Merch-ing Forward. —

Editor’s Letter : March 2018


Late last month we ran a small experiment. We gave away some pins on Instagram. The pins themselves are a nice tangible touch to MAEKAN. As a digital publisher we don’t necessarily have anything out in the physical world. At its simplest, it was a marketing opportunity. At best, it tested our bonds with the community and honestly, we came away surprised by the intellect and curiosity you all possess.


The team has always discussed what a MAEKAN product could/would look like, or even if there’s an appetite for product. We think pins, however trivial they are, were a great validation. It’s provided confidence to move forward and start exploring some simple things before eventually leveling-up towards something bigger and bolder. But what was most important to me was the quality of engagement with the posts.


The answers and responses we received to “suggest new story ideas,” leads me to believe there’s a ton of curious editorial types in plain sight. We’ve always “theorized” that the MAEKAN community represents some of the brightest and most forward-thinking individuals within creative culture, now the proof is out there. Our next steps are really how to build out a system that makes your thoughts a recorded reality. With each story that comes out, we’re starting to build a pretty definitive framework of what we represent.


But that’s not to be said that the framework is narrow and unforgiving. The reality is that the framework represents the opportunity to scale ideas and discourse. As it becomes more concrete and settled, we can start bringing people into the so-called metaphorical “workshop and studio” and create as they please. We’ve been working on an audio storytelling guide that will walk you through a bit of our process. It’s fun because sometimes when you’re so close to something you quickly dismiss some of the small details.


By being more methodical and sharing it with you guys, it forces us to document a bit more clearly the process. If you can’t wait, I highly recommend checking out some of the resources from NPR including their microsite for radio, We at MAEKAN revel in the idea of other people challenging what we know to be true and creating a more empathetic world by sharing their challenges and struggles. We’ve done a fair bit of talking up until now, time to turn the mics on you.


Until next month,  

Eugene Kan


Eugene talks about our recent strides with reinvigorating our creative processes and continuing to move forward, even as the challenges we sought to solve and the world around us continue to evolve.