Reorganization of Syntagma Media
Over the hottest part of the summer we've been toiling away to effect a complete transformation of Syntagma, from a typical "blog network" to a "continuously updated, online distributed magazine".
The "distributed" part refers to the "wide" network model we've used from the beginning : each topic section being a website with its own individual domain name. We also use the Wordpress weblog technology, but that's more for convenience than the wish to be bloggers.
The general public sees bloggers as lone voices crying out in the wilderness, usually making a lot of noise in order to be heard. By contrast, when you're a writer of a distinct topic section of an online magazine, you're not really a blogger at all, but a ...... Well, we're calling them authors.
The second stage of the reorg was to get rid of the "supplements", which suggested they were somehow different to the main output instead of just being different "flavours" in the mix. The new "clusters" will add coherence and order to the magazine and enhance reader migration between similar subject areas.
So we now have MetaSyntagma, which collects our mystical sites together. Currently we have Supernatural and Spiritual Nirvana. In September we'll be launching Arunachala News, a new website providing on-the-spot coverage of life on India's most mystical mountain : Arunachala. If you've heard of Ramana Maharshi I won't need to say more.
With the return of Money Finesse to the fold, our Money Supplement becomes MoneySyntagma. Creme de la Femme has been dropped because it lacked the leverage we thought it would develop. The success of our art site, Art NYC, however, may encourage us to look at a specific arts cluster : ArtSyntagma at some stage.
Because of the change of emphasis towards a more unified structure, the new clusters won't need separate editors, as before. We will rely on our authors to provide the editorial input -- which many of them do already.
Our newest cluster is iSyntagma, the "i" standing for Indulgences. Here I've plonked my personal book blogs, and Naked Tales, a group project which, incidentally, doesn't have a naked tail in sight, contrary to popular conception. Also our long-term publishing project, Dial Publishing, and my soon-to-be-up Superdemocracy Manifesto, which is more business oriented than political.
The advantage of iSyntagma is that there's now a place to put suggestions we get for sites dealing with personal agendas, where commercialization would be inappropriate and unwelcome. Believe me, most ideas pitched to me fall into this category, whether the "blogger" knows it or not. The really great ones -- mostly by invitation only -- will go in there.
So that's the new structure of UberSyntagma rolling out into the autumn/fall. How far we've come from the first stirrings of an idea for a "blog network" which we are now transforming into something acceptable to a wider readership. The objective is to develop a more mainstream platform as we go up a notch or two in the publishing food chain.