A decade before the term 'UGC' came into currency, JAM magazine had done just that -powered itself on user generated content. In its very first issue in August 1995, JAM had instituted the concept of student reporters and writers (also known as JBCs or JAM Bureau Chiefs).
These young people - their thoughts, ideas and energy form the core of the JAM spirit. Guided and mentored by the editorial team, we've seen a few generations of young people pass through our portals (a 'generation' in youth terms is roughly 3 years :) And so many of them left their unique imprint on the minds and hearts of our readers.
Over the years, the volume of contributions and contributors has grown. And the cycle of news has changed. JAM remains a fortnightly print magazine but a lot happens every day, every hour and we have struggled for some time with how to let the energy and content of the JAM junta flow online smoothly.
We did not wish to be a me-too of an orkut or facebook. At the same time we want to empower the JAM community to network. To express themselves dynamically and in real time on a JAM-centric online creative platform.
After much thought, trial and error we have launched Club JAM (http://clubjam.jammag.com). This is a space where jammers that has all the cool stuff you see on any social network but it's also a space for creative expression in all forms. Articles, photos, videos, discussions, forums - and much more to come.
The site is currently in beta and has 400 + members since its launch on Dec 1 2007. On Jan 1 we will migrate the 35,000 existing members of jammag.com to Club JAM as well. The best of Club JAM will be published in JAM - the print magazine as well.
I invite you to come, experience and participate in this online experiment. Especially the many, many of you who write to me everyday expressing an interest in 'writing for JAM'. I am no longer the 'gatekeeper' - the power is in your hands.
Hope to see on Club JAM. Join the party :)