A magazine about blogging? No thanks

A magazine about blogging? No thanks: I’ve been asked by Robert French
about some spam he received for a magazine about blogging. A magazine
called, “Blogging! Magazine.” (Not to be confused with a great new
weblog from magazines.com called Blog Magazine that’s a
blog about magazines, not a magazine about blogs.) I haven’t been
spammed, but here’s what Robert says he received in what was a pitch
for advertising in the new “magazine”:

We are announcing
an opportunity to advertise your business in theupcoming debut issue of
blogging! magazine. We are offering incrediblyaffordable advertising
for the March 2005 issue. This is asubscriber-based magazine that is
provided online in .pdf format thatwill be very affordable, selling for
nearly $1.00 per issue.The advertisements are $100 per full 8½ X 11
(1275 X 1650) page with alink to your business site, or $50 for a half
page (1275 X 825) adincluding your web link. We are offering a special
price for a bannerlink within the magazine at $20 per banner.
Advertisements will onlybe accepted through the close of business at
5:00 p.m. CST on February26, 2005.

So, from parsing
this copy (admittedly, I didn’t see the rest of the e-mail, so this may
be clear), the “magazine” is not really a print magazine but a “.pdf”
document, which I’ve said many times on this weblog, makes little sense
to me as a media form. (The page-rate sends off other red flags, but I
won’t discuss that other than saying, buyer beware.)

However (and
believe me, I’m wrong all the time), I think a magazine about blogging
is about as appealing as a magazine about talking on the telephone. Or
a magazine about using a fax machine. But then, there are countless
magazines about knitting and scrap-booking, and owning a dog in New
York City and some of them thrive as a niche play.

But if I were
investing, I’d choose a knitting magazine over this idea. If the
magazine is “about blogging” then there is absolutely nothing, and I
mean nothing, one can achieve in a magazine (especially a PDF magazine)
that could not be better achieved in a blog. However, I think such a
magazine idea is a trap that is fairly typical when “old media” types
encounter a new media: let’s do a magazine about it is a fairly
predictable reflex. Sometimes it works (TV Guide), but more often, it
fails miserably: Yahoo! Internet Life.

Now, if blogging further
develops as a stand-along industry (which I doubt will happen), I think
IDG or others will successfully launch a business-to-business title
that will include tradeshows and books and other properties built
around it.

If the audience for this magazine is bloggers, I
think something built on an RSS-enabled platform that is designed to be
read in a newsreader would be a more appropriate medium. You know,
something like a blog.

That said, as a magazine wonk, I’d be happy to be proven wrong.

  • Paul Bradshaw

    This does sound like one of the worst ideas in a long time – the signal it sends to me is: “we think blogs are an interesting new medium, but not interesting enough to actually produce a website”.

    Blogging has to be one of the most written-about subjects on the internet, so I’m curious how they aim to persuade people to pay a dollar a time to read what they can get online anyway.

  • CT

    I think you’re assigning more credit to Blogging! than it merits. There’s obviously no money behind it, if it’s being produced as a PDF-only. It’s got all the feel of being an amateur production. I doubt any ROI has been put into it.