Guest Column: 9 Things I've Learned About Magazines by Blogging
It’s been 10 years since I set up my blog, RexBlog.com.
Back then, I never imagined that one day I’d be described as “a magazine publishing blogger” or a “CEO blogger” or a “media blogger.” For a decade before blogging came along, my company and I had been involved in a wide array of online community platforms like e-mail listservs and different types of forums. As I had never been called a “forum-er” or “listserv-er” or, for that matter, an e-mailer or telephoner, I never suspected that using a blog would be anything more than just another platform to share information with a few dozen people.
So I was shocked the first time that someone at a magazine publishing-related event said to me, “Hey, you’re that blogger.” I didn’t know if he meant it as an accusation or a compliment. I still don’t.
My blog was started long before marketers discovered them, so I wasn’t weighed down by the responsibility of knowing I was supposed to accomplish anything, “branding-wise,” with a blog. “Monetization” was not a word ever used in a sentence with the word “weblog” back then. Like the show “Seinfeld,” my blog was about nothing. Therefore, I could make it about anything. And since I’m in the custom publishing business and a big part of my professional day is spent creating and publishing magazines, it is easy to understand why a significant percentage of the nearly 9,000 posts I’ve written over the past decade have been about the magazine industry.
No doubt, you’ve missed most of those 9,000 posts. Probably, you’ve missed all of them. So to give you a glimpse of what I’ve had to say about magazines over the past decade, here’s a run-through of some of the recurring observations and discoveries I’ve made and shared:
1. Magazines and blogs are made for each other. Some blogs and new-media companies compete for breaking news and advertising dollars with old-line media companies that publish magazines. However, I can’t conceive of two media, as a medium or media platform, that are more complementary than a magazine and weblog. Blogs can break stories; magazines can explain stories. Magazines can survey and analyze issues; blogs can archive as much data as necessary to back up your analysis. A blog can fill in many gaps that a magazine schedule leaves wide open.