The pictures above are from the online edition of Montana Magazine. It happens to be my favorite mag–but I like the photographs better in print.
You may have noticed by now that Joe and I differ somewhat on our approach to whether or not print is dying as a medium. Although I’m not fool enough to ignore the fact that the web is gaining ground and print mags are suffering, I simply don’t see the death of magazines as a real option anytime in the near future. The title for my post gives a hint as to how I feel. I do think that print as a medium needs to modernize, address the new needs of today’s readers and think differently about what they are doing. But I also do not see the web as the shining answer.
I just read recently that not very many people who subscribe to a magazine visit the website. It is an interesting fact, don’t you think? I’m one of those people. I buy magazines because I like the more in-depth look at things that they typically provide. I don’t see the web replacing that. I don’t like reading online and I am not a fan of the Kindle approach either. Apparantly I am not alone–so far that doesn’t look like that is the solution the world was waiting for either. I’m not sure what the answer is for print magazines, but I do think that becoming more like online content is not necessarily the way to reinvent the wheel here.
In addition, I’d love to know how much of an impact the economy has had on print mags. Think that through for a moment….so far, most online content is free, but let’s not kid ourselves either, the charges are most certainly to come down the line. If the online pubs try to avoid it by using ads to cover all their expenses, I think people will be totally irritated. Nothing irks most people more than a pop-up, or distracting ads on the web page.
You see, I think the web also has a way to go before it is the answer to the print problem. And so far–at least in my opinion–there really isn’t a clear winner. Both contestants need some serious work. In terms of cameras, I was a fan of the digital revolution–and it was pretty much a certainty there. Here, I’m not so sure.
Either way it goes, I’m pulling hard for the print medium to figure out how to reinvent itself. That is no secret. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read the latest issue of Rolling Stone.