London magazine and Webjam team up to build online community

A free fortnightly magazine started by a graduate to entertain commuters on the Northern Line of the London Underground has teamed up with social networking tool Webjam to allow readers and journalists to interact.

The Other Side was started by editor Sam Lassman and designer Rebecca Hall in spring last year, when they were printing 500 copies a fortnight in Lassman’s mother’s business an handed them out in north London.

Since then the business has grown and Lassman has secured funding from Webjam to produce 5,000 full colour copies.

In return The Other Side has set up their website using Webjam’s software, which allows users to manage their web presence and create a personalised web pages.

Lassman said that the software will help create the community which he says is critical to the way he wants to make the magazine.

He said: ‘It’s actually brilliant for what we are doing and works really well – the idea is to build up a community and be interacting with our readers hopefully getting them to write stuff that we can use for future editions. The Other Side is about bringing people together and allowing them to play an active part in how the magazine develops and is used.”

Lassman added that he is out to compete with the free papers.

‘Now it’s a case of pushing it further forward and making stuff happen, we need to work on advertising and building up the amount of copies we do. Hopefully one day we can compete with the free papers – at least one day a week – really giving people something that they are a part of and that they want to read.”

Yann Motte, co-founder and chief executive of Webjam, said: ‘As entrepreneurs ourselves, we’re totally behind Sam’s vision and are working closely to make sure we can offer members and readers a truly interactive experience where they play their part in editing and shaping The Other Side both in print and online.”

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