In late 2012, an internet meme in Finland sparked a conversation about how computer magazines in the 21st century could be so much more. Most of the magazines that still exist contain mostly advertising, product reviews and other commercial fluff. We longed for the time (up to the early 90s) when computer magazines were focused on learning, understanding computers and software, and most importantly: nurturing creativity. They had a mission to distribute information, to teach people cool things you can do with computers, and to tell them how to get the most of what they already had, rather than just being a catalog of what advertisers wanted people to buy.

We thought it was time to quit complaining about the status quo and roll up our sleeves, so we started our own magazine. Yes, we started a print magazine from scratch in this day and age! Skrolli was born, and our first issue came out in February 2013. Since then, we’ve put out four issues per year without a hitch and reached a stable subscriber base of about 2,000 people in Finland.

Just before Christmas 2015, we launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo to fund an international issue in English. Our goal is $15,000, and with time left until mid-February, we are about halfway there! If you want to see Skrolli become a thing in English, go ahead and preorder a copy. :)

Skrolli is made by a small group of people as a hobby project. We don’t really get paid to do this and we have separate day jobs. We believe the world deserves better computer journalism, and we just want to see that happen.

For an overview of what we’ve published so far, we have an English table of contents of all our back issues.

Check out our campaign and ask us anything! Your questions will be answered by:


edit: I made /r/Skrolli :)

edit2: Go here to suggest things you'd like to read about!

Comments: 299 • Responses: 38  • Date: 

ClosedGates55 karma

How would you compare Skrolli to Wired?

mikkohoo78 karma

We are more strictly a computer magazine and our stories are more hands-on. We have some stories that could have been published on Wired (such as the Cold War computer bit), but the most part of it is too technical for a lifestyle magazine.

Puuhinen137 karma

It's hard to imagine Wired printing code on paper (anymore?). Our readers have loved that we print code, perhaps surprisingly. We don't print a lot of it, just the important parts being discussed, and put in a link to where you can get the rest.

Also, we're not keen on bandwagons, the gadget of the week or news stories that are forgotten the next day. Our issue cycle is deliberately slow so that we have time to do quality stories and don't get distracted by whatever Torvalds or Zuckerberg said yesterday or which stock went up or down.

rougekhmero48 karma

Hyvää iltaa!

I am a Canadian Based guy in his early 30s working to get a freelance writing career off the ground. Since your magazine is making a foray into English, are you accepting submissions/pitches or looking for English-as-first-language writers?

I have a ton of examples/experience if so desired, and my rates would be entry level and extremely reasonable.

Puuhinen37 karma

Freelance writers, photographers and other help are definitely very welcome! Send an email to [email protected] and tell us more about yourself.

YCobb42 karma

(For each of you) what would you say is your favorite article published so far?

Puuhinen98 karma

One of my favourites is an article titled Tietokone typografian tuhoajana ("How computers are destroying typography") by Jukka K. Korpela in issue 2015.3.

I feel it's very representative of Skrolli because it presents a view of computing issues from a very non-mainstream angle. First of all, it goes into full geek mode and delves deep into terminology about a specialist subject, in this case typography, and holds nothing back. Second, it has a highly critical attitude towards the subject matter: that the prevalence of computers has had an adverse effect on something that used to be better.

The article gives examples of how books, newspapers, official documents from your government etc. used to have higher typographic and layout standards that have been forgotten because of how difficult they were to achieve with computers until quite recently. Back when someone's job was to lay out books and documents by hand and manually print them at a printing press, stuff used to look better. But then every office monkey got a computer with a text editor and later Microsoft Word, everything got worse.

An upcoming follow-up article will discuss how to do typography right on a computer!

zlsa30 karma

Let me guess, TeX is involved? :P

Puuhinen21 karma

I haven't seen a draft of the follow-up yet, but I would imagine yes :)

geared4war26 karma

I am Australian and want to help. On top of the crowdsourcing is there any way I can help?

Puuhinen19 karma

You can of course spread the word, and if you are a good writer with interesting ideas, you can write for us! Shoot us an email to [email protected] and we maybe can work something out.

edit: Another thing you can do is convince anyone you know who has newspaper or magazine racks in their business to buy the reseller package. See the very bottom perk on our IndieGoGo campaign page.

Szos16 karma

Have you ever read the old school Byte magazine?

That's the magazine that originally sparked my interest in computers and technology. Would love a modern day alternative.

Puuhinen8 karma

I haven't read it much but I'm definitely aware of it. Byte is definitely a great influence, and I am positive that our more senior writers /u/viznut and /u/mikkohoo are very familiar with it.

zpm200116 karma

What's your favorite video game of all time?

