UPDATE 4/21: Barring a miracle on the level of several five-stars committing to "The University of Pennsylvania State" in the next 24 hours, in the next 24 hours we are probably not going to hit our funding goal. We are re-launching this as an e-mag -- if you supported us here you get first dibs at the deals there. Thank you!
In 2009-'11, the Penn State blogosphere took its wit and snark to the glossy pages of the We Are Penn State preview magazines, published by Maple Street Press. It was a great three-year run, until MSP closed shop before the 2012 edition could be produced. All the better, since much of the world focused on the Penn State portrayed within the national media, and Penn State fans tried to focus on just about anything else.
But now it's 2013. And despite the efforts of some, and the expectations of everybody, there are some people playing football--good football--in Happy Valley. Let's go talk about that!
We Are... back!
At least that's the plan, but we need your help. In order to free us from the shackles of corporate overlords and give our readers the best Penn State content available, we are calling upon the awesome power of the PSU Web community--those of you who most appreciate and can best recognize original and quality content--to back our endeavor, and bring back your favorite annual publication.
What We Are...
The magazine will be 112 pages, the first half previewing the 2013 team and opponents. We will break down Penn State's schedule, its new high-power offense, its traditionally stout defense, and shockingly enough, a superb class of 2013.
Then come the features, with a lineup of superstar authors like:
Lou Prato, the renowned Penn State historian who will help us commemorate two decades of Big Ten membership by explaining how that all came about.
...plus contributions from BSD editor emeritus Jeff Junstrom, internet legend/MGoBlog editor Brian Cook, and of course the top notch PSU blogging team from Black Shoe Diaries: Devon Edwards, Adam Collyer, Tim Hyland, Dan Vecellio, and Ben Scaff.
Who We Are...
Mike, Cari and Jared. Hi. The inconsequential details:
The Editorial Director is PSU Blogging capo Mike Pettigano (@MikePettigano), a 2006 graduate of Penn State’s College of Communications and the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, and a four-year member of the Penn State Blue Band. A news reporter and editor since graduation, he was one of the early sports bloggerati, starting up Zombie Nation in 2007. He later brought together some of the best Penn State bloggers to create Linebacker-U.com. He spent three seasons as a sideline photographer and managing editor of Black Shoe Diaries through the end of the 2012 football season, and also worked with Phil Steele. His writing has been cited by, among others, FOX Sports, Sports Illustrated OnCampus, Sporting News Today, The Baltimore Sun, and the Chicago Sun-Times. Mike is currently the Associate Digital News Editor for North Jersey Media Group.
Editor Cari Greene (@NotCarlotta) is the Managing Editor for Black Shoe Diaries. After graduating PSU in 2003 with a degree in film, she wallowed in the depths of retail management hell before getting a "real job" that allowed her to actually, you know, attend PSU football games. Cari lives in suburban Maryland, close enough to State College that she can make the trip every weekend but far enough away to not be all post-graduate creepy. She also really, really likes linebackers.
Editor Jared Slanina (@BSDtweet) is the other Managing Editor for Black Shoe Diaries. Despite being a lifelong Ohio resident, Jared has been a passionate and loyal Penn State fan throughout his life. He earned his master's degree in journalism from Kent State University and currently resides in Stow, Ohio, with his wife and two dogs. You can typically find Jared at Beaver Stadium most Saturdays in the fall, or in his "man cave" where he has three TVs set up to watch college football from noon until he drifts off watching a Pac-12 game late at night.
This is kinda out of the blue but my upper torso feels chilly.
You need a shirt, or better yet a hoodie. And exclusive to supporters of this kickstarter we have those available:
You can get a t-shirt for a $15 contribution, or as part of the BLUE-WHITE combo with a copy of the magazine and a thanks on BSD. Contribute $100 and we'll send you the hoodie along with your mag, and thank you personally in the magazine itself.
UPDATE: People have been asking how to put in their t-shirt sizes or if they can give these as gifts and whatnot. When the Kickstarter ends (and if it's successful) you'll get an email directing you to a web-form where you can put all of that information in, including your address to ship it to and if you're a top-level sponsor what message you'd like put in the book. If you'd like it to be in someone else's name, you can do it at that time.
Risks and challenges
Immediately after the project is funded, we have to give a sizeable downpayment to our printer to reserve our print deadline. And there are plenty more deadlines coming up quite soon after the end of this campaign.
Fortunately we have an experienced editorial staff on board, including Seth Fisher from MGoBlog who was the driving force behind their successful launch and production of a similar project for Michigan fans last year. We also have engaged the services of Courtney Fathers, one of the best art directors in the business, who has designed thousands of magazine issues, official team programs, and posters for major touring bands.
We still need to sort through, select, designate, and prep all the photos that our editors have accumulated from the Penn State sidelines, turn those and 200 pages worth of Word documents into finished pages, caption every cat in the book (internet rule: all cats require captions), and proof read, copy edit, title, paginate, zip, and ship every finished page.
And then we have to, you know, get the books (and the t-shirts) to you, for which we have partnered with Underground Printing, a hip collegiate apparel company hopefully coming soon to a Happy Valley near you, that has a long history of supporting college blogs. UGP not only can put out a professional shirt, but they're very well equipped to handle all the warehousing, fulfillment and distribution. The cost to ship each book can go from the cost of making each book to five times that, fyi, so it helps to have an expert on our side here.
BLUE & WHITE COMBO. You get a copy of the magazine shipped directly from the printer (arrives ~1-2 weeks earlier), AND the t-shirt (comes a bit later), and your name will appear in perpetuity on a special Thank-You blog post on Black Shoe Diaries