Teens Tell All: Teen Magazine Web Sites Get the 411 for, and about, Their Readers 24/7

By Deeken, Aimee | ADWEEK, November 24, 2003 | Go to article overview

Teens Tell All: Teen Magazine Web Sites Get the 411 for, and about, Their Readers 24/7


Deeken, Aimee, ADWEEK


Editors of teen magazines know their readers can't wait for the next issue to read about Clay Aiken's new puppy, the latest episode of The O.C. and what Pink wore at the latest awards show. Bill they can use the Internet's real-time polls and message boards as an outlet for teen chatter. With opinionated and Net-savvy readerships, and with multimedia technology not available on the printed page, teen magazines are using the Web to build loyal online communities, which in turn influence the print product.

Editors say that most site users have already read the magazine and are drawn to the Web for more scoop. "But it's no fun to go to a site and only gel a couple repurposed stories," says Andrea Pyros, executive editor of Gruner + Jahr's YM.com. To that end, each mag's site is at least 50 percent original content.

All teen magazines solicit critical reader feedback. Polls, surveys and message boards help gauge everything from celebrity popularity to opinions on the war in Iraq. "It's a way for our readers to give their opinions, share their experiences, and contribute their ideas to print, It's one of the strongest tools our print editors have to access real girls for our stories," says Fiona Gibb, Seventeen.com editorial director. Ann Shoket, CosmoGirl! executive editor, says comments oil the site contribute to more than 30 percent of the pages in the Hearst title.

For Hachette Filipacchi Media's Ellegirl, "The Web site actually launched before the magazine, as a way to get readers' opinions on what they would like in it," says online editor Karen Clark.

Online, editors can react quickly, to their readers' needs. …

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