Puuhinen40 karma

Probably the original Worms. I used to spend hours and hours after school on that with my friend. The later versions from Worms 2 onward turned me off. I don't like the pastel colours and noseless worms!

(I also have about 2300 hours in TF2, but that's more of an addiction and love/hate relationship.)

Not836 karma

Best item in TF2?

Puuhinen8 karma

The Escape Plan. I don't leave spawn without it :)

punadit20 karma

...and why is it Slicks N' Slide?

viznut13 karma

When mentioning 90's Finnish indie videogames, one shouldn't forget the "luolalentely" or "multiplayer Thrust clone" genre represented by the likes of Turboraketti and Super Sukkula. I haven't heard that this genre even has a commonly accepted name in languages other than Finnish.

Jakutsa18 karma

Have you guys done an article on the 90's finnish freeware game scene? I spent my childhood with classics like "Tapan Kaikki" and "Koiratappelu" and I have always wondered if other countries have similiar freeware classics.

Puuhinen15 karma

Not really, but that sounds like a solid article for the Finnish edition! Do you want to write it? Send email to [email protected] if you do :)

proweller11 karma

I think people would be interested in that internationally (I know I would) please don't keep (all) the good stuff in Finland!

Puuhinen7 karma

This is the plan! :)

Tim54115 karma

What makes your magazine different to other magazines in Market? There have lots of completion. What did you make your magazine different and successful in Finland?

Puuhinen14 karma

At least here in Finland, my perception is that there isn't really much competition. We've had a lot of great magazines in the past, but they've all dwindled in readership numbers and kind of failed to adapt to the internet. They've had a tough time figuring out how to stay relevant when the internet is always there with quick access to information, references and news. Large, traditional publishing houses have continually increased the amount of advertising, cut costs on editorial process and staff, and in doing so watered down their product.

Our focus is the magazine as a premium product that justifies its existence and the dead trees it's printed on with quality articles that aren't frivolous or immediately out of date. (Although of course you can choose to only get the digital subscription if you don't care for paper.) As we are independent of any publisher, we are also free to write about anything, trying out niche subjects, retro machines, controversial subjects, and so on. We also welcome article submissions from basically anyone. If you have something interesting to write about, get in touch, and we'll see what happens!

Skeptical_Stutter10 karma

how would you market the magazine differently if you do eventually decide to bring this magazine to the west? i know that there are some differences cultural differences, but im curious to see what you are most mindful of/worried about.

also, wishing you all the best in your endeavors :)

Puuhinen12 karma

This is a good question. We probably don't know a lot about how to market appealingly to North America. I'm a long time redditor so I thought talking to redditors might be fruitful, since I see a lot of cool stuff redditors do all the time. Personally I'm not worried about a whole lot, because we don't have practically any money riding on this and don't have much to lose if we don't make it big.

OinkersPig10 karma

If you had to choose, what would be your programming language of choice?

Good luck with the campaign, I hope you get funded! :)

Puuhinen7 karma

I am actually a pretty lousy programmer since my training and day job are in completely different areas. I'm completely self-taught in computer things and I program pretty rarely. Perl is pretty cool for quick and dirty things. I also like C because it's so simple. C++ and Java are pretty complicated. OO programming is something I never really wrapped my head around.

We had a pretty cool article on Rust, it made me want to try that!

Not834 karma

I also like C because it's so simple. C++ and Java are pretty complicated.

C is easier than C++?

Puuhinen10 karma

I said simple, not easy! C has fewer features :)

FifthDimension1019 karma

You have definitely caught my attention! I'd certainly be up for getting an issue of this magazine. I understand you guys are doing this as more of a hobby then anything else right now. But if you were to accomplish getting this published in English what would be your timeline?

Puuhinen6 karma

If we get funded, we estimate to ship the English issue in April 2016. If we get massively funded, we will definitely consider starting a running subscription in English as well, and perhaps other stretch goals depending on success.

TheLastFartan8 karma

I'm a student and cannot afford to donate, but for whatever it's worth please know that I would if I could and also that you've got yourself another curious follower. "Skrolli" sounds like an awesome magazine, and something I could learn from.

What made you decide on the name Skrolli, what does it mean, and if translated, would you keep the name, or change it to something new?

