Archive for September, 2009

Make friends with the competition

September 29, 2009

I’m just back from a web editors’ pub night with representatives from a number of great Canadian mags. It was a fun night (the first of many, I hope), a good opportunity to get to know each other, and a great example of how we have more in common than we like to admit.

The fact is, magazine web sites aren’t generally leading online, to a large degree because of extremely limited resources. We’re all struggling to find the perfect formula, for audience and for revenue. And we’ve all found winning strategies – in some areas. So I think we have a lot to learn from each other.

And one thing I think it’s very important for us to remember is it’s not a zero-sum game online. On newsstand and with sub sales, yes, someone could be choosing to buy Style at Home over House and Home – or vice versa. But online, we’re competing with the entire web, not just with other magazine sites – both for ad dollars and for audience. So for the sake of our industry as a whole, which we all agree hasn’t had an easy time of it over the past year, it wouldn’t hurt for us to make friends and share a few success stories with each other. Ask for advice, find out what works, and pay it forward. I think we’ll all benefit in the end.