We make Contents magazine.

The Editors have contributed 11 articles to Contents.

Here’s What We Got

Our fifth issue of Contents explores the archive in formal and informal senses, with dispatches from library science and online publishing, how-tos on content strategy and governance, and features on both long-term digital preservation work and frantic rescue efforts.

Issue No. 4 focused on evolving forms in journalism, publishing, and content strategy—how these changing patterns shape how we create, and how we absorb information and ideas.

In journalism and publishing, in content strategy and editorial design, and in all kinds of spaces in between, the forms and patterns we’ve relied on are dissolving and re-forming.

Issue No. 3 was loosely organized around intelligence: getting smarter about our work, learning from data, seeking more ambitious ways of documenting our ideas, and attending to ideas that matter. Our annotations for the issue collect essays and connections related to the themes of each article and form an eclectic reading list that ranges across disciplines and decades.

It’s an article of faith at Contents that we all need to get smarter, in practical and immediate ways. We need to know more about our readers. We need to better understand the systems that let them find and use the things we publish.

From intensely geeky close examinations of a single computing principle to descriptions of a working ethos or a personal battle with distraction, the articles in this issue attempt to reveal a little bit of the dark matter of our work—the things we don’t usually take the time to consider.

Instead of interviewing one person in this issue, we bring you seven, each focused on three simple questions about the principles that underlie their work.

Argo is a public experiment in developing technical and editorial frameworks for thoughtfully managed topical content projects that don’t require a huge team or a big budget.

We don’t often have time to consider all the underlying stuff that gives our work shape, character, and meaning, and that time won’t ever appear on its own. But we can choose it. Even in the crazy spells—and maybe especially then, when we’re making so many important decisions.

As we end the year—and our first issue—we offer a final meditation on the information we inherit, along with this, our first set of topical annotations. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in 2012.

It’s time to recognize that many of us in nominally separate fields and industries are working on the same problem from slightly different angles.