Rust Magazine

by Danny Zawacki

I don’t think it’s much of a secret, but I’m not overly enthusiastic about the translation business. It’s not what I see myself doing for the rest of my life but for now it pays the bills. I’m okay with that.

That being said, I’m constantly looking for ways for me to advance my career in a different direction. I think of hair brained schemes, I email strangers out of the blue, creep job boards, and even send résumés. More often than not, these actions don’t lead to anything. I had a three-hour long interview a couple of months back that led to nothing. I thought the job was perfect for me and me perfect for the job, but they thought otherwise. I’m not kidding, every bit of information about the job that I received seemed like it was made for me. It was even at the same place that Ellie is working at this summer (though that was just a perk on top of it being a great job for me). Ellie said they hired yet another white female for the position, I guess it’s a white female dominated workplace which is fine, except that I didn’t get the job.

Anyway, a few weeks back I responded to a Craigslist ad seeking a web editor for a startup Milwaukee magazine. I emailed and inquired about it because I saw that it was unpaid. If it’s unpaid, I’m not above doing the work in my free time assuming I have enough time for it and it can work around my hours. I did and it does. When I found that out, I submitted my résumé. A few days later they contacted me for an interview.

I met the founders, Alison and Andrea, downtown at a restaurant (not having an office yet as the magazine is still just getting started). We went through the motions of an interview and I heard about their mission to get this thing off the ground. They do seem to have their heads in the right place for it and their hearts fully into it. I really admire that. At the end of the interview, they offered me the position.

I heartily accepted.

As the web editor, my role is to manage all the content for the website. The content is “separate but supplemental” to the magazine content. I like that idea and I like that I am able to shape the site’s direction. I plan on doing a lot of work on it, mostly organizational at the beginning to get the processes down and then I’ll really start moving forward in getting the website to rival the magazine.

But all of this is future work as there hasn’t been much for me to do yet. It was the same day that I interviewed that the first prototype issue was sent to the printer. I have a copy of it and I think it turned out quite nicely (I did not have a hand in any part of this issue).

Rust Magazine: Issue 0

Rust Magazine: Issue 0

I got a copy at the launch party/fundraiser last week and I’ve only had time to page through it. It looks quite nice. I’ve read all the content on the magazine’s website, www.rustmil.com, where I’ll be managing content. For a start, I think the staff has done a fantastic job so far.

The content focuses on Milwaukee news told with a narrative. It’s a unique approach. While I’m not particularly fond of the city, I’m going to learn a lot about it in the coming months and maybe that will help change my opinion of the place. Time will tell.

I urge you to take a look at the website and spread the word to anyone you might know who has an interest in this kind of thing. If you’re interested in contributing, please let me know as well through email, danny@sassyhacksaws.com.

I’ll keep you updated on the happenings of the magazine, if anything interesting comes along. Just this week I started really understanding what I’ll be doing and how I’ll be doing it because we’re starting up the production cycle now that the launch has passed. Since I’m an editor, I feel like I’m in an elevated role even though everyone else has been around longer than me. It’s a weird feeling, but I’ll do my best to stay humble and benevolent. 

At the meeting this week, we had a guy come in and do a bit of consulting work at no cost. He used to run a magazine in Milwaukee as well, Two Cents Milwaukee. He gave a lot of great advice on how to market the magazine and attract investors. It isn’t really part of my job description (though you could make a case for the web but even then, I’m not the one out seeking investors) but I was really enthralled by what advice he had to offer. I even considered taking notes, but I think Taylor was on top of that as she’s the Marketing Manager. 

Seriously though, look forward to great things to come from me about Rust Magazine. For now, take a look at their Kickstarter campaign.