Digital Publishing POD

Digital Publishing POD

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This semester there was an interesting option available when registering for classes. Something called a POD was available. It was all about using the app platform to create a digital magazine. This was something I couldn’t pass up.

First off, what on earth is a POD? This was a new experiment by a number of the departments here at Columbia. They aren’t really classes, but more groups that are lead by someone in the department and structured around a basic project or problem that needs to be solved. This allows the students that are enrolled in the PODs to be more experimental or take more risks than a normal class may allow. It also allows the students in the class to drive the direction, and in the case of the digital publishing POD, allows us to work on one project, as a team, over the course of the whole semester.

The POD that was of great interest to me was the digital publishing POD. During the fall semester, the department won a grant to publish a digital magazine using the app structure. It launched in the late fall. The app is titled Frank, and the first issue had focused on people in the department working on various photo projects. My trip and project in Brazil was one of the projects that was featured.

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The goal of the POD is to produce the second issue of Frank. This includes reworking the entire design and interface, writing all the articles, and photographing anything that is needed for those articles. The first task was to decide what the content focus would be for the second issue. We decided to broaden the scope of the articles to break out of just the Columbia world and focus on photographic issues in general, things that students here may find interesting.

So far, I have had at least some involvement in at least four of the articles, providing images for an interview with Todd Hido, interviewing and writing an article about Andy Adams and the rise of Flak Photo (I shot the images for that too), co-writing an article about the digital transition, and providing one of the sections of photo studio tours, which involves a panoramic of an artist’s studio and a small interview.

Once we have all of the content, which should be mostly finished up over spring break, the building begins. I am excited to begin learning that process.

And while doing all of this, I have decided to collaborate with an editor friend of mine and begin our own digital magazine. Although I haven’t been completely sold on the app-only form factor, it is something I think we will be experimenting with as we move forward with our own plans.

Keep an eye our for Frank Vol. 2, which should be available in the late spring, and while you’re waiting, you can check out the first version here.