Magazines and the Internet :: 2006/06/06 23:54
I found this while i was just surfing around and thought I'd share. I'm gonna cut and paste the entire article here. To which I'd like to discuss later.
On Monday, I'm going to be speaking at the annual conference of the American Society of Magazine Editors in New York about how the mainstream media can thrive in the brave new media world by making friends with the blogosphere and embracing the online universe.
With magazine subscriptions and newsstand sales going south, and more and more readers turning to the Internet as their primary source of news, opinion, information, and entertainment, this is more than a theoretical debate.
But the more I've thought about the subject and the more research I've done, the more I've realized that the print-vs.-online debate has become as much an outdated clichÃ© as the old Ginger-vs.-Mary Ann barroom argument. Why choose? This is 2006 -- why not just have a three-way?
Same with users embracing both the mainstream media and the online universe. It's not an either-or proposition. Despite drops in circulation, print magazines are not going the way of the dodo bird (indeed, there are over 5,000 more magazine titles on sale now than there were in 1988) -- and the 75,000 new blogs appearing every day won't be the death knell of Big Media. Instead, if the mainstream media play their cards right, the new media could provide a transfusion of energy, passion, and immediacy that will alter -- and ultimately save -- them. Provided they keep adapting to the changing technologies -- and, more importantly, the changing audience.
With more and more ad dollars being funneled into new media destinations -- analysts predict the web ad market will hit $55 billion by the end of the decade -- magazine publishers are pouring more resources into their online versions. In the last year, the big newsweeklies have all added blogs to their sites -- with Time bringing established bloggers Andrew Sullivan and Ana Marie Cox into its fold.
In fact, of all the traditional media outlets, magazines are most perfectly suited to taking advantage of the things that define the online experience. More and more of them are geared to appeal to niche audiences -- skateboarders, gardeners, music lovers, you name it -- and by doing so create communities of shared personal interests. The web allows publications to build on and deepen the relationship founded on those interests through instant feedback and interaction. It also allows like-minded readers -- a.k.a. users -- to find each other and experience the kind of social networking that has made MySpace such a phenomenon.
Seventy million people are now using MySpace. Editors everywhere, including here at HuffPost, are trying to find ways to make even a percentage of those MySpacers TheirSpacers.
They key for magazine publishers is to avoid just transferring their print content to the web and calling it a day. And many have gotten the message. We're seeing more and more magazines using their digital platforms to provide fresh content between print issues, offering a forum for their communities, and adding more and more interactive features.
As HuffPost celebrates its first anniversary next week and looks to the future, one of the things we're working on is tapping into our community and developing ways for our users also becoming content producers, reporters, extra eyes and ears on a story. Citizen journalists embodying the idea that a collection of many different perspectives on a story can sometimes be more powerful than a single authoritative voice.
I know many magazines are also looking for ways for their users to connect and create -- to be a part of the story. Which is not to say that every magazine site should become Flickr or YouTube. It's about integrating these new features while still offering the kinds of in-depth pieces they're uniquely positioned to offer.
As I said, it's definitely not a Ginger or Mary Ann situation.
Traditional magazines have immense resources. The trick is to adapt those resources to the more intimate and responsive DNA of the new media. Customize, personalize, and localize should be the watchwords.
With hundreds of channels, dozens of media platforms, and billions of websites, consumers are no longer forced to watch or read or listen to things they don't really want. These limitless options -- and the flexibility of our TiVo/iPod world -- have forced content providers to up their game. In the end, whatever the platform -- magazine, newspaper, TV, movie computer, cell phone, PDA -- content is still king. Now more than ever.
Okay, HuffPosters, now it's your turn. What thoughts/concepts/ideas/request can I share with the magazine editors on Monday? What should they be doing to help them thrive in the new media future?
*********end******* -> www.huffingtonpost.com
Ok now lets look East. Rumor has it this site's gonna be officially launched this week? Well, those people better start looking this way then.
Madonna :: 2006/06/05 13:50
Editors admit that some of the magazine's recent photo layouts have been called "spectacular--and spectacularly self-indulgent.''
Spectacularly self-indulgent is inadequate, but begins to describe this month's 58-page portfolio by photographer Steven Klein of Madonna, the 47-year-old Material Girl, in "an abstract dance with six stallions.''
I'm talking about W.
Wait a minute--a dance with stallions? Isn't that slightly off-brand for her? Wasn't there just something in the news last week about Madge kicking off her Confessions Tour by popping up on a life-sized mirrored cross wearing a crown of thorns?
Jesus, not that old crown of thorns thing again! And is she dragging out that crucifixion imagery one mo' time (with the added, mirrored disco element?) It's so 1983! At least this horse motif allows for slightly more traction, provocation-wise. For W, ''horsey'' has an upper-class connotation. While Lady Madonna was recently injured riding on her English estate, more important to this shoot is the obvious bondage potential (although I'm not sure many equestriennes wear latex rubber shorts from house of harlot.com or a crop from the Eros Boutique.)
