From the Publisher – March 2015

It’s Been How Long?

This month marks the beginning of our 28th year of publishing Out & About. Our 325th issue to be exact.

When this ride began, Ronald Reagan was president, Mike Tyson was heavyweight champ, and Michael Jackson was making music history by landing four songs from the same album
—Bad—in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts.

Two of those three aren’t around anymore, and Mike Tyson is now doing a rather sad stand-up comedy routine. I feel fortunate.

So the inevitable question that’s posed when you’ve been around this long: Did you really expect to be around this long? Truth is, I never thought that far ahead.

Of course, every good story needs a good storyteller. And for 27 years Out & About has provided a forum for those good storytellers—writers, photographers and designers all discovered in our own backyard.

Like a good road trip, publishing this magazine has been as much about the journey as the destination. When the journey is engaging, you forget about the odometer. Before you know it, the miles have piled up.

Our inaugural issue hit the streets in March of 1988 and our immediate goal was to be relevant. In print publishing vernacular, that means worth picking up. Sounds simple, and it would be, if attaining relevancy came with a lifetime membership. Maintaining relevancy: that is the challenge.

So how did we meet that challenge? You, the reader, would provide a better answer than I would. I can, however, offer my humble opinion.

Out & About Magazine is still around because we made it a point to become part of the community, not simply write about it. From our inaugural year, we became a willing partner with those looking for a worthy cause to promote, a reason to celebrate, or an engaging story to share. Sometimes we followed, other times we led, but we always tried to be part of the procession.

Of course, every good story needs a good storyteller. And for 27 years Out & About has provided a forum for those good storytellers—writers, photographers and designers all discovered in our own backyard.

Sure, the digital age has created challenges. After all, when this journey began there were no webzines or blogs; no Constant Contact, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. In the late ‘80s, print dominated the journalistic jungle and our daily newspaper was the 800-pound gorilla. Today, there are more ways to deliver a message than there are recipes for smoothies.

But we’ve learned through the years that it’s the message that is paramount, not the messenger. New communication mediums are not our enemy, they simply provide additional channels to share the O&A brand.

Out & About began as a print magazine; today we live online, in social media, and in the events and initiatives we produce—same message, just a variety of messengers.

We may have some wear on our keyboards, but 27 years later we still feel relevant. Then again, you, the reader, are always the final judge of that.

So, what do you think? Please comment below.