About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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« Still Partying Like It's 1999 | Main | TimesSelect, R.I.P. »

September 05, 2007


Geoffrey Giordano

Amen! Bravo! Some magazines I know apparently have trouble grasping even the most basic tenets of sound print design, for example, that it's no wonder they haven't forged ahead more forcefully into the 'Net. Let's face it: When it comes to journalism, as I've always said, newspapers are the Marines. We work harder, faster and smarter because a) we have real competition on a daily basis, b) we produce such a volume of material in such a broad array of ways that we're always studying every possible medium for tips and tactics, and c) we are subject to and subject ourselves to the greatest amount of scrutiny, so we constantly improve ourselves. That's why the elitism at magazines makes me chuckle ... even guffaw, on occasion. They don't get the concept of being "of the people," which results in their moving at a glacial pace – on the Web or otherwise.

Mary Specht

Great analysis. I remember being completely blown away the other day when I tried to email my sister a story I read in the print edition. It wasn't online--not even for a subscriber! (I'm not renewing my subscription, by the way).To get it, you have to buy their hard drive. Seriously, how many of those do they actually sell??

Kim Hartman

Mark, this is a really sophisticated analysis--another tremendous post.

Perhaps the culture of magazines is so different from newspapers because they are niche products geared at a niche audience. They don't need to be broad, like newspapers, so they neglect methods that cater to a diverse demographic (like the Web).

As you state, they shouldn't...it narrows customer base and increases costs.

Great stuff.

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