Bootstrap: A new feature

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A few months ago, two friends and I came together and devised an idea for a new publishing startup. From those initial conversations, The Holocene was born. The Holocene is a digital microzine intended to deliver high quality editorial and multimedia content along with instructional material and patterns to make things. Our audience consists of the various DIY/Maker communities. As of today, The Holocene, as a company is mere weeks old.

I am excited to announce a new feature here on DBW’s Expert Publishing Blog, Bootstrap, in which I will be writing about the adventure our team will be undergoing as we work to launch this new venture into the world.

I intend to write frequent, brief updates on how our plans are going and talk about topics ranging from business model to user experience, editorial to design, building a new publishing business from the ground up to customer relationships in the digital age. I also call upon anyone reading this to please leave any questions you may have for me in the comments. I am more than happy to address any questions you have. Nothing is off limits.

So, let me jump in, here are some answers to basic questions about who we are and what we are aiming to accomplish:

What stage are you in as a startup?

As of two days ago, The Holocene has been selected as a finalist in the O’Reilly Startup Showcase which will take place during TOC next month in New York City. We are still a very early stage startup. We are working now on refining our product plan, UX/UI designs, and hashing out finer details of the business model.

What kind of business model(s) are you exploring? 

As a microzine, we are strongly drawn to the subscription model of legacy magazine publishing. However, we feel that as a new digital venture, we can improve on the user experience of the subscription in a way that makes sense to customers today. We have been looking at examples of subscriptions, within and outside of publishing, to figure out the right ingredients to our model. That said, we believe that a reader should not be forced into content they do not want. That they should have a choices. That these choices should always be open, so that a decision can be made without intervention by us.

What kind(s) of content are you going to publish?

Initially, we plan on building microzine content for the knitting and crochet communities. Both Kim Werker, our editor-in-chief, and myself are creators of yarn art. Kim has built and sold a top crochet blog, and is continually writing, editing, and generally being awesome within the knitting and crochet space. And, well, as for me, you have probably seen me knitting at DBW and other book conferences over the years. As such, we have a strong affinity for the content and understand what would make a good publication.

That said, it is not our intention to limit our platform to only knitting, crochet or other  similar crafts. Any DIY project could benefit this new take. And, any content with instructional content is our aim.

What does “the holocene” mean and why is that your name?

Our publisher, Corey Pressman, is an ex-anthropology professor and is always ready with the perfect vocabulary word, which may, to many of us, seem quite esoteric. Amazingly esoteric!

The Holocene is the current geological epoch, which began some 12,000 years ago. In context, we wanted to connote the ever present-ness of the present. It was a nod to our future-gazing, and our firm roots in the present.

* * *

I hope that you will come back soon for updates, as Kim, Corey, and I  welcome you all to join us in this adventure. We welcome any and all comments/communication/suggestions/feedback on what we are doing. Welcome and thank you for reading.

Image: Green knitting wool and knitting needles via Shutterstock.

Brett Sandusky

About Brett Sandusky

Brett Sandusky is the founder of bdigitl Media Labs, a consultancy providing UX and product development services to companies launching new ventures. He is also a co-founder and Director of Product Development of The Holocene, a digital publishing platform for the DIY and make space. You can find Brett on Twitter @bsandusky.

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