From the Editor's iMac

It's a lonely road, yes.

H o w e v e r, feedback generated from the first gazette of six long months ago seems generally to have reaffirmed that we're focused a wee tad further into the future than may be immediately apparent, and that our basic business/functional-model is basically correct ~ But,..

Launching and operating a traditional magazine or e-zine today generally implies having at least a few dedicated reporter/s, editor/s, designer/s, multi-tasker/s, admin and biz folk all congregating regularly in dedicated premises to "work" together on a project. The model is at least a century old and still works admirably, even in the case of a gazette like this. For example, imagine a team structured around two networking socialite-columnists equipped with pocket-sized DV cameras in Mumbai's film circuit!,.. or how about an MTV "clone" with hours of repeatedly -and selectively- browsable music videos, interviews, articles, et al!! What a return to the browser, what a return to the advertiser, and what a return to the producer!!!

Big or small, good or bad, it's all going to happen (with lots riding the upcoming broadband net), and when it does happen you won't see the woods for the trees.

In our case, I hope this is where we diverge. With particular thanks to all of you who sent in congratulations to the team, I'm delighted to report that the experiment is substantially about multiple and continuously morphing virtual teams. Thus far, it has operated by networking as-and-when around an individual who could be almost anyone anywhere (i.e. me), but this is intended eventually to operate as a much vaster network of independent nodes everywhere, with each extending the networking a wee bit further. In fact two such nodes almost did take off over the last few months,.. before we lost the talent to the whole impatient Dot.Com freeding-frenzy.

With our model, the Internet is an enabler rather than a "presentation network," and there's no big hurry about getting aboard it since it isn't running away anywhere anytime soon. The focus looks more towards establishing and nurturing a real-world connect amongst real-world people in a sharing creative matrix.

By the traditional 'magazine' model, beating up the streets of just New Delhi (or New York for that matter) over a couple of weeks could certainly fill up a gazette like this lickety-split, but our touchstone here is that "it puts the man in Madagascar to disadvantage". As a result, while freely admitting that assembling some of the features in this gazette may have individually cost upto three months of sometimes intense virtual interaction, we'd really prefer not to regret or apologize for missing out so many of the folks we might have "interviewed" and featured ~ just because maybe we live and work in the same town.

I believe the period of human evolution we're living through today to be the dawning of a new "creativity era" that's happening right now, everywhere. To me, the cutting-edge of computers, software and other technology at our disposal presently is all "Jurassic" in this framework and ridiculously pricey against the obsolescence factor. But it is rapidly progressing on every count every day, to the degree that one can almost no longer even attempt to guess at what's over the immediate technological horizon on any front, except for just one singular factor ~ burgeoning individual empowerment, for those who can afford it (we've sought to flag that last issue with our little Shiva in the contents-page title banner this time).

In this immense canvas of the future, the precise but ever-widening aspect we've chosen to focus upon through this gazette and the activities behind and surrounding it, is individual creative empowerment: a very near future we believe, when empowered individuals will all be able to do all things, and by collaborating, virtually achieve the unforeseeable. That's one of the reasons we took the liberty of featuring my son Bacchus as an interesting amateur in this gazette (aside from the fact that he's pretty good too). The central submission is certainly that he is by no means a "prodigy." Instead, we hope he serves as a demonstrator that in (e.g.) a crowded country of a billion people, empowering children as he has been will undoubtedly yield thousands of very real prodigies each in thousands of different streams of creative, productive and enriching endeavour.

We're therefore also delighted to be carrying a short report with some works from a series of summer childrens-workshops run by our old friend Nitin Donde (who featured on the first gazette). As you will see from visiting the link [IABC, under Video / Anim.], this welcomes representatives of a whole new generation of animators amongst us,.. who may never pursue the profession but will nevertheless improve their talents and capabilities in this direction, as a matter of routine computer-usage through the rest of their lives.

Needless to say, we're hoping to feature a lot more kids in future gazettes, and look forward to receiving your suggestions and leads on this.

As many of you already know, our distribution-model now supports all of this via a 'creeping' free-circulation of the gazette through the 6 month interregnum between editions, amongst "Identified E-artists and related professionals / organizations / institutions" (peers +/-). The list so far is fascinating, wonderful, growing, steadily turning global,.. and we're privileged to be reaching each and every one of you.

So what of the advertising,.. the bottomline??

Well to be frank, and as you can see, we haven't really managed to attend to that properly thus far, but certainly look forward to having your goodwill and support in that and so much else for Lucky #3, the millennium gazette due January 2001.

Just e-mail me to be involved,.. and keep well.

Shankar Barua
D-3/3492 Vasant Kunj
New Delhi - 110 070 (India)
vox & fax: (91-11) 689 9930
(below: two interesting endlessly forwarded E-mails I received)