Mostly, the whole setup seems to suggest that, yes, having outgrown every possible permutation of human-to-human sex (feel free to count the ways), Madge seems to have graduated, like Catherine the Great, to stallions.
Indeed, there's a shot showing the ever-confessional one lying on her back, on top of the horse, in a Los Angeles (sound stage) stable, seemingly satisfied, smoking a cigarette.
In the cover photo, she is shown in fishnets and hat, biting the riding crop--channeling Marlene Dietrich. Here's the problem with spectacularly self-indulgent: no matter how good any of the photos are, it's impossible to sustain interest for 58 pages. So the first 12 are given over to moody shots of the gorgeous animal emerging from the sea--very art school. There are a couple of shots that get at the nature of discipline and control between human and stallion, which are more interesting, in a Misfits sort of way. But the ones that go for sex and shock get pretty tiresome. This whole lying-on-top-of-the-horse thing is plain awful. It suggests that the horse is sick or dead; I thought of Barbaro, sadly.
Then M herself approximates a horse (including wearing a bridle on her face with custom silverwork and stonework, natch.) She sits on her haunches wearing a floor-length silky tail dangling from the back of her hat. Beastly-girl also exposes her back, as we see her looking at a bunch of horse's asses.
Don't cry for me, Palomino? I admire W for giving over so many pages to an art project, but in the end, it's just not that interesting. (As he took the still shots, by the way, Klein also shot video for her tour, which are part of the screen projections.)
Still, I found many of the smaller pieces upfront brightly written, and the profiles are great. I particularly enjoyed the piece on Amy Sedaris, (David's sister, who plays the character of Jerri Blank, a 40s-ish, wide-hipped woman who returns to high school, on "Strangers with Candy,'' the cult hit on Comedy Central.) The movie version of "Strangers'' will be coming out soon, and while others might try to promote their part, Sedaris instead talks about the problems with the fat suit, her blank mind, and her dental surgery: ''I was stretching my stitches to do Jerri's overbite, so it wasn't really healing properly. I had a lot of setbacks, you might say.''
Less practical than In Style, W is more sophisticated in a haute- fashiony, Euro-naughty way. There are also many pages of photos of social events, which are great for checking in on what people like Lillian von Stauffenberg are wearing these days.
In the end, this issue of W also demonstrates that no matter the contest, or context, whomever she poses with, Madonna, the ultimate publicity hound, conquers all.
Chick Mag Cliches :: 2006/06/02 15:33
Certainly every mag in this category indulges its fair share of chick-mag silliness. Headlines like "Grow Out Your Hair Gorgeously" and "Boyfriend Exorcisms" abound, while the fashion spreads run the gamut from "beautiful people on beach" to "beautiful people in city setting."
I don't love the mag's rhetorical questions ("Could This Butt Be Yours?" No, not unless we temporarily suspend the laws of physics). And, of course, every chick mag title glamourously offers a horoscope, which suggests that I'll have "loads of make-a-difference energy" in June. For those keeping track at home, June will also find me finding "magic" in my next manicure and getting turned on by "smart conversation."
Cliched by such factors, we cannot deny our basic raw human need to pick up one. Time to grow out my hair gorgeously and exorcise a rotten boyfriend.
My love for Glamour and Magazines :: 2006/05/31 21:01
AS AN ENORMOUSLY SOPHISTICATED consumer of media, right down to the glut of "Beavis and Butt-Head" episodes on my DVD, I'm not often baited by a single cover line into a magazine purchase. And yet there I was at the local magazine shack earlier this morning, happily plopping down to avail myself of Glamour's "Golden Titles."
After that unfortunate incident with the neighbor's kitten, the unsecured well and the exposed electrical wiring, I knew I could use the help. Besides, is there a better source of cheap humor than a women's mag in the throes of swimsuit delirium? I anticipated a quick sprint through the mag and a even quicker expulsion of words, then an afternoon spent tending to urgent matters of personal hygiene.
Reading magazines like that rekindle my since childhood habit of bugging my mom to procure women's magazines. I have felt a very deep connection to the sort of engagment and intimacy that I feel.
Now being inside here blogging about them, and even having access to e-versions of it couldnt make me happier. I think the magazine business is getting a little bit better, with more articles that are very relevant. Talking about real-world stuff couldn't make me even more related to that sort of article.
Having a feel of the e-version entices me to own a copy. Since I cant buy any over here, I'm stuck with being enticed. And that's all.
I'm loving it, and like McDonald's, this site is becoming a little more of an addiction than I thought it would be.
Being the avid reader :: 2006/05/30 21:43
I am nothing but a book worm. Which gives cause to my over enhanced thought for economics in the publishing industry.
Armed with the know how and the unsuspecting talent in writing, I will begin to pen my thoughts on this industry.