Let's Make Robots!

What periodicals do you enjoy?

I guess since I asked for this forum area I'll post here too :D

I know we live in a digital age, where everything is available online, but I'm also a person that enjoys riding the bus, and hanging out at parks. I usually have 2-3 books/magazines to read whilst on the way, and am looking for some new material to read since I don't get textbooks anymore now that I'm done with school.

I've found one magazine, called Nuts and Volts, which is amazingly awesome. It's all geared toward the hobbyist, but does a great job on discussing not only circuitry, but also different uses for robotics. There's even a regular called "near space" inside which encourages people to build objects to launch into near space and record data!

I've seen some others (Servo, Make, Popular Mechanics, etc), but it's just while browsing (ok, well Make zine is too pricey for me).

What other publications does everyone here read? How many of us are still addicted to reading paper in our hands not on our screens?

Any email list/publication is welcome. I just love having access to information!

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Wow, you guys have like access to magazines on the topic(s)? Wohaa.. The day a Danish robo-orientated magazine hits the streets.. that will be the day :D

It's fairly easy to start your own print magazine/periodical. We've done it a couple of times now. The first one shut down after five years. We had a readership of about 200, including some university libraries, each of whom paid an annual subscription. Unfortunately the sponsoring institution (which provided reprographic facilities) closed down and that was that. We started another one a few years later. It was taken on by a major academic publisher and now pays my wife a fee to be the main editor. There's a global (well mainly Europe and USA) readership and an annual conference in the UK that attracts speakers from the USA.

We've talked about starting another journal. If we were to do it again, it would be on-line (which eliminates most of the production costs) but periodic (quarterly or monthly) rather than continuous. We would include peer-reviewed articles, book reviews, and opinion pieces. A small subscription is good as it helps to identify true commitment.

On the back of a magazine you can spin out a) a conference or faire (get an industrial or university sponsor); b) an annual robot competition (prizes paid for by entry fee, sponsorship, or journal subscription); c) kits and how-to books/articles (some freebies plus some paid for). As an example of a focused community/publication/activity, think about Games Workshop / White Dwarf

I have also been involved in attempt by some Americans to launch publications on the back of an on-line community. It raised venture capital and tried to combine an on-line journal with paid-for advertising together with very expensive industry reports (they had an alliance with a top-tier consultancy to provide content). This all failed dismally.

If anyone wants to have a go. I'm up for it. But, it needs commitment, consistency and quality. You do this for love/fun, not for money.We have found that having got a journal up and running, it takes about one day per week to edit and several days before each issue to publish. On top of which you need time from authors and reviewers.

Mike

But as you say, it needs commitment and dedication like any business. My dedication is to building and programming bots, not writing about them :-)

 

If you want to check out Nuts&Volts, I do know through "sources" that torrents of the previous issues in pdf form have been found. The only reason I used it was to find an old project from a mag that was displaced in a box somewhere...
I know Make is available in an online version. I'm sure a few of the other mags do as well. I get a print copy of Make, but I can see all of the historical copies online as part of my subscription.

I would say it's near worth it to check out Nuts and Volts if you can get it mailed to you.

It's originally geared towards the hobbyist, but is helpful for professionals as well. It reminds me a lot of what we have here online. They even have a Q&A section where readers can ask and answer eachother's questions.

Lets me know we're not the only ones out there! 

You guys have Lego!  : )
I didn't know Lego started in Denmark! Yay, new knowledge of the day for me!

Some say Lego started Denmark. Period.

777px-Legoland_Billund_0372.jpg (wiki)

Oh wait, I'd still have to travel a lot to get to a Danish Kiosk. Might as well go to an English kiosk in London.

Twenty million people speaking a language don't make a viable robomag audience, I guess. Oh well, I drive anyway.Wouldn;t be safe to read during my commute...