Really, it all began with a name change: in 2010, 48HR Magazine was nearly sued for exercising what CBS believed to be an infringement of its copyright on “48 Hours”. Consequently, the name of the publication was altered to “Longshot Magazine”
Longshot Magazine’s “About” page neatly summarizes almost anything you’d want to know about a magazine that sought to be entirely created and published in a 48 hour time frame (hence the original name). The magazine allowed 24 hours of submission relevant to its predetermined theme, then used the remaining half of the time to choose what content would be allowed and to create the design of the issue. Anyone in the world was eligible to submit a work, regardless of profession, education, etc. (I believe the authors featured in the third issue received monetary compensation). As Longshot itself stated: “We want you to make it. We want to publish it first. We don’t want your rights.” This certainly ambitious and entirely new way of going about creating a magazine resulted in Issue Zero of 48HRS magazine in early 2010. Longshot Magazine also produced Issue 1 between Aug. 27-29, 2010. The following year, Issue 2 was created from July 29-31.
Alexis C. Madrigal, Sarah Rich, and Mat Honan are the people responsible for founding Longshot Magazine. In Madrigal’s article in The Atlantic, “The Almost-Free Toolkit We Use to Make Longshot Magazine”, he lists the “tools” used to produce the magazine, including Google Docs, HP’s MagCloud, Kickstarter, etc.
Joel Johnson of Gizmodo.com expressed his enthusiasm about the magazine in his article, “Making a Magazine”: “you don’t have to sit idly by and watch a bunch of writers and artists wank away at a project from afar—you can get right in there and wank alongside.”
TK Zine, according to its Tumblr page, is a “crowd-sourced, collaborative zine created by Caitlin Dewey and Kuan Luo”. In a May 2011 post on her WordPress, Caitlin Dewey announces the initial call for submissions for TK Zine, which she describes as being “inspired” by Longshot Magazine. It appears that Dewey followed the same format as Longshot, hosting a 48 hour window for submission, editing, and design. However, TK Zine was planned to include only submitted workds that were “from and about graduating seniors” (of Syracuse University, presumably).
Longshot created a magazine without using the model of traditional institution. Instead, with the creative works of members of the public, and with a small group of founding members dedicated to accomplishing their goal. Nor did they use a professional publisher. As Madrigal stated, Longshot used tools available to anyone on the internet to publish three issues of the magazine. Madrigal also pointed out that these tools were not available to use just five years prior to the publishing date of the third issue. TK Zine followed in Longshot’s example, using only crowd-sourced material to produce a publishable, collaborative work. These magazines represent new models of publishing and authorship in that the people responsible for the content also have published it. The magazine in itself has had no outside editing or approval.
As well, the authorship of these magazines are vague. Individual entries are attributed to their authors. Caitlin Dewey and Kuan Luo are responsible for the editing of TK Zine. Just whom own the “rights” to these magazines, however, is undefined.