The unifying theory of magazines in an online age

As I maintain dual citizenship in both Magazineland and Internetopolis, I’m often asked what magazines must do to survive in an online era. Jason Tanz, business editor of Wired magazine, has a great answer to that question in this interview on


“The Internet can do a lot of things really great, so focus your magazine on the things the Internet can’t do really great.”

Tanz says such things are “long stories, nice paper and beautiful layouts,” however, I disagree with Tanz on one thing: Long stories work on the web.

Here’s how I’d put it: A great magazine is something to be experienced and savored. A well designed and edited magazine is the wine of media. The web is about instantaneous and ubiquitous information, connections and transactions. It’s like the central nervous system of media. To live, you must have a central nervous system. But to live, you should experience great wine.

(Tanz quote via: Martin Stabe)