John Labovitz's E-Zine List

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John Labovitz's E-Zine List began in 1993, when the Web was still young and search engines were just in their infancy. John Labovitz stepped forward to catalog all the E-Zines he could find on the Web. It was a major undertaking, Labovitz scoured the Web, emailed publishers, and put together a quite comprehensive list of E-Zines titles that included a summary of their contents, links to the websites, and contact information. Monthly he emailed the list out to subscribers and asked for everyone's input on changes and new E-Zines.

From Labovitz' bio in the late 1990s:

"I started this list in the summer of 1993. I was trying to find some place to publicize Crash, a print zine I'd recently made electronic versions of. All I could find was the alt.zines newsgroup and the archives at The WELL and ETEXT. I felt there was a need for something less ephemeral and more organized, a directory that kept track of where e-zines could be found. So I summarized the relevant info from a couple dozen e-zines and created the first version of this list. Initially, I maintained the list by hand in a text editor; eventually, I wrote my own database program (in the Perl language) that automatically generates all the text, links, and files. In the four years I've been publishing the list, the net has changed dramatically, in style as well as scale. When I started the list, e-zines were usually a few kilobytes of plain text stored in the depths of an FTP server; high style was having a Gopher menu, and the Web was just a rumor of a myth. The number of living e-zines numbered in the low dozens, and nearly all of them were produced using the classic self-publishing method: scam resources from work when no one's looking.

Now the e-zine world is different. The number of e-zines has increased a hundredfold, crawling out of the FTP and Gopher woodworks to declaring themselves worthy of their own domain name, even of asking for financial support through advertising. Even the term `e-zine' has been co-opted by the commercial world, and has come to mean nearly any type of publication distributed electronically. Yet there is still the original, independent fringe, who continue to publish from their heart, or push the boundaries of what we call a zine."

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