Monday, December 14, 2009

Wanted: magazine workers

Is a magazine online the same thing as a magazine in print?

This is the subject of an online survey by Rachel Singh, who is looking for people working in the magazine industry to participate. She describes the project thus:
This study is a research project being undertaken by me, Rachel Singh, a digital anthropologist-in-training at the University College of London (UCL). I hold a BA in cultural anthropology from the University of British Columbia and, among other things, I’m a former magazine web editor.

This study forms the practical project component of my graduate studies at UCL’s Department of Anthropology. The aim of the study is to discover the ways magazines can (and are) reinventing themselves. The idea is to compile research to serve as material for a potential dissertation on the shifting landscape of magazines in the 21st century and how it’s shaping a new global medium.

Along the way the study will ask questions like “Do you think print is dying?” These are not meant to reinforce doom and gloom missives of the death of print, but aimed at identifying the current trends/patterns of how magazines are navigating the ‘digital age’.

Initial areas of inquiry include:
• What does the future of magazines look like?
• What do traditional offline roles look like online? Ex. From features editor to online curator
• How are magazines using social media/networking?
• Print/Web team divides
• Old Media vs. New Media

I’m around moderating comments and participating in the conversation so if you want to reach me directly, here’s how:
E: rachel [dot] singh [dot] 09@ucl [dot] ac [dot] uk
T: @SLofM 

I have my own question: why does it take someone studying anthropology to do this?

These are questions we're thinking about all the time in the mags industry. It's just that we don't approach it in an anthropological way. I hope this study provides some new insight. I'll be interested to see its findings.

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