Good Magazine

I found a very promising magazine last friday, Good claims to be for people who believe in doing good.

We see a growing number of people tied together not by age, career, background, or circumstance, but by a shared interest. This revolves around a passion for potential mixed with fierce pragmatism and creative engagement. We sum all this up as the sensibility of giving a damn. But to shorten it, let’s call it GOOD. We’re here to push this movement and cover its realization.

For while so much of today’s media is taking up our space, dumbing us down, and impeding our productivity, GOOD exists to add value. So here’s our first issue. We worked hard to give you something that you’ll like.

They have a unique subscription drive:

Let the secret be known—most magazines do not make money on subscriptions or newsstand sales. Traditionally, the best way to get a bunch of new subscribers is to send millions of pieces of unsolicited mail—junk mail—to people who might have some interest. We don’t like junk mail, and we don’t like the thought of spending millions of dollars on it. So we came up with the idea of giving away all subscription fees and allowing subscribers to choose which organization they would like to support.

I’m sure some will be very sceptical about the whole magazine, thinking they are simply tacking on to a trend. Although obviously they are doing that at least in part (wouldn’t be a market for it if there was no trend now would there?), a few details in the concept and the list of contributors leads me to believe they might very well be “the real thing”.

Their use of Creative Commons for example is interesting:

We think the Creative Commons approach to content licensing is smart because it gives creators flexibillity in their licensing choices and it allows for seamless sharing of content. At GOOD, our exclusive rights to content expire after no more than 120 days. At that time, we encourage our authors and photographers to adopt a CC licence for their work.

They also have an environmental approach to printing:

GOOD is printed on ST Generation II, made with 30% post-consumer waste. EcoLogo certified and manufactured using Biogas Energy, and New Leaf Reincarnation, made with 100% recycled fiber, 50% post-consumer waste, and processed chlorine free. This issue saved 150 trees and lowered air emissions by 21,250 lb. Good offsets 100% of our carbon emissions from publishing with clean energy from new renewable energy projects.

In the first issue they have content by Neal Pollack, James Surowiecki, Jeffrey Sachs (who’s book I finished recently and will write about this week, short version: READ IT), Gary Schteyngart (who’s Russian Debutante’s Handbook I’m reading now) and

Kurt Vonnegut.

They also feature profiles of Peter ‘X-Prize’ Diamandis, Majora ‘Green is the new black’ Carter (whom you can also see on the excellent TED Podcast), Matt and Jessica Flannery who are behind the cool Kiva project, Jimmy Wales and Amanda ‘ex-RocketBoom’ Congdon.

It’s very well designed, there isn’t too much advertising getting in the way and they have a bunch of cool infographics throughout. It feels like a “I love idealism” to Wired’s “I love technology”.