Aggregated, but misinterpreted

According to Ken Magill of, Geoff Ramsey, president of New York “research aggregator” eMarketer, the Internet is largely responsible for a 20 percent decline in magazine use.

Hey, Geoff: Are you joking…or merely hyperbolic? Magazine use is down 20% because of the Internet? What about that recession thingee? Anyway, from where did you “aggregate” that 20% figure in magazine “use”? And for that matter, what the heck is magazine “use”?

Since businesses (and business models and business theories) are judged by financial performance, not “use,” it is a nostalgically dot.comish exercise to try proving any business “insight” with such a metric as “use.” For example, people “use” their beds eight hours a day: several hours longer than they use their automobiles. Using your logic, sleeping must be responsible for limiting our driving.

For the record, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, from January to May 2002, the advertising revenue of consumer magazines was $6,332,458,233, a 3.3% drop from last year.

According to Lehman Brothers analyst Holly Becker, overall online advertising will decline 13 percent this year on top of last year’s 13 percent decline. (Your prediction is that it will increase by 11 percent. However, what did you predict last year?)

In other words, “use” is not a business metric of any “use” to anyone other than you and mattress manufacturers.