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There is no way that magazines can make available the information that is instantly available through blogging. The better magazine publishers are starting blogs and web pages that make past articles available on line. that makes them blogger’s just like the rest of us and they are offering information that is not in the publications.
They are not offering the personal contact that most garden blogs offer. Don’t get me wrong a good magazine article is an excellent source of information and worth the cost.
Now there is a scary thought for hard copy media- and because it is a fact of life, there are many media businesses shuttering this year. Reading this article points out the magnitude via Shannon Paul.
So how does this all add up for gardeners?
I’d always been a heavy consumer of magazines, although it steeply dropped off for a number of years;this for reasons having nothing to do with blogging (started before the blogging phenomenon). Presently, I buy cooking magazines. However, I will never buy the same amount of magazines that I did in the past. I do, however, buy more non fiction books. Pretty much a Jane Doe when it comes to media consumption.
Blogging has replaced my need for quick and dirty information, and for entertainment reading, so does a garden magazine have a place in my future? Yes, but only if they change.
The trouble is that they changed in the past due to market demands, into slivered niche titles that were bloated with ads. Ads pay for the costs, that consumers don’t wish to underwrite, and the niche idea is to gain loyalty. This is not working for today’s magazine reader, it seems. I know it didn’t work for me.
I think garden publications are going to have to consolidate, at least in topic coverage. And I don’t know how successful Martha Stewart Living is in profits, but I know I buy her magazine -and at news stand prices. That is the type of brand and styling that garden magazines will have to make going forward.
Or come up with something totally new, but I have no ideas for that.
I like magazines, as I said, but they regurgitate information. In fact, that is a criticism for garden writing on the whole (I’ll write more on that another time). Loyal readers are those who garner a bit of basic information and don’t need to be paced through the baby steps each and every time. They need inspiration and news, and insider tips. Ok, that might be an unfortunate turn of phrase, but everyone knows I’m talking about gardening tips, right?
So, while putting garden magazines in the grave, I’m calling for a reinvention of what’s offered to me in the grocery store magazine rack. Make it worth it for me to stretch my budget yet some more.
What are your thoughts? What works for you in garden reading choices?
Tags: print media, garden magazines