In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure speaks with Alan Williamson of Split Screen and print magazine Five out of Ten. They discuss his work to develop a new kind of videogame magazine, how the publication pays writers, and what he thinks of the current writing market. Williamson also calls something “shit”–is it trains? Is it the Wii U? He didn’t say “shite”–is he actually Irish? Listen to find out!


02:20 “To actually make them pay for the magazine upfront I think is really important, because it encourages them to actually pay for the things they like.”

06:05 “Whenever you set your targets really low you’re never disappointed.”

17:50 “Maybe the market wasn’t as big as we thought it was.”

20:25 “We’re looking to build up a brand, but not necessarily a media company.”

22:45 “The only difference between somebody who’s an amateur and a professional is, one’s getting paid. The difference is, those people have time to formulate really good ideas.”

29:40 “It’s almost kind of insulting to the reader’s intelligence.”

36:25 “If you’re Microsoft and you want to advertise Internet Explorer to people that know how to use the internet, you know, fair play.”

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1 thought on “Dialogue Tree 16: Worth Paying For

  1. There’s one thing I’m not sure I can agree with Alan on. And I say this having met him, so it’s all okay, right? The idea that freelancers can “explore” the ideas more fully than those who work on their free time is, I think, is not 100% accurate. Some might argue that bloggers are more likely to go into depth – because the writing isn’t paying the bills.

    I’ve heard a lot of writers complain about how little time they get to allot to an article (MMO review anyone?) and that freelancers have to keep moving to survive. Take a look at Noah Smith’s “I Was Paid $12.50 An Hour To Write This Story” over at The Awl.

    When I started Electron Dance, I briefly entertained the idea I could end up as a freelancer, a wordgun for hire – but the more I heard about the reality of the freelancer life, the more I realised this just wasn’t going to be for me.

    Obviously it’s not complete rubbish because there are some great, researched pieces out there (take a look at Simon Parkin’s work, for example). But on the whole, I think the grass isn’t that green on either side of the fence.

    And if I’m misrepresenting what Alan meant, then he can come here and give me a dressing down in the comments. But he’s currently in Devon. And in Devon, no one can hear you clotted cream.

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