Magazines and Digital Convergence

In case you didn’t get to watch it before class, do watch the following video. It is a roundtable discussion on magazine with four editors from the Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, The New Republic and XO Jane.

Skip past the opening remarks and forgive the poor quality of the audio. They have a keen understanding of the challenges they face in the digital age. And they’re really excited about them.

If you’re wondering about the magazines I demonstrated in class, here they are:

  • The Magazine. This was initially designed as an iPad app first then migrated to iPhone and the web as a set of curated stories that would be published every two weeks. It speaks to nerds like me (and maybe you!) It has no advertising and subsists entirely on subscribers.
  • Medium. This is an open publishing platform where anyone can publish a story or article. As far as I know, it has no revenue but attracts a pretty literate audience.
  • Quartz. This is a storytelling magazine, frequently updated, but its coverage is loosely focused on the economy. They have some high-end advertisers and sponsored content, what is colloquially known as “native advertising”.

After class, Neil pointed out Google Currents, which is a social magazine, that runs on Android and iOS. That reminded me of Flipboard, which aggregates news from your social networks into a single magazine-like experience.

And what exactly is Facebook Paper?