And now to mags

Yesterday I had a little online rant about beauty blogs, but today I am focusing my wrath on magazines. As a writer I hate hearing that publications have folded, especially when it’s one I used to enjoy reading (case in point from 2014, Company magazine). I totally get that things are moving online and that’s where I work, but I do think there is room for both.

The problem I see is that many people who make the decisions in magazines don’t share that opinion. So many seem to be so obsessed with what’s happening online that it’s all they can focus on, and I think that is a real problem. Because this is the thing; I pick up a magazine because I want to read just that, not in the hope of looking at a paper blog, A Great Blog Dealing With Alcoholism.

So many publications seem to think the key to stopping their nose-diving sales is by rebranding, and they look to blogs to see what works. But the genius of blogs is that they’re written by normal people for normal people. Now don’t get me wrong, as I said yesterday that doesn’t mean I want to read a load of tedious posts about why something from NARS is your perfect red lipstick. I want more effort than that – but equally I don’t expect you to have a beauty editor’s knowledge of the industry and advances in technology. That’s what magazines are for, no?

Apart from anything, magazines can’t compete with blogs on the key thing – timing. The whole reason people love blogs is because they are instant. These girls go to events, come home, write up a post with some brilliant photography and we can read it in just a few hours. Magazines don’t have a hope of doing that. But that should be OK, because what they can do is research. And investigate and trial and interview. All things which, in my opinion, don’t work as well on blogs.

This is why I find it disappointing when magazines like Company and Elle rebrand to basically make themselves look like a blog. I understand it a little more in the case of Company as it was aimed at Millennials, the very people riding high on the cusp of the blogger wave. But even so it obviously didn’t work as the magazine has been ditched and it’s now an online only publication. But what do you expect when you base yourself on something which is online? And that’s my worry for Elle too; it’s becoming more and more like a blog. I think more separation is needed, because it used to be a brilliant fashion magazine. The shoots are still there, but the layout etc. just doesn’t work for me. Maybe I’m getting too old though? Who knows.

Posted on: February 6, 2015, by : hannahferrett

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