Magazines and weblogs – Popular Science

Magazines and weblogs – Popular Science: Due to the overwhelming response (translation: two e-mails) to my recent column in B-to-B Media Business about magazines and weblogs, I’ve decided to note examples of magazines attempting to respond to the “whole blogging thing” in their category. My first example is a magazine that entered my household during the past year via our resident seventh grader, Popular Science. I must admit that I had not picked up a copy of the magazine in a few decades (since I was a seventh grader?), but it has quickly become one of my favorites (no fights yet over who gets to read it first, however). I can’t say enough about the magazine itself: in short, it has adapted its content to a Men’s Health-influenced architechture, editorial sensibility and pace. Great writing ranging from two sentence “cool gadet” finds to indepth investigative journalism offer the reader plenty of pleasurable surprises in each issue.

As for their weblog-quotient, the editors show a savvy awareness that there are plenty of bloggers among their target audience of (and I’m guessing, here) younger, smart (and a tad geeky) males. I’m also guessing the magazine is not that big among the hard-core geek set who may view it “beneath” them to read something that apparently seeks to interpret science to a lay, enthusiast market rather than the serious student or science professional. (Again, that’s a guess. Maybe the pros like it also.)

In the May issue of the magazine, as an addendum to the “Letters” section, Popular Science has a half-column feature called, “…From the Blogs.” The folks at checkout out their referral logs and reported that, “Last month, over 250 linked to (us),” and then provided a sample of two bloggers’ comments: From Ericha Ducharme (oops, there goes my male-reader theory) and Paul Riddell. The magazine also features on its website (from an article published last July) a round-up of “the five best” science weblogs.

Despite these pluses, the magazine could still soup-up its blog savvy by, duh, adding a few blogs to its website (or, if they have them and I’m missing them, by promoting them in the magaizne and on the front) that actively engages (translation: links to) the science-oriented blogging community. For example, the editors of Popular Science constantly uncover cool new stuff. They would be the rock-stars of gadget bloggers if they wanted to be.

Compared to most magazines, however, the Popular Science folks are well on their way to earning the rexblog seal of “they get it” approval.

Do you have any nominees for a magazines & weblogs review? Email me: