Guest Column: 9 Things I've Learned About Magazines by Blogging
6. More magazines play a role in a non-publishing business model than in a publishing business model. Just think of all those alumni magazines, association magazines, corporate employee magazines. They exist to support a business model that has nothing to do with advertising and circulation revenue. The “magazine business” is not the same as “the magazine business model.”
7. A digital magazine will never replace a printed magazine. While I’m an advocate of e-books and e-publications and all things e-ish, I don’t believe the best use of new media is to replicate old media. Digital magazines can be a powerful “push” medium if they utilize their unique capabilities and become something that offers an experience beyond—or at least different from—what is possible in the printed version of a magazine. But don’t think you can slap a combustible engine on a buggy and end up with a Lamborghini.
8. The magazine format can contain content that is “journalism” or it can contain content that’s anything but journalism. Blogging about magazines has made me appreciate the vast diversity of magazines. Before there was the Web, the closest thing to it was a library magazine section or a big-city magazine newsstand. But those just scratched the surface of what’s out there. I’ve been a part of many blogger debates that never would have taken place had their originator understood that “magazines” aren’t just about serious news and aren’t all published in New York by giant companies.
9. Another thing I’ve learned from blogging: Make lists end on a random number other than 10.
Rex Hammock is founder and CEO of Hammock Inc., a Nashville-based custom media company. His firm publishes magazines and manages a wide array of digital media for national associations and corporate clients. He is the creator and “chief juggler” of the large-scale wiki-model project, SmallBusiness.com. He currently is serving his third term on the board of American Business Media. He blogs at RexBlog.com, and you can follow him on Twitter at the easy-to-remember username: @r.