How to be cool like Make magazine

First, a confession that comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this weblog: I’m a Flickr fanboy. And for me, being a fan has extended way beyond merely using Flickr as a personal photo-sharing service, but also looking for ways to use the site’s API on our company’s website and for other ways to use Flickr as platform for marketing, storytelling and business-related networking.

Second, another confession that comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this weblog: I’m a Make magazine fanboy. Since the magazine was first announced, I’ve used it as an example of how and why a print magazine still works in this age of whatever-we’re-calling-it-this-week (digital?). The technology-centric publishers of Make magazine know why they launched a print magazine and not something called a magazine that was online. (Although at first, they used the goofy word, “mook.”) The publisher (O’Reilly) completely and thoroughly understands everything there is to know about the economic potential of print publications that explain digital phenomena — they are masters of that category in book publishing. The “print” versions of Make are highly anticipated by their subscribers. Their readers bookmark articles and would no more throw away an old copy than your grandmother would throw away an issue of National Geographic. The Make magazine folks — especially Phillip Torrone — are also some of the most natural blog-savvy, social media people I’ve ever encountered. The readers of the magazine know the people who work for the magazine — and they are a community — not merely the word community magazine publishers often use as a faux-term to describe a database containing the names of all their subscribers. How do you know your brand is a community? When your readers refer to themselves as something other than “reader” or “user” (as in, Makers) and they look forward to hanging out with each other at the “faire.”

So it should come as no surprise that I’m over-flowing with kudos for Make’s newest savvy move in hiring a Flickr photo curator who will help discover some of the how-to gems being constantly added by Make readers (oops, I mean, Makers) to its Flickr pool.

When I write about magazines and community and conversational media and all that other stuff I drone on-and-on about, this is what I’m talking about.

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