Farewell from Pete and Pam at PresentMagazine.com
To the Future
PresentMagazine.com started as an idea roughly ten years ago when Pete Dulin, living in Boston at the time, saw his hometown of Kansas City with a fresh perspective. KC's food, music, and art scenes were thriving and in some ways rivaled Boston's offerings. The people, local businesses and organizations on a grassroots level were friendlier, more accessible, and, importantly, collaborative and supportive.
When he settled back in KC in 2002, he did market research and formulated ideas for a publication that would produce local stories not covered by the Kansas City Star and The Pitch, or at least not in a voice that appealed to his interest. Pam Taylor quickly became more than a sounding board, she signed on as a business partner and convinced Pete to expand beyond a food-only publication to include music and the arts.
Present Magazine, Issue 2, October 2005, PDF.
Beginning in August 2005, Pete and Pam produced 15 monthly issues of Present Magazine as a PDF that could be downloaded from links on a single web page. The issues expanded from 9 to 30 to 50 to 100 pages of stories and images with little advertising. The last PDF-based issues were huge files to download!
Web design firm The Lazarus Group created a full-blown website that became the first fully online incarnation of PresentMagazine.com. We are indebted to Laz and his team for enabling us to sidestep the cost of print and produce an online magazine unlike anything else in the local media market.
Some faces featured in the first year's worth of Present Magazine as PDF issues.
PresentMagazine.com circa 2007.
Present began before Urban Times, Ink, Faction, 435 South, the re-designed KC Magazine, KC Studio, KC Free Press, Tastebud, and a slew of other pubs. Some have floundered, others have flourished. We outlasted many indie publications and saw new ones emerge to cover arts, entertainment and lifestyle. We incubated the fine arts online magazine/site KCMetropolis.org on our site before they launched a stand-alone website. Over the past five and a half years, we broke ground and provided an independent voice that was unlike the growing blog community in KC and the print publications available.
Along the way, we've worked with a bevy of talented contributors that showed our audience the best of Kansas City's arts, food, music, business, and community. While there are far too many names to list here, we'd like to thank photographers Todd Zimmer, Phil Peterson, Rachael Jane, Forester, Mat "Slimm" Atkins, Robb Walters, Ryan McElwain, Corky Carrel and others that shared their work. Without writers like Tom Ryan, Rachel Murphy, film reviewer Eric Melin, wine writer Tim O'Neal, Maria Boyd, the many featured poets, Megan Brown, Alan Peel, Kale Baldock, Kevin Kuzma, Mel Neet, Andrew Zender, Chris Weaver, and many more, PresentMagazine.com wouldn't have the same voice as it did. We also would like to offer much gratitude to Jackie Emory--a brilliant intern, budding editor/writer, and emerging publicist. We know that every name isn't listed here, but you're not forgotten.
We provided a home and a platform for Robert Moore's Sonic Spectrum music podcast and Michael Byars' The Mailbox Music podcast – both unique, invaluable offerings that our audience sought out. We enjoyed collaborating with bloggers like Matt Purdy, Elizabeth Schurman, Bob Savino, and Aimee Dolich by re-posting their content, with videographers like Pyramidwest Productions representing diversity in KC, and other partners in media, nonprofit, and like-minded enterprises. Countless artists, writers, video producers, performers, photographers, poets, and musicians shared their creative work in our pages, galleries, stories, and features.
All of this quality content published and distributed over half a decade to a sizable audience throughout the greater KC metro for free. We repeat, for free.
We have learned so much about online media and the importance of representing our community along the way. Online publishing has changed radically in five years. Mainstream publications compete with bloggers, heck, with anyone, posting blogs, Facebook updates and tweets with fast-twitch responses that hardly resemble journalism, or maybe it represents the future of local media. More user-generated content (exists than ever. Promotions and cross-branding market campaigns are embedded in editorial content as if that's the new norm. It's not a stretch to say that there won't ever be another locally focused, indie online pub quite like PresentMagazine.com. That's not to say that another savvy group of upstarts won't create something else worth your time.
For now, we are ready to step aside, consider what's we have accomplished with a great team of contributors, relish the adventures of the past, and prepare to achieve fresh goals. Thank you to our invaluable advertisers and sponsors, our devoted readers and friends, and the creative and business community that gave us great stories to tell. In our opinion, local artists, writers, musicians, performers, businesses and nonprofits that make Kansas City a truly unique place to live will remain our heroes, inspiration, and reason to call Kansas City home.
Thanks for being present.
Pete and Pam