Features Music Coalition of the Webzines

Music: Coalition of the Webzines

swnk.pngPim - Some Will Never Know

1. What is your name/publication/title?

Hi, I’m Pim and I started Some Will Never Know (or SWNK in short) a couple of years ago. Yes, that’s a reference to the Only Living Witness song indeed. A band more people should know about.

2. When did you start up? What was your intent in starting a webzine?

The first paper zine (88 pages) came out in 2008. The second one (100 pages) in 2010. Those were done by myself, but these days SWNK is an international online zine. No more waiting to collect all the interviews, but simply publish them as they come in. Since I’m a webdeveloper it made sense for me to do a website too. Anyway, these days I’m not running the show alone anymore, we’ve got a great bunch of people from all over the world contributing at the moment.

3. In the time you've been publishing, what do you feel has been the biggest change in the music scene/industry? How has this impacted your reporting of it?

That’s a tough question... I would love to say that when I started values / discussions etc were more important, but that already was in decline back then. Everything became a lot faster. Not only the downloading of a release even before it’s officially out, but also the time people to actually read anything. I like to publish lengthy interviews, but sometimes I wonder how many people really read it. 

But in general it hasn’t impacted the reporting at all. We still put up those lengthy interviews now and then. And besides that we just haven’t been around long enough to be really impacted by anything ;) Or we’ve been blind to it haha.

4. Do you think the decline in sales of print-based music magazines is partly due to the rise of webzines? Do you think webzines themselves are now dropping off in favour of something newer?

The biggest problem I had when I was selling my zines were the postage costs. That killed it, not webzines. There was more than enough interest and people seemed to love the zines, but anything outside of Europe was just waaaay too pricey and since I couldn’t offer overseas distro’s too much of a discount I sold less of the last edition than I hoped.

As for webzines dropping off, I don’t know. Facebook has replaced certain aspects of webzines. Forums are being visited less regularly, bands post their news on Facebook before it gets posted to webzines and even events are being published on Facebook. And since everyone is on Facebook anyway... But Facebook can’t replace the value of an in-depth interview, or a good review etc. 

Just like a webzine can’t beat a good paper zine. Paper zines are great.

5. In terms of your readers, do they show any preference for any specific types of content? Do they favour multimedia features (mp3s, podcasts, videos, etc) or more traditional content types?

If I take a look at our most popular posts it’s pretty diverse. The most popular post is a column called ‘Hardcore 2012 - A rallying cry’, the second two are reviews about Nirvana releases (for the live at the Paramount DVD we were the first media in the world to do a review I think), the American Nightmare European Tour Fall 2001 video I transfered from a VHS tape and uploaded and a guide on how to run a label from our DIY series.

Not a single interview in there, while I always like to think that in-depth interviews is what we do best haha. Oh well ;) There’s also the forums, the showlist and the bookers database though that people seem to like.

6. How have online commenting systems developed since you've been publishing? Have you taken any steps to “manage” the community of fans posting on your site?

I don’t think the online commenting stuff didn’t change much at all. We had some troubles with spammers in the beginning. But the moment we added a question to the registration form (about the Bad Brains) and installed some anti-spam stuff that was history too. No annoying people yet, luckily. Stay classy internet.

7. What do you think the future is for web publishing? Do you have any plans to cater for users on different platforms (mobile devices, social networks, apps like Spotify)? Would you ever consider experimenting with print?

We just came from print ;) But yeah I wouldn’t rule out that print could one day return in some form to SWNK. I think I speak for all of us at SWNK if I say that we LOVE paper zines, most of us used to (or still do) run a zine. It just takes a shitload of time to finish one. Maybe one do we could do a book, combining the best interviews, columns etc or something. That would be awesome, no idea if people would be into it. But that’s an idea that’s in the back of my mind for sure.

As for support for mobile devices. The site should work on most mobile devices, but the next version of the site will be totally responsive for sure. Which means we’ll start designing and coding with mobile in mind from the start and optimize for different mobile, tablet and desktop sizes. No native apps though. And no Spotify.

8. Anything you’d like to add?

Funny to have the tables turned for once. If people are reading this, feel free to come check us out at www.swnk.org sometime. Join the conversation. 

Support paper zines (Law & Order, Just Say Yo, #Hardcore etc etc), they always will be cooler than us webzines :) Aside from that, good luck with this feature and the site and thanks for sharing the spotlight!

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Words by Matt on Jan. 26, 2013, 7:12 p.m.

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