enjoying new media • software aesthetics

About Tekka: a note from the publisher

by Mark Bernstein

Serious Thinking (and serious fun)

The technical press seems to be obsessed with money: great software is whatever sells ad space and trade show booths. The remnants of the old new economy produce chiefly press releases. The first artistically-successful hypertexts are almost 15 years old (and still very much in print), and they've inspired an impressive array of books, essays, articles, and dissertations, but a generation of talented young scholars finds itself with no place to publish. Criticism has stalled, and critical standards are dismal.

We're bored now.

We're seizing this moment, inauspicious as it may seem, to launch Tekka, a new Web magazine about enjoying new media and creating beautiful software. Tekka is serious reading, for serious readers. No kid stuff, no management fluff. As we edit Tekka, we're going to assume that our readers are smart, talented, resourceful. If you need to build a program or start a company, you can make it happen. You need the ideas and the tools, not the press releases. You want to be provoked into thinking about digital culture -- you don't want a consumer report for the latest multimedia CD.

You want to know what to build, not what to buy. And, most of all, you want to know what makes software beautiful, and what makes new media inspire and delight.

We can change this, now

The future of serious writing lies on the screen, and that future is immensely important. We need real ideas, real tools, and real criticism of real work. Tekka creates a home for serious discussion, for reflection, and for the appreciation of fine work.

Here at Tekka, we love sexy software, intricate databases, catchy hyperfictions. We're interested in what works -- and what doesn't. We want to know why things fail, so that we can do better. We want to know how they succeed, so that we may surpass them. We aren't interested in telling you what to buy; we want to learn how to build better tools and tell better stories.

We've already planned some fascinating departments. Cathy Marshall, the renowned hypertext pioneer, opens a correspondence on media theory with a note on time travel today. Aaron Swartz, the 17-year-old who has for years been an established expert on metadata and the semantic Web, is writing a book called Small Is Beautiful that will debut here. We've had fresh reporting from post-invasion Iraq. Plus, Tekka features fresh hypermedia, fiction and nonfiction, from leading writers and new media artists.

We want you to respond -- not just in letters to the editor, not merely in the form of articles and reviews, but also on the pages of your weblogs. Weblog clusters are among the most important (and unexpected) developments in new media today. Discuss Tekka -- and tell us about it. Join the discussion. We'll move forward together.


Tekka readers need ideas, and they need tools. For each issue, we'll scout our sources for hard-to-find (but vital) tools for the Tekka Shop. You'll find opportunities to attend unusual new conferences, to read important new books that you might otherwise overlook, and to enjoy the latest and most exciting new media.

World Wide

We expect that about 40% of Tekka's subscribers will live outside the US. Our writers already span the globe.

Tekka is professionally edited and peer reviewed, and we believe our standards match or exceed those of the best Web journals. Tekka doesn't have ad revenues, but our editorial budget lets us compete with the best Web markets for professional writers.

Tekka is a subscription Web journal because new media and software aesthetics are important. Writers have to eat, and the world of ideas should not be subservient to corporate sponsors or government bureaucracies.

Doing The Work.

Tekka is about enjoying new media and software aesthetics. It's about creating a conversation, a critical community.

Tekka enjoys new media and bold ideas. We hope you will enjoy them, too.

Tekka is (c) Copyright 2003 by Eastgate Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Publisher: Mark Bernstein

Editor: Elin J. Sjursen

Fiction Editor: Kathryn Cramer

Copy Desk: Robina Williams


Sponsored by Eastgate

serious hypertext

Tekka, 134 Main Street, Watertown MA 02472 USA. email: editor@tekka.net info@tekka.net    voice: +1 (617) 924-9044 (800) 562-1638

© Copyright 2009 by Eastgate Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved