This post was a stretch for my topic here, but I do feel that magazines qualify as entertainment. I’m a lover of magazines. I love everything about them, from opening my mailbox to find the latest issue to paging through them, looking for that interesting article. I’m aware that they are on their way out and this post is full of suggestions that will help them change for the better to maybe keep the people like me fans of the forum.
EDIT: I have restructured this post to fit in my “If I Were In Charge” series.
I have always been a lover of magazines. At one point in time, I subscribed to a dozen of them, and right now I have six subscriptions. I’m aware that the internet has decimated the magazine industry, but I also know there are other people out there who still love opening their mailboxes to find the new issue of whatever they are subscribing to.
If there’s any hope for actual hard copy magazines, changes are needed, and if I were in charge…
1. Many of us love to fold our magazines in half to read them. For the first half of the magazine, it’s easiest to fold the left side, and for the second half, it’s easiest to fold the right side. Advertisers have taken note of this and have demanded advertising on the half that doesn’t get folded, making it impossible for the reader to easily fold their magazines in half. First order of business is to change this.
2. Some advertisers have decided it is best for them to use really thick construction paper stock to print their ads. The only way around this for the reader is to tear out the whole page and throw it away. Magazines need to be an enjoyable experience for the reader and things like this and #1 make them a less enjoyable experience, so I’m doing away with this as well.
3. Some magazines have decided that shorter articles are what the reader wants, so they then decided that the way around this was to cut the articles up in a “choose your own adventure” style format: to continue reading, turn to page 87. I’m not doing away with longer articles, but I am doing away with this format.
4. I don’t know a single person who still subscribes to a magazine through those little cardboard mailers that the magazine stuffs into their issues, so why do two or three of them fall out of each issue I receive and another two or three are attached to the inside? Why is my bathroom floor littered with these things? I will make the first page of the magazine filled with information on how to subscribe: A phone number, an internet address, a mailing address.
When I initiate these first 4 changes, I will be well on my way to making a better magazine that is more fun to read. I’m not going to bring them back to where they were, I know that, but I will not continue to alienate the people who still read them, I will bring in new readers and I will help the magazine I’m in charge of survive longer.