Latest somethingdark news

Developing a website such as SDk and the magazine it hosts takes time. That's why we think contributors and others interested in what we are doing deserve to be kept informed on our progress. This page has been designed to do exactly that: to keep you up-to-date as to where we are. We're pleased to have you with us.

Keep up-to-date: to be notified when the next issue of SomethingDark is out or when there is a significant update to the website, click here to join our mailing list.

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Wrestling with font management for SDk03 and beyondSDk Updates ->

Fri 25 May, 2012.

Development is a never-ending process, and that’s what’s been occupying Chris so much of late. More specifically, we’re dealing with the multitude of issues surrounding the way different operarting systems – namely Windows and the Mac OS – and, to a lesser extent, browsers, render fonts on-screen.

This is a specific problem for us because of the unique way SomethingDark webMagazine is constructed; to ultimately have an HTML-driven webmagazine resemble a “real” magazine (i.e. in traditional print), we have to wrestle with varying so-called “standards” implemented across the major operating systems and browsers....Read more

SDk03 is well on the way, and will drop jaws when it arrivesSDk Updates ->

Sat 14 Apr, 2012.

Chris and Daryl held their final SDk03 planning meeting on Thursday 12 April, and issue number 3 is taking shape in no uncertain terms.

As at the end of this week we have most of our contributors’ work in our hands; there are still a few pieces of writing still to come in, but we of all people know what it takes to produce quality. That’s our raison d’être.

More than having most SDk03 material together in one place, at last, is the news that puts this fact in perspective: our plan is showing an issue that’s much larger and more diverse than we imagined when we first set SDk03’s theme more than three years ago. And when we say “much larger and more diverse”, we really do mean much larger and more diverse. The range of sheer talent we’ve managed to assemble, and the work we’ve curated to treat a broad and exciting theme in a comprehensive and innovative way, is going to attract attention.

We hope you will be intrigued, and will also appreciate the time it takes for us to create such an issue.

To say we’re looking forward to it is an understatement.

Contributor relations reviewed and overhauledSDk Updates ->

Thurs 16 Feb, 2012.

We live at a time in which most publications’ insatiable need for content, especially in the age of web publishing, has jaded just about everyone, publishers and creatives alike: this is why we are consciously doing things differently with SomethingDark webMagazine.

Each issue is a carefully constructed work of art in its own right, the philosophy driving it being that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and in this we eschew what has apparently become the standard modus operandi in publishing. In other words, we have not created a content-churning machine that sucks in creative material and spits it out on (virtual) pages as fast as we can turn it over....Read more

Better than ever: second-generation SDk:Mob tweakedSDk Updates ->

Tues 22 Nov, 2011.

In December last year we announced the release of a mobile version of SomethingDark webMagazine, SDk:Mob (see the item below for Thur 02 Dec, 2010). A second generation of SDk:Mob was developed for release soon after SDk02, and we are now pleased to announce that this latest incarnation of our dedicated format for smartphones has just been polished. We are confident it will, at the very least, do its job, and will compare well with the best that’s “out there”.

For the full SDk experience, however, nothing beats the big screen of your home or laptop or tablet computer – SomethingDark webMagazine is fully compatible with iPad, as we announced in February this year (see the item for Thurs 24 Feb, 2011, below)....Read more

What is SDk?SDk Updates ->

Sat 05 Nov, 2011.

The world around us is not suspended in time or trapped in a vacuum, and neither is SomethingDark. That is, apart from constant development, we are always evolving. This means we’re not quite the same now as we were when we produced SDk01.

To reflect our evolution, we have just revised our “about” information, which in our terminology is the “What is SDk?” page on the SomethingDark website. The changes are subtle but significant.

In keeping with our orientation and direction, we have also updated our contributor information packs (CIPs), which prospective contributors can download as PDF documents from the “Want to Contribute?” page.

Breaking radio silence: SDk02 is launched!SDk Updates ->

Wed 19 Oct, 2011.

