Brand over Writers? The Magnate Story

All over the world, blogs are started, maintained, and written to. They are read, whether it be by 1 viewer or 1,000,000,000. Some eventually turn into magazines. Other times, it is a magazine + blog combo. Some just stay blogs. Others might collate their blog posts into a book.

These blogs, sites, and magazines are written by people of all kinds of ages for people of all kinds of ages. There’s fashion blogs written by experts, food blogs written by stay-at-home moms, and there’s plenty of blogs written by tech-savvy teens about tech.

Lets take an example: Magnate Magazine.

Magnate was a magazine that followed Corby magazine, all manned by Sean Spooner.

At the beginning of Magnate’s journey, Sean asked a bunch of people that he knew to start writing and give it some content. A bunch of people from many different age groups said yes, most of them fairly young.

I was one of them, along with a couple more of my friends, Jack Benson and Miramar Jackson.

All three of us volunteered and wrote a few posts for Magnate, all of which got attention and were great content.

It is now quite a while later. Magnate has grown a bit, and they’re getting ready to print their first hard copy issue, when both Jack and Miramar get this email:

Dear Jack,

First of all, I would like to thank you for contributing to Magnate Magazine. Your pieces have helped build and develop the website to the point that it is at today and it couldn’t have been done without your support and hard work.

As we near the launch date of November 10th, 2012 we are looking to strengthen our online and print teams. Because of this, we are required to seek new authors who meet our target audience and due to your age, this does not factor into our ideal target age and we are saddened to say we are having to let you go.

Thanks again for your support and contributions, Jack. We are very grateful and wish you the best of luck for the future.

Warm Regards on behalf of the Magnate team,
Jonny Rowntree
Head of Online

They’re not at the ideal “target age”.

Not to mention, I was kicked off the team without them even telling me. Thanks.

Anyways, why is “brand” associated with “age”? Why do they need to be connected?

Well, here’s what magnate did.

  1. Start off with a website and get anyone we can to write for free
  2. Collect ad revenue and don’t give it out
  3. Create a print magazine
  4. Kick off everyone that was young and helped out in the beginning to make the brand seem older

Basically, they’ve used us. They used us to get them going, then screwed us off because they have more important things to deal with.

I know that this isn’t the only time that something like this has happened. It happens all of the time – people give young, passionate writers a place to write, then once they’re big enough, they forget about the young and passionate writers and move on to being a brand.

So this is what I say:

People with companies, please don’t just forget about your writers who sacrificed their time and effort for you.

People with computers, try to stay away from sites or magazines that you know doesn’t care about writers.

I’ll let you all know of more sites like this, but for now, stay away from magnate – don’t let them win. #boycottmagnate

(PSST: Click here to tweet that you disapprove of Magnate’s “brand development strategies”. )


There’s always that random thing you want to share with your friends.

Pictures, text, a conversation you had, you’ll always come across something.

Now usually for this we use facebook.

But if you want to share with the public, you usually use twitter.

But twitter is only text. I mean, it’s only 140 characters of it. If you want a picture in it, you have to add in a link that people have to click.

That’s why people have blogs.

But blogs can be a pain to post to. You have to login, create a new post, add in the stuff, then post it. It’s really not worth the time.

And blogs tend to look kinda standard. I mean, they can look nice, but they all look the same.

I have a solution for this.

Part 1: The blog


Tumblr is a customizable and free blogging platform that is easy to use.

Unlike others, you can post text, but it gives you separate things for text, links, conversations, audio, quotes, and video. And they all show up in their nice ways (quotes have “s around them to make them look quoty). It’s flexible and postable by mobile, and you can have it post to your twitter, facebook, etc.

2. Time


I did a review of cortex a little while back and let me just say that it is still beautiful.

Cortex is a chrome extension for sharing things really fast. Here’s a demo video that I made (and that was used in the review of cortex on mashable, let me have you know):

As you can see, there is that magical t for you to post to tumblr, so you could use that to publish things quickly to your blog.

One cool thing about it is that you can use it to yes, share just the link to the webpage, but if you click and hold over an image it will share the image (and it will post it to tumblr like an image too). Select text and click and hold over that it will share the quote from the webpage (and yes, it will post it to tumblr like a quote). Click and hold over a youtube video and it will share the video, not a link (and YES, it will ALSO post it to tumblr like a video). It’s nice to see the cortex is so well integrated.

As I said, cortex is a chrome extension, so if you are desperate for sharing you may have to switch to chrome (which really isn’t such a bad thing let me have you kn0w).

Cortex homepage

Cortex on Chrome Extensions

3. Blog appearance

While it’s nice to have a blog in reverse chronological order with one thing on top of the other, you can spice it up a little but with an amazing theme called organ.

What it does it makes everything in to skinny rounded columns (reverse chronological order from right to left) and does different things depending on what they are.

Every different type of post has differently colored columns.

Pictures it will take a strip of the picture and show it in the column.

Everything text (text quotes links) it will adapt the text to go with the theme and then mumble jumble it in big letters down/across the column.

Now you may say “what the hell, I can’t see any of the text!”. Well, there’s an answer. Hover over a column and it will expand to show you a little bit more.

Hovering over the text will make the beginning of it drop down sideways in a single line. Then, you can click on the arrow that shows up at the top of the column and see the full posting.

It’s nice because at first it shows you a lot of posts in a very small space, then when one looks interesting you can hover over it, and if it’s a dud you can hover over another (without having the page have to reload) and if it’s a good one then you can click on the arrow to expand it (and wait for the page to load but it’s probably worth it).

To get this theme on your tumblr, choose to customize your site, click on theme on the top bar, and scroll WAY DOWN to the free themes and find the one called organ. It will be near fluid. 🙂

Personally I use this system to share EVERYTHING, so my site ends up looking like brain vomit. Because it’s so easy, I post to it ALL THE TIME. It’s nice because it’s constantly updated and there’s no thought put in to it. Oh, I think this looks cool. SHARED.

To check out my site done this way head on over to!

Cortex App

No matter what we all browse the web. That’s how you got here in the first place. And one of the most popular things to do while browsing the web is to share different web sites with other people over facebook, twitter, and even tumblr (in this case). And sometimes you will come across an article that you want to save to read a bit later. Cortex lets you do all of those, but extraordinarily quickly.

Cortex is a chrome extension, which gives it cross-platform flexibility along with a super easy installation.

Once you have installed cortex, you need to connect your accounts by clicking on the pretty circle on your menubar then clicking connect accounts.

Connect your accounts here

As you can see, it can link to twitter, facebook, tumblr, and instapaper. Each of them use their own authorization system, and if things aren’t working right then try restarting your browser or waiting a few hours then restarting your browser.

Now, you have to pick your facebook friends. Sadly, you cannot post to your news stream. But you CAN post to other people’s walls, and click pick friends to select which friends you want to be able to share with.

Once you have accounts set up, it is time to start sharing.

To share a webpage it’s pretty simple: click and hold your mouse anywhere on the webpage. You should see something like this show up around your mouse:

Now when this shows up, keep your mouse held down and hover over which service you want to share the page with. Once you are on the letter/section, let go of your mouse and the link to the webpage will be instantly shared.

For facebook however it is a little bit more complicated.

When you hover over the f, another wheel will appear that has the profile pictures of the friends you selected up here.

Now, move your mouse over which friend you want to share it with, and now you can let go.

Although it may sound like it will take a long time, here’s proof otherwise:

I made that video when I was bored. 😛

To get cortexapp, you have to go to and sign up for the beta then cross your fingers that you get an email back. 🙂