show up at the headquarters shortly, along with friends, spouses,
colleagues and former colleagues, and, by Saturday, one baby, and two
When Honan wrote a description of the discussion that catalyzed the 48 Hour Magazine idea, he called it, "A ridiculous number of hipsters walk into a bar."
Twitter, the editors came off as buoyantly enthusiastic, and they're
like that in person, too. Within five minutes, Honan has logged me on to
sensation. More than 6,000 people signed up to potentially contribute
to the magazine's first issue, some from as far away as Brazil, Rwanda,
and Japan. The project had been covered that day by the L.A. Times and the Wall Street Journal.
when the filmmakers arrive to document the drama and the glory, they
find a handful of people working quietly around a conference table.
Their hair is clean. Their shoes are on. They are not visibly intoxicated.
The film crew retreats to an empty conference room to regroup.
Transparency and magazine editing do not usually go together. As we're reading submissions, everything we say is streamed live on the Web, and anyone can watch and listen to what's happening. That means, conceivably, that a contributor could be listening to what the editors say as his or her piece is being read.
At one point, Honan looks up from his computer and notes that some commentors who are watching the livestream don't like the negative response to some of the entries. It's a tricky moment. As Rich points out, criticism and rejection are part of all editorial processes; what people are seeing is the way real magazines work. (A kinder version, even; magazine editors are not a gentle breed.) At the same time, what's taken 48 Hour Magazine this far is the goodwill of the Internet. Everyone who submits won't be included in the print magazine, but part of the appeal of the project is that anyone could be. It's an experiment built on populism and inclusion. Now those principles are bumping up against editorial judgment.