Thursday, November 12, 2009

How to make money with an online magazine

The following block quote is taken from a comment on the piece Cory Doctorow wrote for Technology Guardian, about Rupert Murdoch's plans to block online access to his newspapers (sorry, the newspapers he has some vague connection with that are run according to the whims of their editors and over which he has no influence). chrsoz, the comment's author, addresses a number of points that Murdoch seems to have overlooked, then adds:
And none of this starts to touch on the fact that most traditional media co web sites are dull one-dimensional experiences (article + advertising - any decent community engagement (inc useless closed comment systems, ahem) = yawn), that really just mimic the newspaper in an online environment, without bringing any significant additional value to the party. So unless Rupe (and others) sorts this rather fundamental issue out then he's doomed anyway (if managing the digital business transition doesn't kill them first; maybe ereaders will save the day). Better get good at creating compelling and valuable consumer internet experiences, and not just being all about publishing articles online (otherwise they'll just get displaced by a new generation of way more innovative media companies who can fuse content + community + services + utility + monetisation).
I have written about magazines and newspapers simply reproducing their print content online (see Writing for Journalists, over to the right) rather than creating digitally native material, but chrsoz summarises the principle behind successful online publishing beautifully in his last sentence:
content + community + services + utility + monetisation
Next time I give my "launching a magazine" lecture, I shall make sure to use this simple-looking formula. Of course achieving it is not simple at all ... and therefore it could make the basis for another book. Thanks indeed chrsoz.

chrsoz's Guardian user profile

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