“Every once in a while, there’s a perfect storm to produce an image.”
Françoise Mouly New Yorker’s art editor in interview with the Washington Post
The March 6, 2017, New Yorker provides a great example of how the magazine uses the web to promote its print version. A few days before the print magazine is released, an image of the cover is released. Often, the image goes viral among the readership of the magazine–and those who don’t actually read it, but love to drop references to the magazine at cocktail parties.
More importantly, it’s an example of how a contemporary magazine–some would argue, the best contemporary magazine–can pay homage to its heritage (the 1925 cover on the left is iconic) in a way that readers understand, but non-readers won’t get–an “insider” effect. (The cover for next week’s magazine is explained in the Washington Post today.)
Most importantly, the cover breaks every rule in the “top ten reasons to buy this magazine” cover design book so effectively that “having” the magazine is more important to “reading” the magazine to a big percentage of its subscribers. And that’s more than okay with me.
Magazine lovers can look at this cover and comprehend why print magazines that matter to their readers — their collectors and lovers — will be around for a few more decades, at least.
From the U.S. Labor Department, Bureau of Labor Statistics
458,000 | 1990 | People employed in newspaper publishing industry 183,000 | 2016 | People employed in newspaper publishing industry
30,000 | 1990 | People employed in internet publishing and broadcasting 198,000 | 2016 | People employed in internet publishing and broadcasting
Quote from Bureau of LaborStatistics
“Two other industries similarly affected by the Internet are radio broadcasting, where employment declined from January 1990 to March 2016 by about 27 percent, and motion picture and video production, where employment rose from about 92,000 to 239,000 over the same period, an increase of nearly 162 percent.”
I’ve written before about my fascination with contextual content (the hows, whys, data, background and how-tos) — as much as I am fascinated with the chronological content we news and info-junkies plug in to. The BBC is a great example of a vast media empire that uses its resources to add context — history programming, for example — into its constant flow of current news.
For example, here is a factoid I just learned on “The Why Factor” episode about music.
According to research conducted by Spotify,the generational difference in music preference between Millenials and Baby Boomers boils down to Skrillex vs. Roy Orbison. (Meaning, the music you’d least likely find any overlap among people who are teenagers vs. 60+.)
I’m convinced (but I’ll note I’m in neither camp):
On first glance. the front page of the influential tech news site, Gigaom, appears like yesterday was merely another day at the office: Coverage of the Apple Watch announcement, coverage of the upcoming SXSW Interactive. But then, in what appeared on Twitter to be a surprise to even its employees, Gigaom ceased operations with a post on its front page saying this:
Gigaom recently became unable to pay its creditors in full at this time. As a result, the company is working with its creditors that have rights to all of the company’s assets as their collateral. All operations have ceased. We do not know at this time what the lenders intend to do with the assets or if there will be any future operations using those assets. The company does not currently intend to file bankruptcy. We would like to take a moment and thank our readers and our community for supporting us all along.
If you are an internet-marketing trivia master, you may recognize that quotation as Doc Searls’ prophetic observation that appeared 15 years ago as part of the Cluetrain Manifesto. Cluetrain began as a list of 95 theses posted on the website Cluetrain.com that captured the sentiments of Searls and three other tech-industry marketing veterans.
The Cluetrain Manifesto quickly evolved into a best-selling book that provided many early online marketers with a foundation for understanding and predicting how buying and selling would change when buyers have access to the same, or greater, data and insights previously controlled by sellers.
What would be different if a Cluetrain Manifesto-like list of observations, explanations and beliefs were created today? How would 15 years of reality override these prophecies?