It’s been a long time since our last update and as the brand-new editorial of a certain online publication states, it’s been a long time between celebratory, issue-launch drinks. But all that has changed: SomethingDark 02 is out, and, with this milestone, we’re not looking back.

SDk02 represents a very significant step forward in technical development and the presentation of the magazine. And, of course, we think the photography, art and writing follows with the standard set by SDk01 and, really, would be hard pressed to be bettered.

It has, in fact, been a challenge to produce an encore to SDk01 with a team of two; some indication of this lies in the fact that email communications between Chris and Daryl became a document of 600 A4 pages (exactly) which is a word processing file of 3.3 Mb. But we’ve done it, and now we have secured some very experienced and capable editorial assistance from none other than SDk02’s literature writer, Marilyn Jaye Lewis....Read more

Radio silence: an SDk progress reportSDk Updates ->

Wed 06 Apr, 2011.

Today is the first day of the new UK financial year, and a fitting time for an update on what’s going on here at SomethingDark and what’s happening with the pending release of SDk02, which has set a new benchmark with regards to the challenge it’s posed to our two-man team. We know, as Britain stands on knobbly knees, relying on memories of a fading empire and clutching at straws to claw some of it back, excuses are too often pushed to the fore, and a little weak. So we hope our explanation is a little more substantial.

Much time over the last few months has been devoted to strategising for maintaining SomethingDark webMagazine in the long term, which includes the very finite area of finance and the fact that both Chris and Daryl have to work on other, bill-paying, projects to live in an ever-more-expensive country as well as make sure we stand strong in the event that any curve-ball heads towards the SDk venture....Read more

We propose a toast to a true webMagazine: SomethingDark is iPad, tablet PC and mobile ready!SDk Updates ->

Thurs 24 Feb, 2011.

Our objective has always been to create a web-based cultural magazine at the forefront of technology as a platform for content of significance (as opposed to just another blog template presented as a “magazine”), and we are continuing to push the envelope in achieving this objective.

In early December we were delighted to launch a mobile version of SomethingDark – a project that had occupied us in mind for quite some time before we finally got around to putting it into action (see our SDk goes mobile! for 2 December 2010).

And now we can barely contain further glee in announcing that SDk magazine is iPad compatible. Which means, of course, that anyone with any of the devices sprouting on the burgeoning tree of new-generation tablet PCs can visit SDk webMagazine and view it as it was designed, exactly as it appears on a desktop or laptop PC.


We expected better from the GuardianSDk Updates ->

Tues 08 Feb, 2011.

Shortlisted entries for the Guardian-sponsored MediaGuardian Innovation Awards (“Megas”) have just been announced and we’re not so much disappointed that we’re not on it as surprised that said shortlist is a virtual who’s who of the corporate world, relatively well- to well-established agencies, and high-profile campaigns.

For example, in the “On a budget” category, the shortlisted entrants include the production of some consumer-culture offering featuring heavily marketed new pop duo Hurts, produced by the agency FOAM/Sony Music Entertainment UK, for Hurts and RCA Records; and a campaign produced by Mindshare to lobby Transport for London over their congestion charge structure on behalf of their client, Volvo Cars UK.

In other words, completely, utterly commercial and mainstream: not entirely something we expected from the Guardian, especially considering the information disseminated about the awards, which gave the impression that genuine space is provided for genuinely small, independent players. Yes, we knew we were taking on the big time, but the scale of what we consider to be a farce is what we find surprising....Read more

Past development paying off, more plannedSDk Updates ->

Tues 14 Dec, 2010.

Even on our little server, with SomethingDark crammed in with a few other websites, we’ve strived to make SDk as fast and as efficient as we possibly can, and, as you’ll see from the latest graph supplied by Google (click to view), with our most recent push we’ve finally managed to make the top 1% of websites with regards to loading times and performance.

Sure, there have been a few days of interruption or “oops, that didn’t work” along the way, but we’re finally there and aim to keep it that way. Then, if we manage to get the finance to upgrade to a new server (it’s on our “to do” list), we should be laughing – and so should the increasing number of visitors to SDk, who will see our pages load on their screen at a gratifyingly super-speedy rate....Read more