Tuesday, August 08, 2006

When Newsprint Beat Gloss To The Punch

Fellow NYU scholar Jay Rosen recently extinguished the flare of pride for newspapers to get on the blog bandwagon, and rightly so. After personally having met the Carpetbagger himself and the bark behind the snark, I can surely attest to such an inflated perspective on a technology that has become a badge of modernity (and not a unique source of editorial content) for big media. However, as I read Rosen's words perched high up in a tower on 8th Ave. and 57th St., I must point out that he missed mentioning a large segment of media that is conspicuously absent from the web - magazines. As trendy as they can be, monthly glossies haven't given more than a glance at the blog as a useful tool, and a quick tour of the major players reveals a stunning lack of thought from a business that isn't suffering quite as badly as its newsprint counterpart: outside of Seventeen magazine for their use of a colorful, fun MySpace profile and the celebrity weeklies for mind-numbing star coverage, as well as the blogs from technology-oriented mags and their competitors, nary a blog post is found at the sites of Vogue, GQ, or Self (Conde Nast); Elle (HFMUS); and Cosmo and Esquire (Hearst), much less the smaller companies (Top-dog Time Inc. is an exception - most of their holdings, including its namesake publication and SI, have blogs). Harper's and The New Yorker take a stab at a blog, but it's no more than an afterthought.

Where are they?

To me, it would seem that the magazine industry would be most appropriate for the blog. Millions of magazine readers everywhere ache for the arrival of their next issue, unlike newspaper subscribers. Wouldn't a blog ease their hunger? As of now, most magazines' websites serve as big, image-filled (and rightly so, to a degree) advertisements to subscribe. If you're lucky, you'll get back issue content as well - but there's no guarantee you'll be able to find it. With online magazines fighting each other for who's got the most blogs, it's hard to believe that magazines are the most behind on this, especially with the two-month lead time many work with.

Magazines need to break the silence.


Clampett said...

That's interesting.

The most magazine-like blog I've seen is Lenin's tomb.

It's like the foreign affairs of the professional-protester George Galloway crowd.


Anonymous said...

Not to refute your piece, but Self.com does have some blogs, including one by the EIC.


The Editorialiste said...

And right you are, anonymous (and please, do use a name next time, even if only an alias). I stand corrected - in fact, Self is rolling out an images blog as well.

However, looking at the EIC's blog, it's only as old as May 2006 (and a bit buried, I might add - for all that screen real estate, Self sure isn't making it any easier). I must insist that my point still stands - the trend of magazines to lack a web presence is somewhat startling.

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