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Letters

Letter to the editor

Posted on Apr 18 2016 in Letters

Dear Kai,

I would like to say ‘thank you’ for the amazing work you have been producing throughout the Offscreen journey. About a year ago, out of frustration, I had decided to give up my PhD programme, but browsing again many of the fascinating human stories in past Offscreen issues was one of the factors that convinced me not to quit and keep going. (The main factor was the that my parents offered to move across Europe for a few months to live closer to my wife, myself and our little daughter and help us take care of the little one so I would focus on my research and writing – showing yet again that basic human support is vital for much of what we do in life).

My dissertation is about stories and struggles of common web users and hackers who try to take back control of internet technologies from big web companies and governments, and who lovingly (and with heartbreaking dedication, given the disparity of powers at play) hack on stuff that adds humanity back into technology. Although this is largely based on my own ethnographic fieldwork, I have drawn incredible inspiration from many of the stories found in my collection of Offscreen magazines – one of the most cherished sections of our bookshelves at home.

I’m now very close to submitting my dissertation – just one month left for final polishing and endless, clenching doubts about how it will be judged by my examiners. But whatever happens, even in the gloomiest scenario of a fail, I’m delighted and proud of what I accomplished this past year, having seen a whole book come to life page by page, day after day from what wasn’t much more than a bunch of random notes and disconnected thoughts just over one year ago. And throughout this journey I felt so much love for the stories of dedication I came across through my own interviews, through the stories in Offscreen, and the many blog posts and inspirational talks by hackers and web folks who increasingly speak out about what makes this work so important for a democratic and open internet.

Your blog posts about the behind-the-scenes of Offscreen and sharing your own fears and doubts have also been important both for my research (some of your thoughts on gender imbalance are cited in my dissertation!) and for my efforts to grow a tiny web agency I started with a dear friend of mine.

Thanks, Kai!

Best,
Andrea

Magically these appreciation bombs drop into my inbox whenever I need to hear something positive. There is nothing more I love about my job. Thank you, Andrea!

Letter to the editor

Posted on Dec 08 2015 in Letters

Hi Kai,
hope you had a great weekend and an awesome day so far! I wanted to drop you a message to say one thing. Thank you!

Lately I have been struggling a lot with anxiety and depression. The everyday life in running a company is not always easy and the temptation of giving up is, sometimes, really strong. The last couple of weeks have been awful. Even just waking up, coming out of bed and drag myself to the office. This is not what I wanted from life. This is not what the people I look up to do.

During these pretty bad weeks a thing kept me afloat. Reading Offscreen.

Your magazine has been one of my favourite readings since I discovered it a couple of years ago. This week it was my safety net. A window to a world to look up to and get inspired from. Your articles and interviews boosted my morale and gave me the motivation to pick up the pieces and start taking care of myself again.

The stories of success you tell are always realistic, they show the struggle to get there, they show that a mindset oriented to excellence pays off. This was super important for me. Calmed down my anxiety and gave me the strength to get back to my fights.

I just wanted to thank you. To tell you that you are making a difference in my life. A positive one. A massively positive one.

I am gonna buy the issue 13 today (I am catching up, sorry). Can’t wait for it.

I can imagine it’s hard work to run the magazine, but please do keep it up! You have something amazing in your hands. You are showing a good example to a lot of readers like me. Hopefully, some of us will be talented enough to make a difference in this world and it will be because of you.

Sorry for the super long mail. I never write this kind of fan boy emails, but this time it was important to me.

If you’ll ever need a hand with something, with the magazine or other projects, feel free to get in touch. I’ll always owe you a big one.

Have a great rest of the day,
Simone

This. This is why I do what I do. All the best to you, Simone! And thanks for sharing this heartfelt message with me/us.

Letter to the editor

Posted on Jun 11 2015 in Letters

Thank you so much for the offer, I actually buy my copies at an independent magazine kiosk in Santa Monica, Ca since I’m a bit impatient when it comes to shipping haha. I wanted to say thank you for making such an amazing magazine. As someone who lives in the growing “Silicon Beach” part of southern California and works for a few tech companies, this magazine has given me so much confidence in pursuing more opportunities in tech.

I love how personal your magazine feels. I read a lot of independent magazines from Hello Mr. to Human Being, The Happy Reader, The Great Discontent, Saturdays, Monster Children, Cereal, and the recently published Avaunt. What I like most about yours and other publications with similar dimensions is that it’s the perfect size to take around but also to leave out on the coffee table. I know you take careful time in choosing the paper and I have to say that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, I would buy the magazine for the paper quality and smell alone. Those smaller details that may go unnoticed if sitting on a shelf amongst other widely spread commercial magazines are exactly the reasons why I seek yours out and only buy directly from you or from an independent seller where I know the money keeps you both in business. I really appreciate the colors you choose, the fonts you use, the advertisements sections, and my favorite: the side notes.

Thank you so much for putting this out and continuing to share the behind the scenes processes that go into the creation of the magazine. All the emails you share, blog posts you write, and just every interaction to keep the magazine human makes me as a reader truly feel as if I’m supporting a friend by buying, reading and admiring their work.

A very satisfied reader and supporter,
Jeremy

Thanks for making my day, Jeremy!

Letter to the editor

Posted on Feb 15 2015 in Letters

I hope you’re doing well! I just wanted to send you a picture of me reading my Offscreen issue 10 with my four-month old, who happens to sort of be named after you. My wife and I were trying to think of names one day and an issue of Offscreen was on the coffee table and I remembered meeting you at XOXO. I asked her what she thinks of “Kai”. We were trying to find a name that works easily in English, Chinese and Japanese and it fit the bill. The name made the short list, then the list and in October of last year little Kai was born :-)

I just thought I’d let you know. Thanks again for all of the hard work you do with Offscreen. It’s by far my favorite magazine to get in the mail :-)
Brian

I’ve said it before and I say it again: I have the bestest readership a publisher could wish for. Thank you, Brian!

Letter to the editor

Posted on Dec 03 2014 in Letters

Dear Kai,

I just wanted to write you a brief note of appreciation. I am in the process of launching a magazine, and I wanted to let you know how much of an influence and an inspiration you have been.

I have never functioned heretofore within the world of web design or app development or anything even vaguely computer-related. Yet, I read every issue of Offscreen from cover to cover, with great relish and enjoyment. The publication itself is what I have come over the last few years to seek, to demand, from the printed word: that is, a tranquil and beautiful diversion from work, from hassle, from being online all the time. Offscreen gives me what I have always sought from books. An escape, a stimulation, a diversion: ideas in physical form. A beautiful one, in this case.

Moreover, I am staggered, and astounded, by the generosity you have shown in putting in the time to keep your blog going. You cannot imagine what an impetus and source of guidance your experiences, your honesty, and your transparency have been. I have read the whole thing, from your first post, and you have saved me huge amounts of time and hassle as you have kept me thinking of things that wouldn’t have occurred to me until it was too late!

I am delighted to hear of every success you enjoy, and I hope it may continue long into the future.

So, simply, thanks a million!

Best regards,
Kieran

Whenever I’m having a hard time working on the next issue (which is often), I look through the Letters tag on my blog and read humbling emails such as this one to cheer me up. You guys are the best readership a magazine can wish for!

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