Home » Archives for June 2006

Month: June 2006

The Doom of Niche Magazines?

Synchronicity is a wonderful thing. I was in a local newsagent earlier (picking up a copy of the new-look New Statesman, more on which anon), when I spotted a couple of Mac magazines on the shelf, I suddenly realised that I haven't bought a Mac magazine in six months. I used to be a subscriber to both MacUser and Macworld, but let both subscriptions lapse. MacUser went first, a couple of years ago, and Macworld followed last last year. Why? Beacuse I was getting everything
they gave me from the internet, for free.

When I got back to the office, I popped open FeedDemon, and found this post from former MacUser editor Ian Betteridge:

Every computer magazine I can think of has seen its circulation drift down over the past few years, as more and more eyeballs focus on the net. This begs the question of what the future holds for niche magazines, and I'd suggest that the future is fairly bleak. Circulations and ad revenue can only drift down so far before the quality of editorial suffers. Publishers will either seek to force staff to do more and more, or simply dump the staff in favour of cheaper freelance. Gradually, staff will leave and not
be replaced - and sooner or later this will mean that the quality of editorial suffers. Once that rot sets in, the magazine is doomed.

He's spot on, as one might expect. And what he's saying here has implications way beyond the technology niche. Technology-related matters are often, as one might expect, bellwethers for technology-related change. Many of the most popular blogs in the early days of the medium were about tech issues, for instance. So what Betteridge argues here may well apply just as much to other niche titles, including those in the business sector.

Which should give all journalists pause.

Read more

Finding My Vox

The idea that you can restrict certain posts to just your family or your friends is an excellent mash-up of the way that Livejournal and Flickr's community features work.... I've got a couple of invites to the standard level, one of which has already gone to a friend, and the other of which I'll use for a family member in the next week or so.

Read more