New Ruby Magazine

by pat eyler

Red Letter: The Ruby Journal was announced on January 8th. (A pre announcement was made back in December that met with a variety of feedback.)

I'm pretty excited to see a Ruby specific monthly magazine, albeit distributed in PDF only. Knowing that there's enough of a market to interest publishers in putting something like this together is an indication of the growth of the Ruby community.

I'll be interested to see how the first several months go, assuming the magazine hits a good number of readers and pulls in enough advertisers, I think it will help push Ruby even further into the light. What does it mean if Red Letter doesn't hit those marks though? (And, what constitutes a good body number of readers, or enough advertisers?)

I guess we'll start getting answers in April and go from there, but it's a lot more fun to make predictions. I think it's got a pretty good chance of succeeding. What do you think?

7 Comments

Jeff Blaine
2006-01-12 10:01:05
Now they just need to get their Google AdSense banner at the top to stop targeting precious stones.
James Britt
2006-01-12 10:36:49
"I'm pretty excited to see a Ruby specific monthly magazine"


One should also be pretty excited about an existing Ruby-specifc online magazine, Ruby Code & Style. Unlike the PDF-only zine, it's free, and created by and for Ruby hackers.


(Disclaimer: I'm the Editor-in-Chief.)

Pat Eyler
2006-01-12 11:00:36
Jeff, they're plastered with Java ads at them moment, but I hope that will change as more content and less announcement/fluff fills the page.


James, you're right, Ruby Code & Style is worth being excited about, but for different reasons. Your magazine is a great outgrowth of the community, seeing it thrive will say a lot about our willingness to share our knowledge and help each other out. By the way, are there new articles on deck for Ruby Code & Style? I'm looking forward to them.


It's precisely because Red Letter is a commercial product that I want to look at it. If it succeeds, it will mean that there's a user base that we can point to when trying to sell Ruby to our boss/customer, it will mean that there's a market that we can target for Ruby specific tools and products (much like: Ruby Stuff, nice website by the way).


Is Red Letter perfect? No, there are a couple of things I'd love to see -- a real paper version (maybe once it shows that it's got legs) and free (in all the senses of the word) content, perhaps after a short period of exclusivity. Whether these wishes get granted or not, I think it's going to be an interesting ride.


I think that there's room for both magazines to prosper, I hope that both of them do, but I think that they represent two different kinds of success.

ian
2006-01-13 10:14:52
$60 subscription for pdfs?


they better have a couple of incredibly impressive sample issues.

Sam Flywheel
2006-01-13 10:58:20


I am the publisher of Red Letter. My thanks for your feedback.



I am considering a 60- to 90-day period of exclusivity for subscribers, followed by the content moving to the Web for free. I am also considering content just for the Web for free, as well.



As for print, if there was enough interested, I'd pursue it, too. One thing to consider: PDFs are a very necessary medium to reach people outside of North America. Mail is simply too unreliable or too expensive in many cases. Independent of cost and hassle, PDFs can easily be archived, searched, and linked from, something Red Letter will do for code, advertisers, etc.



As for the precious gems ads, Valentine's Day is coming up! :-)


James Britt
2006-01-13 20:02:33
By the way, are there new articles on deck for Ruby Code & Style? I'm looking forward to them.


Yes. We've got an article on domain-specific languages in the wings.


Your magazine is a great outgrowth of the community, ...


Just to be sure there is no misunderstanding: it is not *my* magazine. There are a good many (and many good) people behind it.


It is the Ruby community's magazine.


It's precisely because Red Letter is a commercial product that I want to look at it.


RC&S has a commercial aspect as well. Compensation for contributors is important.

Pat Eyler
2006-01-13 20:12:12
By the way, are there new articles on deck for Ruby Code & Style? I'm looking forward to them.


Yes. We've got an article on domain-specific languages in the wings.


Great! I'll look forward to reading it.


Your magazine is a great outgrowth of the community, ...


Just to be sure there is no misunderstanding: it is not *my* magazine. There are a good many (and many good) people behind it.


Understood. I was perhaps not clear, but did mean that (plural) you of which you (singular) are a part.


In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing both of these Ruby magazines prosper in 2006.