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The End of Print Computer Magazines?

Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 10:14 PM

In the news: PC World has shuttered its print magazine.

This month, PCWorld stopped producing its print edition after over thirty years. The magazine will now devote its resources entirely to digital content. The move is significant not only because it closes the doors on a publication that began in the early era of personal computer, but also because it symbolizes the end of the computer magazine era.

Harry McCracken of Time.com writes of PCWorld's print closure, "If you're feeling melodramatic, you could declare that the computer-magazine industry just died along with it." He concedes that this may be a bit hyperbolic, citing Macworld and MacLife as examples of computer magazines currently in print. But he also reminds readers that most computer magazines on the newsstands these days are devoted to narrower topics (e.g., a particular piece of software). Read more of his analysis here.

Also Notable

AllRecipes.com Print Magazine

We've heard a lot of stories about print magazines that have gone digital-only. Magazine publishing giant Meredith is turning this trend on its head. Meredith purchased AllRecipes.com, a popular recipe sharing website last year. Now, the publisher plants to launch an AllRecipes print magazine in November (for the December 2013 issue). The magazine will publish six issues per year. The AllRecipes brand brings with it a huge potential audience, with more than a billion website hits per year and 600,000-plus YouTube subscribers. Read more here.

Important Digital Metrics

In the past editors have looked to page views unique visits as a barometer of their online success. The picture has grown more complicated with the explosion of social media in recent years. Stephanie Paige Miller of Foliomag.com shares the five digital metrics that all magazine publishing professionals should consider. These include social referral activity, quality of followers, on-site social engagement, share of voice, and new and returning visitors. Read more here.

Tablet Edition Strategy

In a July 28 Guardian.co.uk article, David Hepworth reminds magazine editors and publishers that there is more to tablet strategy than simply creating a tablet edition. "Magazines on tablet may interest existing readers," he says, "but they also have to attract new ones." Many magazines are simply flowing their print content into tablet templates using "cheap page-turner apps," a tactic that is "unsatisfactory for the editorial team and not very thrilling for advertisers." Read more of his analysis of tablet editions here.

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