Michael Turnbull A World Without Fear: Our Talk with Turn on Toronto

So recently I was interviewed by this rad little Toronto information hub called Turn on Toronto. These guys are an absolutely blast, they are hardcore and they work tirelessly to get the word out about all things trill in Toronto. So naturally they found us. The interview can be found here, and our wicked awesome write up is after the jump. 


SANS. The magazine that says it all, by not saying too much. That writes about what you're thinking, and probably a lot more that would never cross your mind... at least stuff you'd never admit to thinking about.

That's the first impression we had when we got word of them. In case you've never gone for a site visit, one scroll through the page is all you'll need to know what we're talking about. This week we do you one better, and sit you down face-to-face with the man with the SANS plan, his vision is his mission, a dude who could care less if you agree with him - and if you don't, that's cool, just be prepared to find out why you're probably wrong. Ladies and gents, we playfully introduce you to SANS Magazine Creative Director and Founder Mike Turnbull.

Mike dropped in for a coffee to talk SANS, marketing, and of course Toronto. We at TOT are big on energy, enthusiasm, and bright ideas. Professor Turnbull here holds the trifecta. The conversation had everything, from how an online magazine can counter short attention spans, to why many of us so-called civilized folk pretend to be above discussing sex and all its possibilities in an open forum. Very insightful stuff, we promise.

First let's talk web-style. Mike shares that much of his inspiration comes from reading VICE Magazine when he was younger, and how much reading something that spoke to him and people like him did for his life. It was a culture about being real, no apologies, no excuses, and when he grew up Mike decided to do the same for a newer generation.

We discussed how attention spans are fast flying way out the window, and Mike told us his strategy is to make the length of the articles instantly digestible to the reader; write a long piece that seems never-ending and you could lose them within a paragraph or two. But show them where the end is - SANS a scroll down the page - and they may just want to read more. And he's right; keep it tight, and we'll have the stamina for more.

Secondly, yes a magazine comes down to the strength of its writing, but just like we did when we were kids, if there ain't enough pretty pictures to keep us entertained, the brain shoulder taps "BOR-RINNGGG." We can't help it, it's how we're wired, Homer Simpson practically raised us and SANS understands this concept. That's why the site is designed to attract you, pull you in like a magnet with its sexy layout and clever tag-lines, and keeps you there with playful content. We constantly found ourselves asking "which one do we click on, they all look fun!" and so we end up opening 10 tabs. So be it. SANS gets us.

On to the seedy and perverse underbelly of society, or so the silver spoons might have you think. Some might call SANS just professional smut, and we can understand why. But when it really comes down to it, you'd probably be lying if you said you have no interest in articles about long-distance sex tips, dating on a budget, sexting, or the mile-high club. And if you're genuinely not interested in any of those things, well then maybe we just can't see you anymore, because you don't really exist, imaginary goody two-shoes of the 21st century! Because it's true, and while these topics and the ones further down Alice's rabbit hole to Wonderland may seem rude and inappropriate to talk about in public, if we all think about it anyways, why not bust the whole conversation wide open and spice things up a bit?

If life were lived in the SANS domain, sure we'd be a lot more raunchy and explicit in passing, and might get offended a lot more. But maybe, just maybe, we'd be a lot more honest towards each other. And hell, we'd probably enjoy more of what we really want, and waste a lot less time finding it. That's what SANS offers, and we can definitely see the appeal.

This is how we view the culture they've cultivated so far. It's a guilty pleasure, that we're all in on -- SANS the guilt part, thanks to them. Mucha apreciación for keeping it real Mike & Co., and for helping Turn On Toronto... in your very special way

Brent Landels Turn on Toronto

To quench your thirst for awesome interviews about this bomb city, check out more Turn on Toronto here. Apparently they just hangout with the Supermaniac.

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