Ajaz Ahmed finds Cyberia Cafe’s first efforts at paper publishing a nerd’s dream

Ajaz Ahmed finds Cyberia Cafe’s first efforts at paper publishing a

nerd’s dream

And now for something completely different. While most of today’s

publishers are testing their skills over telephone wires and discovering

what the Internet can do for them, a company that has its roots in

online, Cyberia, is launching a paper-based publication.

Appealing to an audience that’s enthusiastic about Internet culture,

Cyberia carries general news of the world’s biggest computer network and

stuff about celebrities who surf. This month it’s Kylie Minogue (who

likes the Internet, but says she’s a technophobe); Janet Street-Porter

(who doesn’t like the Internet one bit, but reckons she knows the

score); and Supergrass (who make good music).

In fact, Cyberia is brimming with everything Internet. In between plugs

for the cafe and its sponsors, there are reviews of Internet art,

events, addictive multi-user games, legal issues, browsers, books and

even brides.

And if the biggest obstacle facing advertisers on the Internet is

achieving distribution for their message, then Cyberia should be able to

help out there too.

Because this new Internet fanzine is circulated among the Cyberia Cafe’s

captive audience of cappuccino-drinking surf dudes, it’s an ideal way to

publicise a Website. But whether punters will leap from the student-

magazine style pages of Cyberia to their PC between bagels to type the

Internet address that its writers recommend, remains to be seen.

Cyberia is no Wired killer, but then it probably isn’t supposed

to be. Naturally, Cyberia is also available free on the Internet: uk/cyberia/magazine/.

Ajaz Ahmed is a director of the new-media specialist, AKQA