Magazines and the web: still at the starting line?

Hard to believe, but many magazine “brands” are still searching to find strategies for the web. And not leading-edge, pushing-the-boundaries strategies, just something basic, to get them into the game.

The past week has given me two glimpses of  how former print companies are continuing to struggle to find their way.  One  was still trying to use its website as an advertisement for its print publication. I guess you could say that they’re seeing the site as part of  the brand, but it doesn’t show much appreciation of how the web works. And it’s not going to impress a potentially new web audience.

The other was stilll grappling with basic organisational issues:  do you set up an entirely separate web team  (and never invite them to any print meetings) or get the print team to run the site?

Neither was really looking at what the web could do for their brands that print couldn’t.

It’s not just a UK problem: a recent report from the Columbia Journalism Review found that US magazines are also struggling to get the best out of the web.

It feels like there is a lot of reinventing the wheel going on. And it does raise the question: is it possible that some magazines don’t need a full-blown website?

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