All Juice No Pulp: Power of Online Publishing

by : Zach Turner

Sylk Magazine is a step outside the formulaic men's publication. First of all Sylk has forsaken paper and is available exclusively online, now a growing trend, but very 'non-conformist' three years ago when it was established. In that time Sylk has successfully survived nay-saying magazine traditionalist and people's pre-conceptions that any site with sexy photos of women is porn.

While the big players in print are going digital out of concern over a dwindling bottom line, Sylk Magazine's creator, Stefan Orenda, says love for the environment was the motivating factor for Sylk.

Q: "Why did you go online instead of print?"
A: "When Sylk was started it seemed like common sense that print would give way to digital despite popular opinion, but that was not so much the motivation as it was justification to create a paperless magazine. Click a key save a tree!"

As well, low production overhead, and nearly zero distribution costs combined with a vast, easily accessible market and the automated distribution methods of Internet advertising allows Sylk the freedom to explore edgy, controversial topics without the fear of losing advertisers.

This means that Sylk can deviate from the typical men's magazine fare of sports and tech reviews and tackle political, religious and social issues, from the environment to racism, which most mainstream magazines won't go near. Sylk can also do things like have FREE subscription and donate the sales from Sylk merchandise to charity to combat world hunger.

Not to say that internet publishing results in humanitarianism, but it makes it possible to bring back rowdy idealist publications and has allowed Sylk's creator to follow a philosophy of "you can be informed, make a difference in the world and have fun doing it."

Q: "What was the motivation to step outside the standard offering of men's mags?"
A: "I am a trouble maker, always have been, always will be and I think there is an audience out there that is sick of the same ol' celeb gossip and is hungry for a more intelligent option."

But when you go to the first thing you notice will not be the biting political commentary. As with any men's publication worth its weight in bikinis Sylk features plenty of barely clothed models. But even the Sylk Girls break the industry mold. Rather than chase down para-celebs, Sylk gives girls just starting out in modeling the spotlight.

However, perhaps the most amazing thing about Sylk Magazine and what is a clear testament to the power of internet publishing is that Sylk has a staff of one. The whole shebang from design, photography, editing, programming, marketing down to server management is done by one guy. In the beginning even most of the writing was his handiwork.

Q: "No one would guess that Sylk is only a one man show. How do you do it?"
A: "Shhhhhh! No one is supposed to know who the man behind the curtain is. But honestly I don't do it alone. I may do the labor but without my peeps support I would have gone coo-coo long ago. My friends and the subscribers are all important for my motivation but most importantly the Sylk Girls. Without them Sylk would be just another political rant blog."

Anyone that has had cyber-sex knows that the internet is notorious for things being not what they seem. But unlike potentially talking dirty to a fat guy in a pizza stained wife beater, Sylk Magazine is something good. It is an expression of the power and diversity of the net and what one person can do with a dream and hard work.