Eliminating the Paper Habit – Moves to Online
Well, it wasn’t a big surprise, but InfoWorld announced its permanent move from the pulp and paper world to that of ones and zeros. On Monday, the magazine gave notice that it will no longer have a hard copy version — we’ll all get our news directly online. Here’s the news from editor in chief Steve Fox. In addition to this, Time Inc., recently announced that its making LIFE magazine an online-only publication as well — no more cool photos in hard copy, just on your screen.
Who is next? As many vertical publications get slimmer and slimmer, how will they make the switch and when? For example, there are a couple media players in the mobile space of note: PaidContent and FierceMarkets. Both of these publishers have several online newsletters that speak to a number of markets. While each relies on breaking news and some commentary, there’s nothing to stop them from expanding their coverage to rival RCR Wireless News or Wireless Week. One editor already made the move: Sue Marek left Wireless Week to FierceMarkets. Who else will make this move?
Yes, more questions, but at the same time, more ways for us pitch and promote work to the online publications. A great example of an online magazine with great news and insightful coverage is DarkReading.com. Readers in the IT security industry can read about breaking news or see what Terry Sweeney or Kelly Higgins Jackson have to say. The writing is solid, the coverage great and the Web site layout makes it easy to read and search. Plus the editors and reporters have a great sense of humor so that it’s fun to read and learn at the same time.
As PR people, it’s a given that we need to keep our eyes open to what is happening in the magazine world. We need to closely watch this move to life exclusively online. How can we serve the new needs? How do we balance feeding breaking news with opportunities for thoughtful editorials? Will this shift to a heavier dependence on advertising affect coverage? How do we measure eyeballs?
By the end of 2008, any number of publications will have made the move and many more will be talking about it. Any bets on who is next?