I haven’t done the math, but my best guess is that the odds of starting a successful new magazine are about a kajillion times worse than the odds of starting a successful new restaurant. And that’s in a good economy. The odds are probably even worse now that long-established magazines are folding and nobody reads stuff anymore. Oops—the cynic just slipped out of me even as I am writing this column for the expressed purpose of plugging the cool idealist’s go-to media site.
I guess that the idealist in me would then counter that slip with the pertinent fact that GOOD, though struggling, is still surviving, and is thus evidence that people still may read stuff, and also, surprisingly, care about stuff that matters. GOOD is not just a magazine. It’s many things, including a website that is just as fun to read and converse with as the print magazine. In fact, GOOD is so difficult to explain that I may as well just use the company’s own words: “Since 2006 we’ve been making a magazine, videos, and events for people who give a damn. The website is an ongoing exploration of what GOOD is and what it can be.”
Indeed, the GOOD website is a collection of conventional short-form blog posts, videos, longer written content and event notices, all of which have an undercurrent of social responsibility and cultural caring. Recent posts included an interactive map of the United States with the title, “Passports: Who Has the Most?”, “PETA Offers $10,000 for a Vegetarian Foie Gras Substitute” and “Cornography,” a video which briefly examines the United States’ dependency on corn. (The facts are amazing!) In a word, I guess I’d just have to say that GOOD is “good,” in more ways than one.