Let's Make Sure Longshot Mag Is More of a Sure Thing

Here’s what’s fun about TechCrunch’s new(ish) San Francisco office. I go out to grab a sandwich, see people I know and get to rudely grill them about how well their company is doing. Today it was Mat Honan, one of the founders of Longshot Magazine, which just put out its second issue, around the theme of “Comeback.”

You may know Longshot better by its pre-lawsuit name of 48 HR Magazine. It’s a really cool concept that leverages every new technology surrounding the publishing space to create a magazine on the fly. Those technologies include using social media to get submissions, cloud services like GoogleDocs to edit across space and time, using MagCloud for on-demand, glossy publishing and using the iPad to get it in people’s hands even faster. It got a ton of buzz during the last issue—so much that it prompted said lawsuit.

But oh how fickle we Web consumers are. Honan says this issue has so-far only sold half as many copies as the first one, and the founders are all scratching their heads as to why—especially considering the volume and quality of the submissions was up substantially.

Maybe it’s the August doldrums. Maybe you just missed the news. Or maybe it’s because–as Honan realized once he finally slept– they neglected to send out an email blast this time. But wanting it to survive isn’t enough– if you care about this project you have to actually buy it.

Clearly there is a lot of pent up artistic talent out there withering in a crumbling media economy wrecked by a combination of the Web and the old media fat cats who are fighting the inevitable. Longshot Magazine is a scrappy, bootstrapped effort to use the same technology that’s destroying glossy print publications to create one that makes economic sense. If you’re a writer, designer or photographer you know there’s nothing quite like the thrill of holding a beautiful glossy magazine displaying your work, and even as a reader there are still a few products I want for the coffee table. We don’t need another near-death experience of a radical new publishing idea.

Buy your copy here now.