A few words about the magazine-industry blogs. In this business, they're at once vital and even indispensable. But some are also dissatisfying for various reasons.
Custom publisher Rex Hammock (rexblog.com) is a brilliant observer of the scene, and he's mastered the art of using links in a blog to deliver real value. Romemesko skews towards the newspaper industry. FishbowlNY and WWD are purely about the New York consumer-magazine scene, and both lean toward the gossipy. Magazineenterprise360, written by Hershel Sarbin, is anything but gossipy.
And then there are Paul Conley and David Shaw. Both focus on b-to-b media and both are excellent bloggers, but they're way too infrequent. And speaking of infrequent, ABM's blog (as of this writing, June 26) hasn't been updated since May 9. In the online world, that's a strategy to make people stop coming. Paidcontent.org is a news operation done in the style of a blog. However, it doesn't cover the magazine industry with a singular focus.
Don't get me wrong. Even if they're not perfect, blogs have permanently changed the way I and thousands of others understand their businesses, their professions, their environment. I visit all of the blogs mentioned here for news, perspective, opinion, dialogue. They seem inherently to have more vitality than the static, old-media model of "we-report-and-write-and-you-read," favored by most newspapers and magazines. But to be relevant, blogs need to post every day, or close to it. They need to have substance;an attitude, serious news, wit, intelligence. Or something else.
At Folio:, we need to improve on this too. I want people to come to us two or three times per day and always find something new. We need to be more e-centric, because our industry is. So stand by.
In last month's editor's note I wrote that CMP Media Technology CEO Steve Weitzner flatly stated recently that he believes that weekly news tabloids are finished;that the news-oriented mission can't be sustained in a print weekly.
In fact, his thinking is more nuanced. "What I said at ABM and still believe is that weeklies can no longer deliver the ﾑbreaking news function' and that there is a lot of work being done to transform them into vehicles for analysis and opinion based on the news to make them useful strategic tools," he wrote in an e-mail responding to the editorial.