A zine, an abbreviation for magazine, is a short publication that anyone can create. They are generally very crudely produced pamphlets filled with anything from anecdotes to opinions to illustrations. One of the main reasons for their popularity was how easy they were to create. All it took was for someone to have some sort of content they wanted to share, write that down on paper, bring it to the nearest copier, and staple it together. Another reason came from the perspective of the reader. As Stephen Duncombe says in Notes From Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture, “in zines, everyday oddballs were speaking plainly about themselves and our society with an honest sincerity, a revealing intimacy, and a healthy ‘fuck you’ to sanctioned authority – for no money and no recognition, writing for an audience of like-minded misfits”. The readers of zines were very appreciative of the honest and unfiltered content that they couldn’t get from a normal magazine.
In a sense, zines were the very first blog. They allowed individuals to share whatever they wanted with the public in a very personalized manner. The way in which they were produced and distributed went against the preconceived notion that media had to come from an organization such as a newspaper or magazine company. Once zines gained popularity, they set the precedent that anyone with an opinion could be a writer who could share their message with the public. And this is the exact same concept behind the success and popularity of blogs today. The reasons for writing and reading a blog is exactly the same as those for a zine, but with the emergence of the internet, these types of publications became much easier to distribute.