The Pi User - contributor request!


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by PhilS » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:17 pm
Hi all,

I've set up a project site called 'The Pi User', it's sort of a throwback to 'The Micro User' for all you old nostalgic types (I'm 22 but I'm sure I remember reading them somewhere!).

The aim is to have articles, project logs and tutorials about the Pi, all light hearted and community generated. I'm envisioning an e-magazine really!

What I'm after is potential contributors, if you think you would be interested in writing about anything, head over to http://www.thepiuser.co.uk and leave a comment (it won't be shown), there's more details on the front page.

Also, anything I publish will remain your content, and it's all voluntary and not for profit. I'm not affiliated with the foundation, just a fan!

Thanks all!

Phil

PS: I know the site is messed up using IE, it's something I'm working on but I suck at CSS!
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by PhilS » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:29 pm
PPS: I'm open to tips, pointers, requests, ideas etc...
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by Lynbarn » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:38 pm
You might want to check your colour scheme. White and red on black looks good, but it isn't always easy to read on some monitors - especially for us of somewhat advancing years... :)

With CSS, it is possible to allow the visiter to select alternative font size/colour schemes. A useful learning exercise for you, and a boon for oldies like me! :)
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by Turbo-Frambozenbier » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:12 am
PhilS said:


PPS: I"m open to tips, pointers, requests, ideas etc...



Hi Phil,

I just wrote you a very long reply but it didn't save/post properly so here is the short version.

We have been doing a similar thing since Nov last year, we have authors, graphic designers, translators, etc..etc.. already working with us.

We should probably be working together on this and joining forces and sharing content, if there is anything you need help with just get in touch and we will do whatever we can to help you, same goes for anyone else here.

turbo@framb....org
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by meltwater » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:55 am
I like the idea of the e-magazine type format.  There are a few options which could be used (or combo of):

1. Magazine App: Something like the Stuff magazine app where it collects all the latest articles they have and puts in as a nice visual display of them (I guess you can get blogs to display in a similar way with the right software).  I believe Engadget also have one, but ICS only I think, so not seen/used it properly.

2. RSS Feed: Even without the fancy software behind it, a single user contributed RSS feed would work well (some RSS readers will even format it nicely anyway).

3. Published eMagazine: Quite often this would be the easiest for a lot of people, possible formats are generated pdf, also if possible in kindle format (I guess they support automatic downloading of each issue too), also CBR comic book format (zipped jpg) is easy enough to produce.

For my own use, I usually look for interesting content which I can easily setup to be delivered to my devices, so RSS and apps are usually what I end up going for (ideally both available on and offline).  I've not used the kindle app with e-magazine's but I guess it'd get the latest issue each time.
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by oninoshiko » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:45 pm
This is just a thought on e-zines.

The Escapest, a gaming industry rag, used to use a vary paper-mag enspired format. They have since gone to something more like most blog sites, but I miss the old format (and have not spent any significant time on there since).

It makes for a unique format. (although I'm sure was much more labor intensive then the current format.) Just a random thought.

http://web.archive.org/web/200.....azine.com/
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by meltwater » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:11 pm
I can see what you mean, browsing the old and then visiting the new site, I'm not inspired to read anything on it.

It is a shame really since you'd place the two formats in opposite order of age if you didn't know.  It's like the Pivot magazine you got on the TouchPad, there is no way I would have looked at any of it if it wasn't formatted in the way it was.

I'm sure if you designed a range of layouts and a series of article themes each month, you could end up with a stylish type magazine (even if it is built up over the whole month).  Each author could aim for publishing a particular week so it is spread throughout the month.  At the end of the month, it gets complied into a pdf etc etc as the final magazine.

I think the most difficult (or at least the most effective bit) is getting decent images to use to go with the article.
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http://www.themagpi.com/
A Magazine for Raspberry Pi Users
Read Online or Download for Free.

My new book: goo.gl/dmVtsc

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by ashleigh.stone@doctors.org.uk » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:43 pm
Hey all.  Thanks to meltwater for pointing this out.  We are having a similar convo here

http://www.raspberrypi.org/for.....i-magazine

Would love to helo out in any way Phil S
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by deepthought » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:44 am
On the subject of e-zines, there's more than one way to skin a cat, some examples:

1. Website.

2. Wordpress.

3. PDF paper-style magazine, direct download from website.

4. Page-flip PDF paper-style magazine on issuu.com

5. Email newsletter, ie Mail Chimp: http://mailchimp.com/

People have different preferences on how they read stuff, personally I have a soft spot for traditional magazine design and with a pdf people can print off their own copy but all these things take a lot of work, even assuming contributions are forthcoming!

