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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Internet beats magazines: Alert the Media 

Internet Reach Bests Magazines


I've been out to lunch the last few days, spring-breaking with the family in South Florida, and hanging out with the alligators. The wi-fi connection is strong, so I'll post a bit as time allows.

I love headlines like the one linked above. Well, duh. It's kind of like saying: Postal Service Reach Bests Magazines.

Because at its heart, the Internet is a distribution vehicle for information, just as the Postal Service is a distribution vehicle for information. Sure, the web offers interesting opportunites for linking, expanded search and multimedia. But it's primarily a mover of information--not a creator of information (though it does a nice job of allowing near instantaneous community feedback and comment.)

The magazine format is an organizing principle. The word 'magazine' has at its root the definition of 'storehouse,' as in an arms magazine. A magazine is a storehouse of information, selected by editors to serve an audience or interest area.

So are most websites. Even broadcast-driven websites use magazine-y approaches, with home pages that serve as a combination of cover and table of contents, and links to individual articles.

The Wikipedia concept isn't much different. The community creates the content, and the community acts as editor of that content. Posts can be changed, expanded or eliminated.

That's why I continue to think that we need to reset our thinking about print media. It's really written-word media, as opposed to oral (think radio) or visual (think TV or movies) media.

I spoke with an investment banker the other day, who asked me my thoughts on the threat to b2b magazines from the Internet. I told him that it was no threat--just another terrific opportunity.

And when I read a headline that says the Internet bests magazines, I think we're comparing apples to horses.

Happy Easter, all.

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