Happy New Year indeed.

Welcome to Blast Magazine, a hard-fought piece of journalism.

In the late 1990s, the Internet was in what could be called a golden age. For starters, it was much smaller. MySpace wasn’t around and Google was a fledgling search engine. AOL dial-up was how Americans actually got online.

During that time, I owned a tech and gaming portal called The Review Center. When the dot-com bubble burst, two sides of journalism remained, the print publications that maintained an online presence, and smaller Internet-only portals, which were often cutely referred to as “e-zines.”

Blast is not an “e-zine.” It is a magazine that accepts technology and the Internet as an enabling force, not something to be tolerated or worse, feared. It is designed and its articles are processed to look and feel like any other magazine you would see on a newsstand. The only difference is that you click instead of risking paper cut when you want to turn the page.

The Internet has divided the world of mass media for the past 10 years. Blast is a step towards the future, where print publications and electronic content sources are one in the same.

The only factors that truly astonish me are the limits that remain in Internet development. When we sat down to actually craft a magazine, there was so much to consider. We could design the magazine exactly as we wanted if we did it in Flash, but that would mean Google, in its infinite knowledge, wouldn’t be able to search us. We can’t use the same fonts you see on our logo in our articles and headlines because you probably don’t have the fonts on your computer. Finally, we can’t design an 8.5″ by 11″ page because your screen resolution could be too low or too high.

But what we did do was craft a magazine experience on the Internet that gets as close to the newsstand as you can get without buying a pack of gum and a lottery ticket.

Blast will release a new issue each month, but you will also find regularly updated staff blogs and new articles and hot product reviews appearing every day. This is a method we have developed called “Hybrid Edition Content Delivery.” This makes Blast a living, breathing magazine.

One day cyberspace will come out of the Iron age and have an awakening, by which I mean what I can design on a piece of paper (or cyber-paper or whatever the future holds) will appear the same regardless of the method with which you view it.

We are hoping to hurry that along a bit.

I am very proud to present Blast Magazine to you. It is continuously designed by a team lead by Andrew Kahn, with a code diligently written from scratch by Andrew Whelan.

This month we are proud to present Jim Crotty, a professional photographer being featured in the Smithsonian Institute for his work photographing new life in the wild. In an article by Liz Raftery, we see that magazines aren’t the only things being born lately.

Meghan Gargan gives you straight-talk about sex, health and relationships in La Cocquette, which is French for “The Flirt.” Our flirt, and her staff blog will take on all issues.

Chris DeMatteo introduces an ongoing feature called “Retro” where we look at things that remind us of years past, with an article about “Choose Your Own Adventure” books.

That’s just a small taste of Blast, so you’ll have to turn the page if you want to know more.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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