Puuhinen15 karma

Skrolli is not really a word in Finnish. It's a reference to a demoscene concept: in a demo, a scroll or scroller is a portion that displays scrolling textual content to the viewer. The text is usually a greeting by the people who made the demo to the attendants of the demoparty where the demo is shown, to their rival demogroups, or perhaps some other musings. The scrolls are often decorated, jump up and down on a sine wave and do other flashy things. Skrolli is just a Finnishization of this word and is basically a reference to "delivery of information with flair to people like us who know computers but want to learn more" :)

If you like, you can also read more into it, steering your train of thought towards ancient papyrus or vellum scrolls of wisdom... :P

I think it's a fine name and don't see a reason to change it!

jdmarino8 karma

Are you planning to translate all the back issues? The English ToCs intrigue me and I'm interested in "starting from the beginning" and catching up. Call it "binge reading". (FYI, I just paid for the mag + t-shirt.)

Puuhinen4 karma

We have a decent idea of which articles in our back issues are crowd favorites. We will begin by translating those. I doubt that we will ever translate all of our Finnish content to English, as some of it is quite specific to Finland, but we'll see. :)

shushupbuttercup7 karma


Is there currently an online version?

Puuhinen14 karma

For the Finnish version, we publish each issue both as a printed magazine and a DRM-free PDF file sent to our subscribers. When a new issue comes out, we put the PDF of the previous one up on our website for free. All back issues up to 2015.3 (which came out in September) are available here. 2015.4 is the latest issue, so that one doesn't have the free PDF up yet.

The Finnish version has a choice between a digital and digital + paper subscription. A bit surprisingly perhaps, literally 99% of our subscribers do want the paper magazine.

From time to time we also publish content that goes straight to our website, such as time-critical columns and opinion pieces.

Zacharius_H7 karma

Reddit hug of death. Hopefully it comes back up soon. I would be interested in donating, but would like to read more on the site. Does it contain sample articles? Something to expect from the magazine?

Puuhinen3 karma

Huh, the site seems to work fine for me. Perhaps a tad slow. Unfortunately we don't have sample articles in English yet. That's what we're trying to get funding for. Quality translations take a lot of time and therefore a bit of money.

In the meantime we do have an English list of the headlines of what we've published in Finnish so far.

totalrobe6 karma

A real computer mag again! I'd really like to see this succeed - have you posted in Hacker News and some of the actual tech focused subreddits? - many of your target US audience will frequent this site /r/programming /r/linux

Puuhinen4 karma

Skrolli has been discussed in at least /r/linux, /r/programming, /r/hacking, /r/sweden, /r/finland and /r/journalism. I may be forgetting some.

Hacker News is probably still unutilized, thanks for the suggestion. Maybe I'll post about us hitting 100% (maybe tomorrow at this rate) and hyping up the fact that preorder time is still abundant. :)

nice_spider6 karma

Are you going to make an online version of the magazine?

Puuhinen6 karma

We offer both a digital and paper version. So far the digital part has been in PDF format, but sometimes people request other formats like epub, which may also happen if there is enough demand and we figure out a good process to make that happen. In addition we also have a website where we occasionally publish straight-to-web content such as columns, news and reports from events where we went.

PoisonTaffy6 karma

What value do you offer to someone who follows blogs and articles regularly (or reads from curated lists like hacker news)? How is a print magazine a better/different experience and what can your individual writers bring to the table that the Internet hive mind doesn't?

Please read this as a curious inquiry into your perspective on this rather than a criticism.

Puuhinen8 karma

Blogs and web articles are an essential resource in today's world and nothing will change that anymore. But we still like the magazine format for a few reasons.

  • Blogs and websites come and go. They get deleted, new versions cause linkrot, hosting providers go down, domains switch owners etc. A magazine is a fixed, physical object that doesn't go away once made. You can store them, give them as presents, catalogue them in libraries... Permanence of information is much easier on paper.
  • We like the magazine as an artifact. It gives us a satisfaction of "we together made this thing in our hands and it looks beautiful". And then we want to hand it to you.
  • A magazine article is typically a slower process than a blog post. Our articles are looked at by many people before going to print. This ensures that errors are caught, style is perfected, skillful typesetting and graphic design is applied and the end result is pleasant to read.

FlownFish6 karma

Hey quick question about the crowdfunding campaign; is there/will there be an option to order a full subscription instead of just one magazine? I'd love to get this sent to my father on a regular basis.

Puuhinen8 karma

The campaign we are running right now is for producing a single issue. After we've written and shipped it, gauging the feedback and exposure we get from this small run, we will evaluate our options on whether or not we start a full subscription. Alternatively, if our current campaign gets overwhelmingly funded, we may consider starting on an English subscription right away. But that is still uncertain.

AlrightWallOfChina5 karma

Suomi mainittu, torilla tavataan! Seriously though, sounds like a great idea and I wish you all the best.

Where can I get a copy if I wanted one?

