[Meta Cover]Meta Magazine History

With help from Ken McGlothlen and R. David Murary, I published the first issue of Meta on November 12 of 1993. I have reason to believe that about 10,000 people read Meta in the month following its release (2,000 people requested and received a uuencoded copy via E-mail and 200 people responded to the reader survey, of which 20% had received their copy via E-mail).

Nearly all of the feedback I received was positive. A number people complained about the layout, which used large fonts and sometimes garish backgrounds, and was a compromise between on-screen readability and a format that attempted to replicate paper. A few people even suggested I use HTML.

Overall, I was proud of the first issue and pleased with the response from both readers and advertisers.

I've made the first issue of Meta available again in the formats it was originally released in, plus PDF.

The first issue's main attraction was an interview with Linus Torvalds, (converted to HTML) the creator of Linux. The remainder of the issue contained a letter from the publisher, bits of news about net culture, commerce, and access, articles about rural access, the legacy of Unix, 3DO (I was right -- it flopped), advertising, a review, and a flippant piece by Lucy Martek about the WELL, Skipjack (related to Clipper), and Thanksgiving.

Advertisers included Luminous Software (defunct), the Multimedia & Video Center, SoftLock Services, InfoMagic, ClarkNet, Trans-Ameritech, and the Hawthorne Exchange (sold and in hibernation).

For various unworthy reasons I did not publish another presentable issue of Meta. In January of 1994 I played with converting Meta to a dynamic, issue-less HTML format. Around March, July, and August I put small HTML issues called "v2n1", "number 10", and "number 11" respectively in my netcom ftp directory, although I never widely announced any of these.

I may make these "issues" available at some point in the future, and I occasionally toy with the idea of bringing Meta back in some form. See here.

In any case, enjoy, and feel free to send praise, flames, and anything else, preferably constructive.

Mike Linksvayer ml@gondwanaland.com 1995.03.21, revised 1995.04.01