The four-year journey of JPG Magazine

(Note: I always preface a post like this by saying I don’t make it a practice of blogging about the launch or closure of magazines unless I know the individuals involved or there is something particularly newsworthy about the event. Tracking the transactions of the magazine industry is not what this blog is about.)

Four years ago, I posted an item saying how encouraged I was to see the launch of JPG Magazine . On that day, I wrote: "It captures the essence of conversational media and, from that, creates a magazine experience. It’s one small step for whoever is doing it, one giant step for participatory media."

In 2006, I blogged when the founders announced they were expanding the concept (print magazines consisting of user-contributed editorial and photography utilizing on-demand printing technology) beyond JPG Magazine.

And in 2007, I posted an item in which I lamented that disagreements among the founders of the business led to their parting of ways.

Last year, I pointed to a new project that one of the "departed" (exited?) founders, Derek Powazek, helped to innovate with HP labs called MagCloud .

(There were other posts about the launching and closure of a travel magazine, but I’ll stop there.)

Yesterday, on the JPG magazine blog, Laura Brunow Miner, editor in chief of publication announced the magazine was being shuttered and that the website is being shut down on Monday.

Quote:

"We’ve spent the last few months trying to make the business behind JPG sustain itself, and we’ve reached the end of the line. We all deeply believe in everything JPG represents, but just weren’t able to raise the money needed to keep JPG alive in these extraordinary economic times. We sought out buyers, spoke with numerous potential investors, and pitched several last-ditch creative efforts, all without success. As a result, jpgmag.com will shut down on Monday, January 5, 2009.

There is nothing on the 8020 Media website about the future of the company that publishes JPG magazine.

Bottomline: JPG Magazine served as a proof-of-concept project — and succeeded in demonstrating the viability of using new ways of collaboration and production to develop and distribute print magazines. For reasons obvious, and not obvious, to the rest of us, it didn’t succeed as a business. But its influence will continue to live on through MagCloud and other on-demand printing and digital publishing initiatives.

Later: Michael Arrington says the JPG title is being shopped and could live on with a new owner.

About Rex Hammock

Founder/ceo of Hammock Inc., the customer media and content company based in Nashville, Tenn. Creator of and head-helper at SmallBusiness.com.
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  • http://altphotoimages.blogspot.com/ Allen Lee Taylor

    I’m curious as to what you think is “obvious, and not obvious” for JPG Magazines’ failure.

  • http://RexBlog.com Rex Hammock

    @Allen: Obvious reasons – The economy and the current fear among investors necessary at the stage 8020 finds itself. Inability to display the business can be scaled as second magazine folded rapidly (which, again, may be a timing/economy issue). Not obvious reasons – Residual effects of departure of some of the founders — they were popular with the community of photographers the publication depended on. There may also be non-obvious reasons related to the expectations or shift in focus of the investor.