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Charm from Chaos

Charm from Chaos

First Coast Magazine’s MagLab project takes the wonderful chaos at One Spark and transforms it into a unique crowd-sourced magazine. This “bold new experiment in print” combines the traditions of print and mixes it with the pace and responsiveness of today’s technology. This combination is producing First Coast Magazine’s May issue day-by-day.


From First Coast Magazine’s MagLab website:

Throughout the five-day festival, First Coast MagLab at Dalton Agency will allow One Spark attendees to take part in the magazine publishing process by attending live feature interviews, voting on the crowd-sourced cover artwork, and watching the editorial and design teams produce the publication page-by-page. The issue will focus on entrepreneurship and visionaries of the First Coast, and after only five days of production, it will be digitally published in time for One Spark’s closing ceremony.




The First Coast Magazine team takes interviews, photos, and audience feedback, compiles it all into finished content, and plugs the content into their design. They then upload the content to BlueToad and their digital issue goes live. Readers can check out the daily content at as it goes live.


Three interviews a day, during a five-day festival, and hundreds of live attendees with and hundreds more voting on the issue’s cover and daily content – it’s a wonder how First Coast Magazine is able to keep pace. The creation of great content and the folding-in of daily audience participation make for a huge challenges for their production team.


While visiting First Coast Magazine’s operations based in Dalton Agency near the heart of the One Spark event, we got the sense that the challenge is the driving force behind their efforts.


AJ Beson is the publisher of First Coast Magazine. He recognizes the opportunity a huge event like One Spark presents and how providing an innovative product to his audience can have a positive impact all-around, stating, “What better way to engage everyone in the publishing process during One Spark than through a live production of the magazine that reflects their own community.”


AJ Beson


After watching the interviewers, writers, editors, photographers, and designers polish raw content into a professional and finished publication; it’s obvious that when it comes time to upload the content, they are relieved to have finally reached the easy part of the day.


So, what does this mean for content creators?


With clear goals, planning, and a little diligence, content creators can maintain dynamic reach with their audience and build remarkable relationships with their audience.


This is exactly the reason why BlueToad decided to work with First Coast Magazine on this project. Our mission is to help content creators build meaningful relationships with their audience. And we’re honored to work with this innovative project at an innovative event.