Despite my love for all things online, I still enjoy reading dead-tree versions of some magazines, especially those about photography. Though I’m sure it won’t be like this forever, the gamut and bit-depth of photos on paper are still well ahead of what you’ll get on most displays, especially consumer-quality LCDs. And there really is something satisfying about holding those pages in your hand and studying (or just enjoying) the big, blown up pictures. Among the many photo mags I subscribe to, my current favorite is undoubtedly JPG. Not only does the magazine feature great photos from both famous and unknown photographers, but it’s also the most successful example to date of an online community successfully expanding its brand—and its community—offline. It’s no wonder Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni recently commented that JPG “took the mold of an industry model and completely smashed it, proving that technology is not the enemy to print as all the prophets of doom and gloom preach.” So, it’s very disappointing to hear that JPG founders Derek Powazek and Heather Champ are leaving JPG. While it’s not unusual for disputes among founding partners of a startup to end with one of them being ousted, it seems pretty clear that Powazek and Champ were the heart and soul of JPG, the ones who invented the whole “magazine publishing 2.0” concept. As a subscriber and member of the community, I certainly hope JPG continues to embrace that concept without them. And I also hope that Powazek and Champ emerge from whatever non-compete they may have signed and meet JPG head-on with their next venture.
By Marc Perton