I'm learning that the archipelago of magazines resembles the Galapagos islands and its unique finches. Like those famous finches, magazines and their editors evolve in isolation to accomplish similar goals and overcome similar challenges. Darwin's birds have specially adapted beaks depending on the island they inhabit, while magazine editors develop tools to plan, edit, proof, and design that are specific to the attitude and needs of their home-publication. The balance of emphasis can be slightly different as editors weigh the importance of fact-checking, brainstorming, and even the internal sections within a magazine. In some places the difference is lingo. Printer proofs are all the same, but can be called "Blue Lines," "Proofs" or "Last Looks."
On the Galapagos, a finch who migrated to a new island would find an entirely different species with no connection to him. But in journalism, an editor who leaps to another magazine finds a world that's like a new map laid upon a something familiar. The destination is the same, but the routes and street names are different, and the new grid takes a little while to figure out. This is all becoming apparent to me as I start my new job at Backpacker and learn the environs of this new magazine island.