I write, edit and publish a local online newspaper as a contribution to my local community:  http://thebloxwichtelegraph.wordpress.com - it uses Wordpress.com, which works well enough within the constraints of available themes and customisations.

Back in the late 80s-90s I used to write articles for Micro Computer Mart, Atari ST User, Amiga User, and Amiga Computing.
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by meltwater » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:15 pm
Making some space in the wiki:

http://elinux.org/RPi_Communit.....e-Magazine

Too late tonight to add more, but hopefully can be an area for ideas to be shared around.  Cheers.
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http://www.themagpi.com/
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Read Online or Download for Free.

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Like the MagPi? @TheMagP1 @TheMagPiTeam
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by Jim Manley » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:26 am
Hi Phil,

There seems to be a recent trendy move to white type on black backgrounds and, while it's fine for logos and occasional advertising-style content, it's a death-knell if you expect people to actually read more than a paragraph.  There's a very good reason why we've traditionally put dark type on lighter backgrounds and not vice-versa - it's much more readable over extended periods of time.

For some reason, the artsy types have also seen fit to relegate serif typefaces (not to be confused with fonts) to the dustbin of history and that, too, is a huge mistake for readability (a font only identifies the family - a typeface includes font, size, bold, italics, underlining, and all other attributes).  Serifs are designed specifically to make type more readable - even lowly monospaced Courier, often used for code listings, has serifs!  Again, block fonts are fine for things like logos, ads, etc., where the purpose is to catch attention, but, not for long periods of reading, especially in tiny typeface sizes (all of these blogs in block typefaces just drive my eyes bloodshot ): ).

Otherwise, seems like a good idea, especially since we have nothing else to do but complain here in the forum without our R-Pi boards in front of our drooling countenances :)
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by jamesh » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:43 am
As long as there is a Kindle version - fill 'yer boots!
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by meltwater » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:20 am
Ok wiki page is built...

http://elinux.org/RPi_Community_Magazine

Keeping track of two threads is a pain.
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Read Online or Download for Free.

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by PhilS » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:21 pm
Hi all,

Thanks for the replies, it's all a bit hectic for me at the moment! I've taken what you've said on board, and tried a different Wordpress theme. This time I've gone with something very minimalist so there's nothing to detract from the content. We have about interested 8 contributors so far but we're still happy to talk to more people.

If you want to get in touch, we have twitter: @thepiuser, email: thepiuser@gmail.com, and an IRC channel on FreeNode: irc.freenode.net  ##thepiuser.

Thanks for adding us to the community emagazine list, and if anybody has any other ideas or complaints, don't hesitate to let us know!

Cheers, Phil
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by Jaseman » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:08 am
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by Jaseman » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:32 am
Just a suggestion here,

I know that Turbo-Frambozenbier has something in the pipeline.  Ash Stone came up with 'The MagPi' and we also have The Pi User by PhilS.

It might be great to have some competition between community based ezine's, but I'm just wondering if we can start a poll on whether we should just have 1 magazine, what it should be named? and what format it should be (Website, Printable pdf, or other).

If we all put aside our 'I want to be in control' instinct, I think it will be for the best.

I would favour the Raspberry Foundation being in command, and they have mentioned that they plan to commission someone to do an official mag.

My fear is though that the official one will be rather slow moving, compared with something controlled by the community.
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by deepthought » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:38 am
This is the first I have heard that the Foundation have plans to commission an official Raspberry Pi magazine. From who, I wonder? And at what cost?

If that is the case, and if this is not just a vague aspiration which might come to pass years from now if at all, then it might make sense not to divide potential input/contributions/contributors by setting up community-based 'magazines' in the sense of a conventional publication.

I think if there is definitely to be an official magazine in the reasonably near future it might be better to separately encourage one or more community support websites instead of 'magazines',which would certainly be easier to put together and add to on an ad hoc basis.  There is a lot of work involved in putting together a 'real' magazine and getting it out in a timely and regular fashion, even if it's just a download.

It's certainly worth thinking about, either way.