Puuhinen3 karma

Right now the only way to secure your own copy is to preorder one on IndieGoGo!

Gavimoss5 karma

First of all this sounds epic and if the crowd source fails then I will be learning Finnish so that I can subscribe anyway!

My question is, if I subscribe to the paper magazine, do I get a digital copy too? I used to love collecting computer magazines and I like the idea of having an actual catalogue of interesting things to do with my computer but I do most of my reading these days on my tablet so it would be great to be able to access both via my subscription.

Puuhinen2 karma

My question is, if I subscribe to the paper magazine, do I get a digital copy too?

Yes, absolutely!

therealblergh5 karma

Anyone up for making a swedish equivalent?

Puuhinen7 karma

Vi har inte själva möjlighet att göra det, men jag gick till /r/sweden en dag och diskuterade Skrolli där. Kanske du skulle vara intresserad att läsa. :)

Petrolsniff4 karma

Intresting are your coding articles for total beginners? Always tried to learn but give up..

Puuhinen5 karma

We try to maintain wide range. Some of our stuff is for beginners, some for intermediates and some is quite esoteric and hardcore.

Littlehorse14 karma

When will this come to America? Great idea and hope it succeeds. The United States goverment right now wants all non goverment people to be mindless and not think for ourselves. We are to be good wards of the Corporate states of america. I hope you can turn this around with your idea.

Puuhinen6 karma

If our campaign succeeds in getting funded, we estimate that the English issue will ship in April.

newtonnes4 karma

If the English version kicks off, how do I subscribe/order your magazines? Since I don't live in Finland, do you mail the magazines or do you have an online version available to subscribers?

Puuhinen7 karma

If we get funded well enough to start a running subscription in English, we will have a place to put in your subscription on our website. The price to subscribe will include shipping worldwide for the paper magazine, and if you don't want paper, you can choose to get a digital version only. Paper subscribers also get the digital version.

edit: Regarding the IndieGoGo campaign, you can choose which perk you want. For $10 you get the crowdfunded magazine as a digital file, for $19 you get the paper magazine shipped anywhere in the world + the digital file as well. For $50 we'll throw in a t-shirt! :)

tbs044 karma

Are your writers proficient in English? Do you need editors?

Puuhinen3 karma

We have professional translators available. As far as editing and managing the actual publishing process, we can handle it. Content submissions from freelance writers are welcome, however!

KukkaisPrinssi3 karma

How The Indiegogo campaign is gone?

Puuhinen4 karma

We're happy with the progress so far! We have achieved half of the goal in less than half the time, so that's probably a good sign. Many more options are still available to gain more visibility, and we are resuming our efforts now that Christmas and New Year are firmly behind us. :)

reddog3233 karma

Outstanding idea, folks. Once you're up and running, do you plan on collaborating with any other aspects of the maker culture? Make magazine might be a good place to start. They're a good example of something similar. A maker space might be a good addition to your offices, when you get some. Best of luck!

Puuhinen4 karma

We have close friends in the local hacker and maker scenes, such as the Helsinki Hacklab. Also looking forward to hearing about the projects of likeminded people everywhere in the world.

The integration of offices is a nice idea, I will keep that in mind, in case we ever have an office :)

c-reus3 karma

How often do you plan to do new issues of the magazine (assuming that the crowdfunding is successful)?

Puuhinen3 karma

The $15,000 goal is to produce a single issue and ship it to backers. If we manage to get significantly more, we will look into starting a running subscription in English. This would ideally mirror the cycle of the Finnish edition which comes out 4 times per year.

LifeOnBoost3 karma

I am a Finn who speaks incredibly fluent English and am an absolute computer addict. Can I work with you guys?

Puuhinen2 karma

Yes you can. Email us at [email protected]. Tell us about yourself and what you would like to do, and we will get back to you as soon as we have the time :)

chunder_everywhere3 karma

I can't speak Finnish, but I write pretty well. Do you wanna sponsor a visa and give me a job?

Puuhinen4 karma

Unfortunately we can't even employ ourselves at the moment by making Skrolli. We get our income elsewhere. :)

CaveRaves12 karma

I'm in Singapore. Anyway to read this legally or would we have to wait?

Puuhinen2 karma

You can preorder your copy right now. Once the magazine is done (estimated April 2016), we will ship it to you (should you choose the print version) and send you the digital magazine as well.

koenigkill2 karma

Were will it be avaible ? Im in Germany and would love to read it (even in english). Is there a possibility ti read your magazine online?

Puuhinen2 karma

You can preorder your copy right now. Once the magazine is done (estimated April 2016), we will ship it to you anywhere in the world (if you choose the print version) and send you the digital magazine as well.