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Getting by with a little help from

by | 8 Oct 2010 | History of the Mahurangi Magazine | 0 comments

Brush with mayor cartoon

Brush with the Mayor: The ‘laugh-out-loud-funny’ cartoon lampooning the defunct district council proposal for a ward boundary immediately north of regional councillor Christine Rose’s residence. cartoon Majorlook Productions

Updated 6 July 2011

The reader is paramount.

Without the more than 26 000visits’ received a year, publication of the Mahurangi Magazine could not otherwise be justified.

Publication of the magazine is only possible thanks to the help of some very good friends. Some provide moral support, some provide practical support, some provide financial support. A rare and wonderful few provide all three.

The moral support needn’t be elaborate to be hugely encouraging. One reader in particular invariably hits Reply and says just a few nice words, such as:

Another good article; love the cartoon.

Another has single-handedly signed up a score of new readers, by asking their permission to be added to the Notify of New Pages list. An example:

Also, a new recruit for Mahu Mag.—please could you add [name]. Chatting yesterday with [name] about our wonderland while steaming the Puke, I promised to get her on the email list so her life could be complete!

This practical form of help is a singularly important because a combination of content and readership fuels search engines such as Google. A high profile on Google fuels readership, which further-fuels the search engines.

Help with subediting is invaluable. It is never sound for editors to subedit their own work, and close readers may have noticed that a day or two may pass before the worst of the rough edges have been removed. Any embarrassment the functioning-perfectionist editor suffers when dumb-arse mistakes are pointed out is greatly outweighed by the knowledge a reader has his back:

I thought that your CO2 was an interesting lead into the topic, but upon more careful reading I see it is merely a typo.

Fortunately, the costs of online publishing are miniscule, as compared with print media—similarly, the cost to the atmosphere. Sadly the same can’t be said of the cost of clothing, housing and feeding the editor—all provided uncomplainingly by the editor’s wife. Or of the cartoons commissioned, regardless of how gentle Majorlook Productions is in its charging.

It is utterly unrealistic to expect readers generally to contribute financially. Paywalls on websites work only for a very few prestige publishers, and many of those are also obliged to provide considerable content free of charge.

It is also unnecessary, thanks to the few who donate spontaneously.

Finally, and while it don’t pay the bills, being read by Tamahunga’s two most powerful politicians is motivating:

Now that is a classic. Laugh-out-loud-funny graphics exposing the true motives of far too much of Rodney policy making—personal pique. Thanks for the laugh of the day—if only the decisions weren’t the most serious issues we’re facing in recent history!

The Mahurangi Magazine has huge clout.

A clue as to the identity of the utterer of the second statement; it was not intended as a compliment.


Visits A visit is defined as:

The first time someone views a page on a site, a visit is started. Any other pages viewed by that visitor will not be counted as a separate visit until the visit times out (usually after 30 minutes). The visit ends at this timeout point.

Hits, the term commonly bandied about as evidence of a site’s popularity, is almost meaningless. That is because, for reasons historic and archane, it records a whole mess of inadvertant activity generated by a visitor’s actions—more than 400‍ ‍000 annually, in the case of the Mahurangi Magazine.

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