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Old 05-18-2006, 06:53 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Print magazines are better when they emulate the web

That's a switch... Print magazines are better when they emulate the web. Usually we hear about how electronic versions of content need to be closer to the print version!

According to Amy Gahran's summary of a talk at the annual conference at the University Research Magazine Association (URMA), Don Ranly critiqued various print magazines by URMA members. Don is a professor from the Univ. of Missouri School of Journalism, and some of his points included:

* Don't make people guess about what's inside your magazine. Offer intuitive coverlines with page numbers.
* Make the table of contents prominent and usable. "Consider that your home page." In addition to intuitive article titles, give blurbs too. Present all content (including photos) in page order, and list the stories contained within department sections.
* Divide content into shorter chunks with prominent and engaging microcontent (subheads, captions, graphics, etc.) for easier scanning, and get writers involved in crafting microcontent.
* Ditch "useless content" such as bland, pro forma letters from the editor or the organization's president.

His main point is really interesting... "At magazines you put a lot of effort into crafting long stories. What makes you think people really have the time to read all that?"

From E-media Tidbits, where the full article is available here.
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