In any case, if I was asked to choose between the names The MagPi and The Pi User, personally I would lean in the direction of The Pi User because I like the connection with the BBC Micro. But since these look set to remain separate sites or publications, it's a moot point.

It's all open to debate of course, but input from the Foundation is really essential at this point before any serious work is done in any direction.

They may even be interested in recruiting contributors for their official publication…
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by Jaseman » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:43 pm
Don't quote me on an official magazine, perhaps it was an official 'manual', but I'm sure I read something along those lines.

I tend to agree that 'The Pi User' sounds a better name, and the fact that it already has a registered domain name is a bonus.  But I have serious worries about the copyright issues:

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/themicrouser/
http://www.thepiuser.co.uk/

Particularly over the header title.

Also some of the designated team positions 'Distroman' 'Solder monkey' 'Carman' 'Superdad' etc - I saw that and thought 'Hmmmm', but that might just be my age.

Maybe there is room for two magazines.  The Pi User as a web-based ezine, and the MagPi as more of a PDF (A4 printable) type publication, with perhaps a more mature audience.
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by meltwater » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:48 pm
I think the official publication was a remark made a good while ago when the idea was mentioned, the way I read it was that if things go well then there may be an official publication (i.e. a company may want to produce one if the RPi becomes popular).  They haven't made any noises while the two community ones have been discussed (that I am aware of) so I don't think it is currently on the cards.  I'm not aware that the foundation itself is aiming for anything like that.

As for merging the two concept magazines...that is totally up to those involved.  It just depends on how open the people want to be and how they want to do it.  It makes sense to focus on one magazine...but depends how flexible people want to be.

1st step will be to ensure that both are happy to let the community decide and then we can go from there.  Currently I like both, although younger generations will not get the micro link, but really a name is a name is a name...one excellent magazine is far better than two good ones.

The formats don't matter, since they all can be used without issue and there are some excellent options already mentioned.
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Read Online or Download for Free.

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by PhilS » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:59 pm
Hi guys,

Regarding the copyright issues, I have tried to find who owns the logo, unfortunately the Gentleman who I believe owned the magazine, Derek Meakin, passed away several years ago.

If anybody can offer some advice, it'd be appreciated, else I'll look at changing the logo.

Thanks,

Phil
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by meltwater » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:42 am
Hi.

I think you might be ok with it, particularly if you said why you wanted to use the reference (it inspired a whole generation), however without knowing anything about the people involved, or the circumstances you could get any kind of reaction.

Unfortunately, you are probably better off siding on the cautious side if you are concerned about it, since it is a small detail to have to continuously worry about.

Incidentally what are your thoughts on having the two magazines at the moment.  I don't think there is a problem with two if that is how people want to do it, equally there are advantages to a single one.  Either way, is fine (as long as it is all friendly-like).
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by deepthought » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:54 am
PhilS said:


Hi guys,

Regarding the copyright issues, I have tried to find who owns the logo, unfortunately the Gentleman who I believe owned the magazine, Derek Meakin, passed away several years ago.

If anybody can offer some advice, it"d be appreciated, else I"ll look at changing the logo.

Thanks,

Phil


You only need change the design of the logo slightly to avoid copyright issues, if there are any. A derivative design has new copyright.

You could still have a logo strongly reminiscent of the original without being identical.

On that basis for example, if you take the slant out of the cubes and make them square with rounded corners, it becomes a non-issue.
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by rpt » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:18 pm
Deep Thought said:


You only need change the design of the logo slightly to avoid copyright issues, if there are any. A derivative design has new copyright.


I don't think it's that simple. Although a derivative design has new copyright, it is still infringing the design that has been copied. Just changing it slightly does not get round copyright - the very fact it is copied means it infringes.

The other issue is trademarks. The logo is so similar that someone might think they are connected businesses and be confused. Even if the trademark is not registered, an action could still be taken for "passing off".

However, I suspect that both of these are non-issues as The Micro User is no longer trading and so it would be difficult to claim any loss.
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by PhilS » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:27 am
One thing to note, The Pi User is in no way a business, nor are we making any money from the site!

It's just a fan based website for the Raspberry Pi, inspired by The Micro User magazine of many years ago. The company that ran The Micro User has long since shut down and the managing editor passed away.
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by grumpyoldgit » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:37 am
I would change the name to The Hobbit User to avoid any potential unpleasantness over copyright.
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