Editor's Letter

Lovely day to feed the birds Alison Boulier, 790

Lovely day to feed the birds Alison Boulier, 790

We’re Building a Website!

Our lack of a web presence thus far may have seemed like a deliberately obtuse personality quirk, like your off-the-grid friend who doesn’t have Facebook, but in reality it was just a matter of priorities. We have one developer who does all of the “hard computer stuff” and building our app was a real-life version of the Hugh Jackman scene from Swordfish for three months straight.

To make a magazine that reflects Vancouver we needed an app that let people submit photos and then choose the ones to be published. Since we couldn’t have a magazine without an app, the app came first.

To understand why we built our magazine before our website, it’s important to look at what made print valuable in the past. Newspapers, in every city, had a local monopoly over a variety of forms of advertising. This monopoly was reinforced by the large fixed costs associated with buying printing presses and managing a network of distribution. 

Then technology ended that monopoly. When the internet made distribution free it meant that newspapers were in competition with one another. Suddenly, people in Vancouver could read the New York Times if we wanted to. Also, web pages have no marginal unit cost so anybody could start their own blog which meant newspapers had to compete with a bunch of dudes in their mom’s basement. 

When the firewall protecting newspapers’ local advertising monopoly was breached we ended up with lots
of new and interesting websites covering Vancouver. This was definitely a good thing. Unfortunately, as time went on the sites that secured the largest cultural footprint were the ones that pursued advertising dollars most aggressively. Since advertising seeks audience we ended up with stories about the “10 Best Bathrooms on BC Ferries, and you’ll never believe what’s at number 3!” It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just a function of an ad-based business model.

And this brings us back to why Archive hasn’t made a website yet. If we are to succeed we want to do it because we make something that Vancouverites are willing to support. We constantly get emails from readers asking where they can find the latest issue of Archive Vancouver. And every month we run out of copies. So we’ve decided to start a subscription service. So here’s the pitch, for $9.95 (shipping included) we will mail you the latest copy of Archive Vancouver as soon as it’s off the press. If you can’t afford to part ways with 10 bucks but you still want to support Archive, we will take the change in your couch. For anything under $10 we will print your name on the friends and sponsors page of the magazine so people will know you’re part of the Archive fam. You can visit our subscription service on Patreon at www.patreon.com/archivemagazine

If you like what we do, please support us.


Want more Editor's Letters?