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The Future of Magazines and Interactivity

September 7, 2009

People want a voice in society.  In the past, print media such as newspapers, journals, and magazines were the vehicles of your voice being heard.  Other mediums were radio and television.  All of these forms of media limited accessibility due to the lack of affordability and were selective on what voice would be heard.  Once the new kid on the block, the Internet arrived on the scene this phenomenon brought the world closer through connecting people.  Additionally, the Internet provided a platform for everyday people to have a voice regardless of their social status, hierarchy in the company, race or nationality.   The Internet has opened up greater opportunity in decreasing printing cost for publications.  Due to the availability of printers, printing cost were driven down creating a favorable position for emerging publication. One of the downfalls of the World Wide Web was certain magazines were unable to keep up with the technology so only the strong ones are surviving by embracing and building a presence online using interactivity.  Magazines are not using the World Wide Web to replace print publication but using it as tool to enhance their audience.

The research proposal is to study the future of magazines and interactivity exploring the survival of the magazine industry in the age of digital media.  How are magazines embracing technology and migrating towards online content and interactivity?  The internet has allowed more voices to emerge by using sites like Issuu.com which allows people’s voices to be heard over the web by producing magazines through online publishing.  Understanding the impact that the Internet has created for the publication world is of the utmost importance for individuals breaking into the magazine industry.

The implementation of my research method is through scholarly journals, for example the Journal of Magazine and New Media Research.  I would like to interview experts in the industry such as Executive Editor, Creative Director, Multimedia development director, Executive Producer, and Senior Web Designers of major magazines.  I would expand my research by creating a focus group and survey to produce quantitative and qualitative data which will provide a framework for my research. 

Some predictions of the data I will collect are the following:

  • To remain competitive, magazines who want to survive the digital age world will have to build a presence online which will consistent of interactive components
  • Major magazine publications will stay in print but will use the Web as an additional tool and create other ways to use technology as a resource to strengthen the industry
  • Increase in individuals and community magazines creating online publications using sites like Issuu© to have their voice heard at an cost-savings
  • Magazines will create relationships with target audiences by utilizing social networking sites, for example Facebook© and LinkedIn©
  • Having an online presence will not only reach target markets, but also reach new audiences
  • Some magazines may not feel the need to develop a strong presence online due to their target market, however will start preparing to do so in the future
  • Magazines will become more interactive allowing the reader to develop a two-way communication causing strong customer loyalty

Many of my predictions will be researched through interviews with experts, case studies, and quantitative and qualitative data.

 The future of magazines and interactivity research will have enormous impact on the magazine industry.  Magazines may begin to realize that significant percentages of their audience and future audience are on the Web and drive the magazine to have an online presence.  The publication industry will recognize the need for increased interactivity on the World Wide Web.  As a result, they will utilize social networks to build relationships with their target audiences.  In our current economic climate, the publication industry will recognize the cost effectiveness of migrating online content.  Furthermore, individuals will discover how user-friendly it is to develop and create online magazine content, thus increasing the diversity of the publication world.

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