With the Internet soundly kicking print magazines’ asses lately, how can publications win back some of their online audiences?
That seems to be the question on every publisher’s mind, none more so than S.I. Newhouse, who has spent a great chunk of change hiring staffers to develop Condé Nast Digital and make it marketable to his magazines’ audiences, even while the ad page downturn has forced across-the-board cuts and, in some cases, entire titles to shutter.
The latest Condé development in Web sites? Make them read more like other online content, with weekly (or daily!) updates and sassy commentary. Make them, essentially, a blog.
That at least looks like the thought behind Vanity Fair‘s newest online column, “The Gay Guide to Glee.” The author, Brett Berk, refers to himself as the magazine’s “fun and faggy editor,” (a title that certainly doesn’t lend itself to the old Graydon Carter-tone of the magazine) and introduces the show as “the gayest program on television.”
To compete with the myriad of blogs out there also doing recaps of shows like “Glee” and “Mad Men,” (and NYMag.com just announced plans to expand their TV recap offerings) you can’t just be timely, you also need to have a distinctive voice. Though “fun” and “faggy” might offend some small percentage of Vanity Fair‘s original reader base, they are not the ones reading articles online either, so it’s basically a win-win. Has Condé Nast finally gotten a clue?