Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Learning to Love the Web (Again)

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Learning to Love the Web (Again)

Article excerpt

Byline: GEOFFREY C. LEWIS Editorial Director glewis@primediabusiness.com

By accident, it seems much of this issue of Folio: deals with the renewed power of the Web. As Simon Dumenco points out in his Glossies column, three years after the dot-com crash, the dreams of billions to be spun out of the Google IPO have put the Web back up there in the pop-culture firmament, along with Donald Trump and Lou Dobbs.

For the magazine industry, the Web is now the new hope - the most promising revenue generator - and the same old threat. At the recent American Business Media spring meeting (see story, p. 18), most of the discussion revolved around online initiatives, from Webinars and e-newsletters to circulation development.

Patrick Kenealy, CEO of IDG, gave a pointed analysis of his corner of the magazine business, high-tech publishing: If you look at magazine ad pages, including in consumer publications, it looks like tech marketers are still in retreat. But if you look online, you see that tech marketing dollars are still being spent, particularly at Google, which is deriving some 30 percent of its revenue from tech companies paying for listings on its search engine. Money is also flowing to CNET and TechTarget, Kenealy notes - companies that he never before considered his competitors. But his point is this: What is happening in tech can and will happen in all sorts of advertising categories, because consumers are shifting their time and attention to the Web. Magazine brands have to be in cyberspace to get those dollars and are well positioned to do so. But they must act aggressively to develop useful products, because print brands don't get a free pass on the Web (that much has not changed).

Our cover story (on p. 26) deals with another Web-related development: the first inkling of offshore outsourcing of magazine work. It turns out (not surprisingly) that all those great tools that make it possible to assemble a magazine with remote art directors, a prepress house thousands of miles away and with editors around the country, also make it possible to take magazine work to any place the Web reaches - virtually everywhere on earth. …

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