Ping! Zine Interview with Keith Duncan Published: Oct 16, 2006
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WHG had the pleasure of interviewing Publisher, Keith Duncan, of Ping! Zine magazine. Find out what Ping! has in store for you plus their experience with hurricanes and HostingCon.

Ping! Zine

WebHostGear.com had the pleasure of interviewing Publisher, Keith Duncan, of Ping! Zine magazine.

WHG: Thanks for taking to time for this interview Keith, tell us about
Ping Zine! When did you officially launch and how many staff are you?
Thanks for contacting me.  I enjoy sharing Ping! Zine with the world. 
LOL, Ping! Zine started in a panic.  In 2002, Isabel Wang's Web Hosting
Magazine had gone from print to online and we heard that HostingTech was
starting to hurt.  I missed WHM dearly and toyed around with the idea for a
couple of months.  What it boiled down to was I came from a heavy publishing
background and the rest of our group came from the hot hosting industry and
it became a no-brainer to put the two together and fill the void left by
WHM. 

WHG: You mentioned Ping! Zine started in a panic, can you elaborate?
What caused the panic was that we wanted to be the alternative to HT and
right before we wanted to announce our launch in the beginning of 2003, HT
took a side door too and shut down.  We then had too many meetings to
determine if we should revamp our business plan or continue with our
original plan of a fun, off-beat magazine about the industry. In the end,
the original plan won out and in March 2003, Ping! Zine had its coming out
party. 

WHG: How many people did it take to launch Ping! Zine?
The initial core group was a staff of 4 people.  Now we have a team of ten,
with a wonderful freelance staff to tap into of about fifteen.  We have gone
from one publication, to several periodicals and other print items.

WHG: I know you had some hurricane trouble last year, how did that affect you?
Hurricane?  You mean that light wind that blew half the roof off our house,
collapsed the ceiling in our office and shut us down for almost three
months?  Luckily, we were about 40 miles west of where the eye hit and
wasn't affected as much by the flooding but we suffered in many areas,
including the delay of one of our other publications, a local golf magazine.
We gave everyone a month off to take care of personal situations and then
another month to reorganize but after that, it was back to work for
everyone.

WHG: So everything is back to normal?
I don't think anything will ever be the same in South Louisiana as it was
before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita but our company is hitting on all
cylinders again and it will take a lot more than that to knock us out.

WHG: Ping Zine! is mainly print but I hear there are other formats now available?
We have many new items we are launching this year that were delayed by the
hurricane.  We had already started to offer our print version online to
accommodate our overseas readers and rolled out a PDA version for handheld
devices and smartphones.

WHG: What can you tell current and new readers about some upcoming issues and features?
We have wanted to attack the "Hosting Law and Policy" feature for a while
but have yet to find a writer with the experience to really get to the heart
of the situation.  But as usual we will continue to offer a good mix of
articles for the hosting, design and ISP industries.  With the launch of the
newsletter, we can bring more than just press releases to our membership in
many different formats.

WHG: You were at HostingCon this year, it was an exciting event, how did you enjoy it? 
HostingCon was a blast for us and as to be expected was a non-stop event.
We had so many fine dinners over there that we couldn't wait to get back
home and eat a Big Mac.  I love a good meal but sometimes all you need are a
burger and fries to fill you up.  The best thing about HostingCon has been
being able to finally meet many of the people I have become friends with
over the years.  George and Frank did a wonderful job organizing everything
but my favorite parts were the parties by FastServers.net and Cpanel.net.

WHG: Did Ping! Zine do anything special this year?
Well, it was hard to come up with a concept that was different this year and
with many companies such as FastServers and Microsoft opening up a large
budget, it was not worth trying to compete with everyone for attention.
What we finally did was ship the putting green we have at our office and let
the visitors enjoy a relaxing day on the course.

WHG: Was that the only reason you brought your putting green to HostingCon?
Ok, you caught me.  No it wasn't.  It was to announce the official first
annual Hosting Golf Tournament.  We are working with local golf courses to
bring members of the hosting industry down to New Orleans for a tour of the
more devastated areas, meet with each other again, and play a wonderful
round of golf.  The important thing is that it will be a charity event and
is much needed in our area.

WHG: A golf tournament for the hosting industry?  How does that work together?
Simple, many of the executives in this industry are avid golfer's, it will
be a good change from the sound of computers and the office, plus you know
the saying about many big deals are made on the green.  Make sure to check
on our site in the near future for details.

WHG: Ping Zine! recently made some new partnerships with?
We have always tried to work with everyone to promote the hosting industry
and have many partnerships.  Some of the new partnerships include
WebMaster911.com where we are offering free PPC credits to our sponsors.
Also, we are working with Mitch at WebhostingShow.com to share podcasts and
better reach the public.  On another direction, certain companies that we
work with directly, such as PressAdvance.com, we are referring potential
clients, not because of any trade deals but because we have used them and
believe their services will be useful to others in the industry.  We plan on
working with many others to help promote Hosting in a positive manner and
spread the name of Ping! Zine across the entire world.

WHG: What are the current magazines circulation details and who can we get in touch to place an ad?
According to our own inside audits, we are reaching approximately 30,000
readers with a conservative 1.7 readers per issue.  We are working on an
independent audit but it will take time since we have to revise our signup
process to make all readers accounted for.  Once the new web site is
launched, you will see the many things Ping! Zine has to offer. 


WHG: In the past, you mentioned "Sponsors" and not "Advertisers".  What is the difference?
We call our supporters "sponsors" instead of just advertisers because we
believe that they are the real reason Ping! Zine has been able to exist.  We
are a free subscriber based magazine and without the funds provided by the
sponsors, we wouldn't be able to survive, so next time you pick up a copy,
don't ignore the ads, they are the reason you get it!!!  Oh yeah, and if you
want to advertise too, just go to our site, click the advertise button and
fill out the form.  We will get back with you and show you the many options
that we have available.



WHG: I've really enjoy Ping Zine!, thanks for doing a great job at keeping a good thing going.
Thanks for talking with me and keep checking back with Ping! Zine.  Our
staff is on fire and we have much more in store for the readers in the
future.  The magazine is an ever changing venue and you never can tell what
we are going to try next.



Ping! Zine Contact Information:

Ping! Zine, LLC
1814 South Range Ave, Suite D
Denham Springs, LA 70726

Office: (toll free) 888-506-PING
(direct) 225-791-6140
Sales: (toll free) 888-519-PING
(direct) 225-791-3882
Editorial: (toll free) 888-521-PING
(direct) 225-791-3888
Fax: (toll free) 888-508-PING
(direct) 225-612-6371

Normal Business Hours are Monday thru Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00PM
http://www.pingzine.com

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Comments (1)

  • Gravatar - John
    John 20:32, January 8, 2009
    Great article and great zine!

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