Today I reviewed the Star Frontiersman #19 which had close to the last of the material I put together for that zine before leaving it to start the Frontier Explorer. It had a bunch of materail I had painstakingly tracked down from lost internet sites where snapshots of those sites had been preserved in the Waybackmachine internet archive. Many of these sites were from the late '90s and early 2000s but are now not on the internet. Its sad becasue they had great Star Frontiers content created by fans running those sites. I had combed through the best of the material and compiled it to be republished in a magazine so that it would be preserved. It was very gratifying to see that 7 months and two issues after leaving the Star Frontiersman that I'm still having a major impact on that magazine.
Now here is the thing a magazine is better than a web site because the web site can become unfunded and lost to the public. No one really saves complete copies of a website on their computer but they will save a copy of a magazine thus the content of the magazine is preserved in many places. A free fan magazine will get uploaded to a site like 4shared or scribd and then the copies of the zine will linger there for who knows how long. Plus with the Frontier Explorer being on a print on demand service it will be available for as long as the service is available.
Typically a fan website is the work of one individual (and it rises or falls on the will of that individual to keep it going) but a magazine accepts contributions and many people contribute and keep it going. Some of the community might enjoy a particular website but a magazine becomes a focal point for the community with actual community involvment.
For me this is why I invest my time in a magazine over a fan web site.