth new interface. It’s still very much a work in progress, but we think it’s heading in the right direction.

Collaborate Creatively ::with:: Andrew Kornylak

My plan for this blog has been long been to explore the idea of creative collaboration. As the old office structures that have reigned in publishing continue to fall away, I put my money on true innovation coming not from the lone artist in front of his/her computer, but from dynamic, efficient, international teams.

It’s my goal to help “content creators” of all kinds figure out how to make that teamwork as fulfilling (financially and creatively) as possible — in part through my own experiments in collaboration.

Once I start traveling, I’m planning to collaborate in person with artists in the cities I visit. But when I can’t be face-to-face with my creative counterparts, I’m asking them to send me an idea for a little project.

Andrew Kornylak, who I talked with about his new magazine, A Steady Drip, sent me the image in the middle of this collage and asked me to find four pictures, one for each side. I decided to find four more to fill in the grid. I rather like what came out.

All the photo’s besides Andrew’s were found on Fjord Photo, which was the first online collection of good art photographs by young photographers I thought of (although there are many more, which I’ll highlight later).

I expect some feedback from Andrew soon in the comments, but first I’d like your help. WHAT TITLE SHOULD I GIVE THIS PIECE? Try to just go with whatever words or phrase pop into your head first. Please leave them in the comments and I’ll choose my favorite soon, probably with Andrew’s help 🙂

Photo credits – Top row, L-R: Gustav Gustafsson, Andrew Laumann, Jessica Williams. Middle: Mark McKnight, Andrew Kornylak, Will Steacy. Bottom: Miranda Lehman, Jessica Williams, Alice Wells.