Ryan Imel of WPCandy.com has announced the launch of a quarterly magazine focused entirely on WordPress called the WordPress Quarterly. The magazine will be physical in nature meaning you can hold it in your hands as well as have a digital counterpart that won’t be available until the print edition ships. During the course of the year, the magazine will have four issues shipped, one in January, April, July, and October. If you want to own a small piece of WordPress history, you can pre-order the first issue for $12.00 while subscribing for the entire year will be $36.00. That doesn’t include shipping which many people outside of the U.S. have already complained about. However, Ryan has since tweaked the shipping prices to make them more affordable. The first issue already has a slew of contributing WordPress all stars which you can see here, covering the gamut from an article on TimThumb to bbPress and the GooglePlex.
What perplexes me is the idea of going through with a physical WordPress centric magazine at all. Back in March of 2010, Justin Tadlock started an interesting discussion on the Tavern forum regarding the idea of creating some sort of community oriented WordPress magazine. It would have been a website dedicated to the topics of WordPress, bbPress, BuddyPress and anything else that needed to be focused upon. Although the site wouldn’t really be used as a typical blog but more or less be used to publish non time sensitive content such as reviews, interviews, tips and tricks. At the end of the day, the idea never gained traction to see the light of day but it looks as though the excitement that was expressed regarding the idea back in 2010 is still prevalent as I’ve seen a number of people subscribe to the WP Quarterly Magazine.
Fast forward to the end of 2011 and the question I have is, what has changed since then to turn the idea into a reality with not so much of a website but a physical magazine? While Justin wanted a group of contributors to simply give back when submitting an article to the magazine, WPCandy is charging for this content. I wonder if the authors will be allowed in on profit sharing or if they are paid on a per article basis? Considering the alternative of being able to publish those great articles on ones own site, I’d be hard pressed to think people will just give away that type of content without a price attached.
At any rate, I’ll be watching from a distance to see if this magazine can gain traction and stick around for awhile or if the initial surge of subscriptions and excitement will die down. At the very least, owning the first issue will be like owning a small piece of history.