craft-10On Wednesday, 12th February, CRAFT magazine announced their current issue will be the last in print but that they’ll focus much energy on building their already robust website into something even bigger. I contacted Senior Editor Natalie Zee Drieu, and despite having a super busy week she answered some questions via email.

KW: Can you tell us what you have planned for the site? Will you be publishing how-tos and articles that would otherwise have gone into the print magazine?

NZD: Our goal is to bring the best of our CRAFT magazine content to our web site. Right now, we are redesigning the site to give it a fresh look and better room to grow content. In the meantime, you’ll start seeing as soon as next week, more and more fresh projects. March is going to be our “Mending Month” and we’ll have lots of how-tos on fixing up sweaters, socks, clothing and more to help fix ’em up! We’ll also be putting up projects that were supposed to be in CRAFT: 11. That was slated to be our “Crafting with Nature” issue. The good news is we can just start publishing the content online as they come in. We have a 101 on Ikebana coming up later next week on the site that I’m so excited about!

What will your role be? Which other CRAFT folks should the community look forward to hearing more from?

My role will be pretty much the same as it’s always been—keep up on the forefront of what’s happening in the crafts community and bring that to our readers. At the same time, I also keep our web site up to what’s happening in technology. Becky Stern, our Associate Editor, is handling all our video podcasts and is another one in touch daily with our community. She is really bringing the world of crafts and technology with her work in soft circuits. I’m really excited that Jenny Ryan can balance her new business, Home Ec, and still be our new Projects Editor. She’ll be cooking up lots of fun projects on the site each Tuesday. Also, all the editors from the magazine are blogging now so you’ll get to hear all our distinct points of view on crafts, as well as coverage of sections we previously handled in the magazine. You can see everyone on the right rail of our main blog page.

Will you be looking for submissions? If so, how can crafters submit their work for consideration?

Yes! We are always on the look out for craft projects or articles. Crafters can submit their ideas through here.

It seems inevitable that some will interpret the folding of the print magazine as yet another sign of the impending death of print media in general. Do you see it as such? What benefits will come with publishing online exclusively? Will you be doing things you couldn’t do in print?

There are a lot of benefits to publishing online. For one, the immediacy. If a project is cool, we can put it up on the site right away rather than having readers wait a few months for the next issue to come out. We can get immediate feedback also from readers and talk to them directly. If they want to know more about how to do “X”, we can continue that with more projects. We will also be bringing more video onto the site — whether it’s a quick clip at a craft fair or a longer video on how to make something. There’s nothing like being able to see and hear how something is done.

Will you be charging any fees to access your new online materials, or will it continue to be free with advertising support?

Our site will still be free to our readers thanks to online advertisers.

Do you think more magazines, both crafts-related and not, will end up going this route, to online-only publication?

I think so only because the economic crisis may have driven the publishing world to this route. But at the same time, I’m excited by the challenge of it all. There are so many interesting ways to bring stories to readers using rich media that haven’t been tapped yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a magazine junkie and I love the feel of paper and magazines. But I’d be happy to read something online or on a portable device (iPhone, Kindle, etc), than not have it at all.

Finally, and to switch gears completely, how are you finding being a working mom? Is it hard to strike a balance? What have you been crafting?

It’s definitely a balancing act! Let’s just say I’m busy all day until I go to bed at night. How I can survive all this is the magical fact that Chloe sleeps through the night, like 7-8 hours. I feel so lucky she loves to sleep!

In terms of crafting, I still have to finish a baby cardigan for Chloe that I’m knitting. I also have plans to knit some baby socks and then crochet a beret for me. My projects are all in my Ravelry queue (NatalieZD).

Big thanks to Natalie, and best of luck to CRAFT!

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