Hey! It's OYB's *20th ANNIVERSARY!*
February 10, 2010
An OYB reader just emailed me today and said he was just reading the paperback compilation of Issues 1-8 and was amazed that I'd been publishing OYB since 1990. Well...I am, too! I hadn't even thought of it!
I kinda had 1991 in my brain for some reason, but I suppose Issue #1 says 1990 on it somewhere. So I guess I've been out and about promoting the indie way of looking at outdoor culture, and active hands-on living, and smallworld little-guy indie businesses for a LONG time now.
Back when I first started OYB I thought it would be kind of a pen-pals thing, of active-life insiders sharing realworld info about the whole range of indie culture in a way that any kindred spirit would find encouraging and helpful. Other mainstream media simply wasn't letting the truth out about so many things: a bike mag didn't show you real biking; a sailing mag never had any real sailing.
As soon as I started publishing OYB I somehow bumped into the Zine Scene. I wonder how that first happened... I think it was due to Factsheet Five somehow. Early on I also found out about a vibrant scene in underground media distribution energized by one Doug Biggert of Tower Records -- he distro'ed OYB and put me onto kindred names. Doug got global exposure for hundreds of prime zines. He was sitting pretty and having fun there for a few years a zining boomed.
But the main thing there was that I was sending OYB out to dozens of other zinesters and review-zines and indie outdoor culture was being seen by young people of ALL KINDS. Factsheet Five and Zine World showed OYB and its outdoor/bike culture jive to thousands of kids, say PUNK kids, who'd never heard of bikes, canoes or XC skis before. And I got turned onto underground/alt music and other cultures and critiques like I'd never imagined.
What's weird is that when the Internet killed the Zinester Star the main effect was the loss of the big central melting pots where all voices came together. The Internet has largely turned into a place where you go look for something you already know a bit about. A skatepunk kid does NOT google "XC ski" on a whim. He does not bump into XC skiing at the websites he frequents.
Well, I still try to make OYB be that melting pot. That's why I'm here.
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