For the last 30 years a small college magazine has been in circulation at International House College Melbourne.
This magazine is a weekly, going out to the almost 330 students every Monday morning at breakfast.
Contrary to the small readership, the magazine is called …. Globe. In a completely un-ironic way.
The magazine is written by the student body with nearly a dozen writers each semester and an editor whose god awful job involves managing the writers, editing articles, printing the magazine and circulating it to the students. Suffice to say it involves a lot of 3ams. On top of university work.
It is a small but important part of what it means to be a student at IH. It is an outlay for the voice of its students.
In 2013, I became a writer for Globe. And proceeded to do absolutely nothing.
But it became immediately apparent how strange the print magazine was. The writers would work hard to write articles to publish each week only to then have them disappear forever.
The individual Globe articles would be read by the students and then no-one would ever get to read it again. The print editions would be cleaned up and turned into rubbish.
One day another student Claudia Martin harassed me into doing something to give back to the college. I didn’t participate in any college events and largely kept to myself. But she was right. I was a total recluse.
So at her behest, the thing I gave back was Globe Online. If it wasn’t for Claudia, the site would never have been made. She was the catalyst. So, hooray Claudia.
In October 2013, from my tiny dorm in Scheppes 201, coded up and launched the first version of Globe Online. I built the site and for all of 2013, 2014 and 2015 basically financed and paid for the whole thing myself. It was my way of giving back.
A few months later the Globe editor left for Europe and a new Globe Editor was chosen. Her name was Zizi Averill, a first year journalism student. You couldn’t have picked someone better.
She learned how to use the site and began writing and publishing at a furious pace. She is one of the longest running Globe Editors, running the site for 2 years all of 2014 and 2015. Under her tenure, Globe expanded its readership and grew rapidly.
She was also my girlfriend. We started dating while working on Globe. It really was a labour of love. It made her happy to run it and what made her happy made me happy and so I was happy maintaining the website. In a sense, I’m immensely thankful for Globe because of that.
Within 2 years of launching. This year, in 2015, Globe Online will serve nearly 250,000 pageviews to a readerbase of nearly 30,000 readers. A quarter of a million hits per year is an absurd number for what was a tiny college magazine that only printed to 300 people every Monday at breakfast when we joined.
It is unquestionably one of the most successful college magazine in the history of any college or university in the entire country. It has become more successful than we ever thought. And is now the standard that every collegiate magazine should base themselves.
The site could even give a number of commercial publications a run for their money. And it’s still growing. 0 to a quarter million hits in 2 years and 1 relationship is pretty darn incredible.
And all of that, was due to Zizi. She made Globe so successful. There was this tiny powerhouse magazine running from the dorms of Scheppes and New Building.
For my part, Globe is set up to run on it’s current server forever. I’m still covering all of the costs. And I’d love for one day my kids to go to IH and read the same magazine that I helped create and grow into something so meaningful.
At the end of 2015, Zizi retired as the Globe Editor and I’ve left IH. The site and it’s contents have been left to the new Editor, The Talented Mr Kerrison.
And so with a heavy heart we both say goodbye to Globe.
Goodbye Globe, you will be missed.
Below are a snapshot of some of the metrics taken in August 2015.