I view printed publications with a questionable eye these days. Having written for several tech magazines and a broadsheet, now that I’ve ‘switched over’ to fully online (I run 4 sites now with 2 on the way), I’ve seen both medium’s pros and cons up close, and have long determined online to be the superior.
Above statement was my state of mind when I met the very personable Mike Yu, EIC of Rebound Magazine, who happened to be writing for me (of sorts) as he regularly contributes his thoughts as a first time Dad for my other site, Mom Exchange. Mike had already struck me as an excellent writer and when I learned of his editor in chief-ing for a basketball publication I was sure it’d be a hit. Still, why print though? Wouldn’t publishing be better served (I thought) if online?
Eventually I arrived at my answer, but only after reading it in its entirety. Before that though, I’d like to reprint an interview of Mike written by one of his writers Rick Olivarez, who runs the excellent Bleacher’s Brew, with permission from Mike of course, that’d help explain the nuts and bolts of this venture. To wit:
Rick: How did Rebound come about? Why college basketball?
Mike: We were talking among friends and someone just happened to ask why, after so many years after graduation, we were still all fixated on college basketball. And then it went on to compare the passion of games in the college game vs. the PBA, etc., etc. Finally, talk turned to where we get our info about college ball come July, and realized that it was mostly through informal discussion boards and forums on the Net. So, someone asked, “Why not a magazine?”. And everyone went, “Hmm…”, and that was that. 🙂
We chose college basketball (both the NCAA and UAAP) because players and fans alike seem the most passionate about it. Men and women alike! It’s crazy how rabid fanatics can get about the game. It doesn’t matter that players come and go every 4-5 years and that fans’ ages range from 10-100 years. The intensity and interest is still the same.
Rick: Who are the writers and how did you arrive at inviting them to write for Rebound?
Mike: The choice of writers was actually quite easy. We wanted the best people who have been covering the college game. So, we have Mike Abasolo, Rick Olivares and Chris Soler, all of whom are very knowledgeable about the college basketball scene. They know the players and coaches personally, and have access to the “inside scoop”. These are the men who can provide that much needed “human interest” side and “behind-the-scenes” stories that fans crave for, over and above what is reported in dailies about the game recaps. We are very fortunate that these three writers were very open to the idea.
We also actually have bigger dreams for the magazine and therefore, for the writers, of course. If we can help these writers take one step closer to whatever their goals are in their craft and maybe make them more well-known, etc., then we will really, really be happy. It’s a partnership, and one we’re happy to be a part of.
To round off the group of writers, we also have an established journalist and writer (Bill Velasco) offering his insights in a column that we hope will be a regular fixture in the magazine.
Rick: What can we look forward to in this magazine?
Mike: We’ve patterned the content of our first issue with the NBA basketball preview magazines that are released in the US. You will find recaps of the previous season, an in-depth team-by-team analysis that looks at various aspects of the upcoming season’s rosters, as well as a number of excellent features about players, teams and other personalities.
Since we want to start off our magazine with a bang, we also have a feature called “The Greatest College Players of the Past Twenty-Five Years”, chosen by people such as Sev Sarmenta, Mico Halili and Coach Jude Roque of San Beda (among others) involved in the heated debate. That was really fun to do! We hope that this feature will generate a lot of discussions among readers. I’m sure there will be fans who will be passionate about players who were included, left out, etc.
Rick: What will be the frequency of this magazine?
Mike: We will come out 2-3 times a year, to coincide with the college basketball season. I don’t think it’s possible to generate enough print-worthy stories the whole year round. But with such a frequency of 2-3 times a year, we can fill each issue with great, great stories and features, and make sure that the magazine is of high quality. Everyone has worked really hard to bring you a great mag, I sure hope you won’t be disappointed!
Rick: When will this be available and where? How much will it cost?
Mike: The magazine should be available at the latest by June 20 next week, right in time for the start of the college basketball season (the NCAA opens on June 27, and the UAAP in July). I’m sure fans will enjoy it, even if the basketball season has already started because it contains much, much more than just a season preview. The features are excellent!
It will be available in all major bookstores (National Book Store, Fully Booked, Magnet) and magazine stores in Metro Manila, and it will cost P175 per copy.
So finally, what do I think? As I held the magazine in my hands and read and re-read through it, I realized that: we need this. With its glossy, info filled, page after page of interesting College Ball data, it reminded me of the time when I’d excitedly anticipate the days until I’d get my subscriptions of my fave mags in the past (and I had a lot).
I realized that there’s still a special appeal to reading 1500 word, well edited articles submitted by people who know their stuff compiled and organized by a guy with a vision, and here it is right here. And really, that’s it’s strength. After all that’s said and done, the magazine will still draw you in just because it’s a good read.
And isn’t that all you really want, whether online or not?