The Wonderful, Digital Age Of Magazines

With the expanding nature of the World Wide Web, it was only a matter of time before magazines were captured in the growing list of things that the internet can claim to do better. No longer are we forced to wait a week or month for the latest issue of our favourite mag to be placed on shelves. Culture, content, creation and comment can all be found online now and many magazines are offering a range of quality content online as well as releasing their weekly or monthly offline paper format.

While the web will never replace the feeling of picking up the latest copy of Vogue from the newsagents and carrying it home with great care, webzines do offer certain advantages that the old school paper magazines simply can’t compete with. For example, online magazines are updatable at the click of a button. Breaking news, photographs and articles can be published within a matter of minutes, making the world of the online magazine a fast paced and constantly updated platform allowing new readers to gobble up as much content as they can get their hands on.

The potential for e-zines and online articles is pretty much endless. This is a prime example of that. With the ability to access thousands and thousands of online data combined dedicated people who want to share their stories, much like this one, you probably would have seen half the stuff you have seen on the web (where would we be without pictures of kittens!)

The problem is that this whole culture of writing and Luxury spa sharing was built on the success of the offline, paper magazine industry. We should not forget this and we shouldn’t let this historic and still profitable industry suffer at the hands of the internet. There is still plenty of scope for both offline and online magazines to work in tandem with one another, and this can often contribute to the magazines image and readership.

The switch over from the paper format to the digital one is far from over and has so far not had an easy ride. The development of Apples iPad was thought to be the Saviour for the magazine industry. Here was a tablet that publishers could see themselves dominating, a large high res screen with the ability to flip through at whim was exactly what the industry needed to go digital. However, the complications with this move have been complex and are still being ironed out today. The problem being that magazine editors have approached the iPad and the digital market in the wrong way. Rather than try to adapt the magazine format to the digital era they kept the same format and just transferred what was good on paper, to the iPad. Readers were obviously a little miffed. They could have done so much more; the wonderful thing about the web is that we can share something we find interesting at the touch of a button. The big heads in the magazine world chose to ignore this, sending the whole process of the transition of magazines to iPad backwards.

We have made steady progress from this though, web developers involved in Flipbook and Zite have produced stunning magazine type content on hand-held tablet devices and large names in the magazine industry such as National Geographic, The Times, Men’s Health, have been quick to jump on board with these platforms.

Now the big players in the industry have made the jump it allows smaller publications to follow in their footsteps, the ant take great advantage of such a malleable format. Take for example popular craft and woodwork magazines. With the ability to publish videos and 3D images which the reader can spin and zoom in on to see intricate details that would never be viewed in a paper magazine, and then combine that with the classic content, you have a whole new format for craft magazines to explore. No longer will readers have to follow a step by step written format, instead they can rewind and watch the product being made or hone their skills by watching how a specific action is performed.

While online magazines and online articles are a great way to keep up with all the hot gossip and current affairs, we shouldn’t forget our old friend down at the newsagent, who stocks a whole raft of page turning magazines that are sure to make us fall back in love with magazines all over again. With the constant development of handheld devices and the software to go with them, there is no telling where the magazine industry will be in ten years’ time.

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