09 February 2014

Surf Bloggers and The Great Ocean

Going for it at the risk of 'failing gloriously.' 

I should have plugged GOQ awhile back. It is a new magazine out of Australia, now on the newsstands that you should consider checking out. A year or so (maybe longer?) I got an email from Mick Sowry ,the Creative Director of GOQ asking my thoughts on the potential for a print journal focussed on Art, Ideas and The Sea. After, self-publishing my own zine, The Beach that tackled a similar theme, I was pretty enthusiastic but I knew Mick and his crew had a far more ambitious project on the go than Foulweather. It was certainly something I wanted to see and something I really hoped (and hope) could succeed in this day and age as I continue to value print over virtual content. I really feel writing for the web is far different than writing for print publication. And,  I believe we, in turn, consume print in a less disposable way. Maybe, it is because we read it on the loo, in bed or on the settee instead of between Facebook updates on work breaks but I firmly believe good content should be available in hard copy and digested with the focus it deserves. Yes, despite, deforestation. 

From about the mid-2000s up until a couple of years ago, a substantial number of creative and worthy blogs popped up. Naturally, bloggers with somewhat similar interests began to find, encourage and promote each other and a strange virtual community was formed. Foulweather, while not explicitly about surfing got lumped in with a community of surf bloggers and some very beneficial relationships were formed. To see the most comprehensive link list of these blogs, check out Troy Dockin's Surf In Oregon blog or Surf The Blogs. However, they have all now, slowly began to wane. I am not completely sure why but it seems blogging on that level ran its course. Some people changed platforms. Some people stopped writing, while others went on to bigger and better projects. This might suggest a disposable nature to virtual content. 

Meanwhile, and in a sense, Great Ocean Quarterly is perhaps a not-so-disposable, logical extension of what was once the surf blog community, not necessarily with the same contributors but with the same concept of collaboration of people who live the 'sea affected life,' as Mick puts it. Only, in glorious print form. In some ways it is a crazy niche market. At the same time I feel there might just be a thirst for well-crafted, creatively laid-out publications with  diverse contribution pools, united under common themes, such as The Sea.

I'm just glad they are giving it a go, as you never know until you do.