Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PC Magazine Goes Web-Only, No More Print Copies

PC Magazine (to which I was a contributor in its glory days) is about to go to Web-only publication, just like the Christian Science Monitor. It's a bit of a surprise. The magazine certainly has a good heaping quantity of ads, online and off, though it's nothing like the 400+ pages it used to put out. And perhaps they need to cut costs to maintain income growth. (Growth forever, not incidentally, is an absurd fantasy that corporations indulge in--growing each and every year--and which eventually gets them into trouble.)

As more than one reader has pointed out, the reason for the magazine's non-growth could be poor content. I do see PC relying in part on "user-generated content" (and I have a real flamer of a post coming up about that--as soon as its progenitor appears in a magazine). Which bolsters the idea that they've cut their spending on content too heavily. Which translates to poor content. You can get only so much quality material for nothing--just like in the real world.

Does that mean Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News & World Report, and other magazines going non-print have poor content? Not necessarily, though U.S. News over-heavy emphasis on health was wearing, and I discontinued a subscription. (It felt kinda like when Reader's Digest switched from being general-interest to elderly-interest. From there they commenced toward tabloidishness ... but I digress.)

Good content or poor, I think all the magazines that are leaving the real world are just the beginning of a trend having to do with advertising. Check here tomorrow (Thursday, November 20) for the explanation.
Copyright © Michael A. Banks, 2008

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