In the internet, the traditional publishing houses compete with newsgroups, alternative e-zines, commercial ad agencies, software-providers. News, hearsay, commentary, essays and conversation merge in one large medley ofvoices. Is there a new “third culture” of publications in the making, not unlike the “Little Mags”-fad in the sixties? What are the trade offs for publishers, what is the rationale for publishers and for students to publish on-line, what is the informational advantage for the readers? Are e-zines more interactive than paperbased zines – or should they? And what will the future bring: closed newsgroups, pay-per-view-newspapers, ad-infested factoid-collections? And: Most on-line-publications deal mainly with the net itself – but can a medium reflect itself, or is the need for paper-based net-criticism more important than the n-th e-zine?
- Hilmar Schmundt M.A. (Germany) is editor at Zitty magazine, Berlin, writes for Die Zeit, Die Woche, Die Wochenzeitung, and is co-editor of the e-zine Softmoderne Online—Elektrobriefe, die neueste Literatur betreffend (www.icf.de/softmoderne). Together with Stephan Porombka he is the organizer of Softmoderne, an annual electronic literature festival, now in its third year. He studied literature, journalism and geography in Freiburg i. Br., at UMass Amherst and at John-F.Kennedy Institute in Berlin.