Mark Cahill on PC Mag’s decision to ditch dead trees and go all-digital, a reminder of why Mark remains one of the best media strategists out there.
“I believe we’re seeing the tip of the iceberg. Those that can make the jump will start to make that jump quickly. Notably, I expect to see trade journals become a relatively rare beast. Ivory towered experts lecturing professionals about their profession is a thing of the past. Instead, users will gravitate to profession-based niche social media. The journals will slowly cease to exist, and the magazines that remain will be serving the less technical of the professions.”
PC Magazine To Kill Print Version | All Things Cahill.
* Mark and I worked together at Reel-Time and IDG.
4 thoughts on “PC Magazine To Kill Print Version | All Things Cahill”
I recall David, you have long prognisticated the decline of print media. In my opinion, PC Mag, began in an era when there were realitively few PC experts and people liked to read from an acredited source. But now, PCs are pretty darn common place, the PC has been de-mystified. When people are no longer in awe of what is behind the curtain, commoditization sets in and valuations decline. We see the impacts to industry margins, and the value of industry rags…
The internet removes many of the entry barriers for journalists, but as saturation sets in, I think we will see a long term consolidation of platforms and a return to valuation based upon the quality of the content – the competancy and credibility of writting, and in many cases, the inherent value of that content to the reader.
Simply, does a post, article, or story answer a question, solve a problem, create a relationship, or provide a strategic advantage to the reader for having read it?
Another Mark’s opinion…
Yah, well, mostly good points – but this “Ivory towered experts lecturing professionals about their profession” type-thing always puzzles me. Are there really more than a handful of trade journals that take that approach? (Maybe I misunderstand the meaning of ‘trade journal’.)
If you want to do a good information resource for rowers, you talk to rowers, find out what they want to know, talk to more rowers and use that as the basis for the information your resource provides. Many magazines have done that for decades. Doing it on a website lets the discussion continue and the material improve exponentially more quickly – yes! yes! it’s a better medium in almost every respect! – but it’s not like the whole concept of intra-profession discussion was invented by Vint Cerf.
I guess Mark’s Ivory-tower remark is an attempt to cast predictions of disintermediation on publishers as aggregators and filterers of expertise. E.g. and to wit to use your rower analogy — yes, I spend more time online in the company of other rowers in classic forums (concept2’s training forum) or fly fishermen (Reel-Time) exchanging views than I do in one way consumption of processed journalism from the Independent Rowing News.
If I were the Independent Rowing News, or, for that matter Row2K (a fine site for results, photos, etc.) I would be scrambling to put my columnists and writers into moderator roles asap and handing out blogs or aggregating blogs from readers like me.
Actually, I had a bet with my buddy Chris that I could use “Ivory Tower” in a post and not get called on it. Someone here owes me a beer…
Really what I was meaning is that social media, with user interaction via comments really sets the standard, leveraging the entire community, vs. closed, one to all medium of print.
Actually, the funny thing is that my post makes another point, unintentionally, points to the benefit of having real editors. Between the spelling errors and lack of general clarity I can just hear and editor telling me “but that’s not what you say here…”
A topic for another post, I suspect…