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West Side Magazine

The idea of producing a magazine came into my head and immediately the name. WEST SIDE not only West Side Magazine , but the idea of having it linked to a web site and a web site linked to downloadable live music sessions linked to bands web sites. live audio streams from local locations , Film trailers linked to local cinema. the vision was there and more ideas came web site downloadable mini radios , mp3s of local bands. on line photo exhibitions, dates for art stuff , pictures people local info it was like without having to think too hard I had enough stuff to fill years and years of concept. and how to get this rolling on a no budget.

The full thing feeding itself on a local basis. Westside Guide, Magazine in print form, West Side Web and potential online shopping at a later date, Radio now called pod casts, West side Lounge artists meeting business people meeting and networking. West Side Live a set of live gigs in many locations, one ticket many venues. west side new media stage on local public events and of course the later product diversification.

There were many differences between me and what I was going to do and what others do. Money wasnt the issue because I didn’t have any, also I was reaching deep down into the very tiny recesses of the local area culture. I reckoned 10 smallish businesses would finance this.

People thought I was mad, one side of the family thought I was dreaming , you know the usual “ it costs thousands, you have to have know how, a degree in knowing how to work it out , how are you going to to do this that the other. “ like as if I hadn’t thought about it ? One or two said “ I was confident , optimistic , determined and this was my only chance and way out of the rut I was in.

I went out with a colour print out of an idea that I did on my PC with page maker.

Im not a graphic designer lay outer it was primitive and looked rather amateur. The magazine had to come out in march 2004 because literally no one believed it was possible. I suppose it was the lack of ambition that most people have when having a standard dayjob. other people are succesfull , other people become famous pop stars photographers film makers etc.

On a cold snowed up February In Jeans & parker armed with print outs of page sizes and prices I went out there and called in many shops. In two weeks I had tapped the minds of the local business people and built up a picture.

I met a mix of many somewhat frustrated talented artists in need of a platform to express themselves. On the other hand I met dynamic young fast moving , some invited me into the back for a cup of tea coffee a beer , some gave me the occasional bottle of wine or kilo of coffee as a present and the result. I sold this magazine with not one cent in my pocket and in the first month, I made a profit of 1200 Euros.

The Problems that came along were just a few not paying their bills until the very last warning from the courts ( two I had to go through the courts to get my money ) another problem was trust, as they say in Germany trust is ok  but control is better. There  other knocks cuts and bruises but we all learn from this stuff.

Along the way I met several people with several aims and ambitions aquired a lot of contacts. After one year i noticed the larger print meda companies taking an interest in this area, I also knew that every month is something went wrong I was weeks away from bankrupcy, so I broke even and stopped whilst the going was good. One thing is for sure, If a large media company had believed in me and took me on, they would have been making a large profit from this , and not just financialy.