Survival of the Fittest: Blogs Vs. Magazines


Remember that song “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles? Who knew how prophetic that song would be in so many different genres? I have always heard that when videos became popular people like Joe Jackson made a nose dive in the charts. “Steppin’ Out” is an awesome jam, but apparently in the looks and charisma department he was no Hall and Oates. Sometimes I feel that The Buggles theory rings true with old school craft websites (www.InsertCraftWebsiteNameHere.com) and Etsy, but that is a whole different ball of wax. The latest Nostradamus like prediction coming from this 80’s pop tune is that blogs might be doing to magazines what video did to the radio star.

As of late it seems that magazines are dropping like flies. There is the environmentally conscious side of me that is waving adios and then the hoarder in me that wants to cry. I have had many a heated debate with people lately about the downfall of magazines and the rise of blogs and it seems people are torn. The bloggers love magazines and don’t want them to go, where would they scan their pictures from? I’m sure Daryl Hall liked Joe Jackson too; he probably just didn’t realize he was inadvertently killing his career. Bloggers are not intentionally killing off magazines; it’s a natural progression – survival of the fittest if you will. There is a whole Darwinism thing going on and the heard is getting thinned with not just the help of the bloggers but also with the help of our craptastical economy. Maybe Missbehave and Cottage Living should ask for a bailout, everyone else is so why not.

Blogs are prevailing and magazines are taking notice. Many are refusing to say they are actually closing and phrasing it that they are going strictly digital or looking for new publishers. I think it is a smart move in a lot of ways and some of these magazines will probably do even better in the digital format and already have wonderful blogs. Take Craft Magazine for example their blog is one of the best on the internet for crafters. At $15 a pop I admit I never bought a single issue, but I check their blog several times a week. Maybe they killed themselves in some respects having a blog that was just a little too good? Speaking of blogs I was very surprised to see Domino not keep up with theirs. Maybe a spin off blog is in the works like Shelterific to Budget Living. I’m glad to see some of the magazines not completely fade away and stay with us on the internet.

I love reading blogs, writing a blog and just the word blog is kind of fun to say. However, blogs no matter how hard they try will never be a magazine. There is something about the tangibleness of magazines that you can keep and refer back to time and time again. Sure you can book mark things on blogs, but it is not the same and not near as portable. Lap Tops are cumbersome to take into the bathroom with you, not as much fun to read in bed, you can’t cut the pictures out for your journal and when you are on a long flight you just want a magazine because it’s hard to comment on a blog flying over the artic circle. Some are saying that magazines are becoming obsolete along with newspapers, what’s next books? Now that’s just redic.

I have no real opinion on all the magazines folding either way. I’m sad people are losing their jobs, that much I do know. It’s sad for any medium to become extinct. Extinct is a strong word and some magazines will prevail and weather this current financial storm, but I’m sure this is not the end of the closings. I can’t say that I am not helping with their demise in some ways. I am a blogger after all. Also, as someone who used to advertise in print media every month, I have switched my advertising dollars to digital. Not only is it cheaper, but it makes more sense that someone would click a banner ad on a website and come directly to Naughty Secretary Club rather than hoping someone remembers my URL in a magazine they are flipping through on the couch and plugs it into their computer later. I think a lot of business feel the same way and are skipping the thousand dollar print ads in lieu of the hundred dollar web ad.

Good luck magazines, I’m rooting for you. As a blogger I don’t mean to hurt you if I do. To the magazines that are going strictly digital welcome to the blogosphere full time, you will be happy here. To the magazines that are gone forever and those soon headed to the big recycling plant in the sky we will miss you.

15 Responses to “Survival of the Fittest: Blogs Vs. Magazines”

  1. Blue Mama

    Great post…
    I’m torn too, but only after some thought. My knee jerk reaction is to be absolutely heartbroken by the folding of some of my favorite magazines. I have been obsessed with magazines most of my life. I’ve always been a bookworm but discovering Sassy when I was a tiny tween truly changed my life. I love love love getting print mags in my mailbox. (currently I get Body and Soul,

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  2. Cinnamon Cooper

    I’m also torn. I love the immediateness of blogs. But I love that magazines are edited, and thematic, and compiled and introduce me to people I wouldn’t come across on my own. Its so easy to remain insular in blog-land. I really, really, really wish the Kindle or something like it was so much cheaper to own so mags like Domino and craft could just let subscribers download their issues to a device

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  3. Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club

    I too am super duper torn as you can tell. I subscribe to Cooking Light, Parenting, Bazaar, Elle and Teen Vogue. In years past there were also issues of Fruits, Atomic Ranch, Bust, Venus, Marie Claire and more coming to my door. I guess another way I have inadvertently helped is my cancelling subscriptions to many. It just gets to the point where there are more coming than you can read.
    <

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  4. Hello Pineapples!

    Great post. I really love blogs – they’re fun, they’re current, and there are so many interesting people writing interesting things, but aren’t employed as magazine journalists. But, despite my green tendencies, what I love most about magazines is the tangible, glossiness, editedness, and consistency that you get in a mag.

    Some blogs look lovely, but others (my own included) are

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  5. Jennifer Worick

    This is a great post. I’m heartbroken about the magazine industry right now and as an author and former publishing executive, I worry about book publishing as well. But my point has always been that people want the physical object of the book, not just the content, at least for the gifty how-tos I write. So I hope the same rationale continues to save the other magazines out there.

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  6. Knit Purl Gurl

    It’s hard to see these mags go under. Like you – I am smitten with blogs. The pure ingenuity of at-home crafters and artisans amazes and astounds me. You can find blogs on almost anything and at any level. My blogs for instance are very humble musings of a sometimes crafter and fulltime whiner. Your blog is more professional and informative. So you can really read literally anything you’re

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  7. Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club

    Hey Jennifer I wonder about the effects of blogs on craft books as well. I know several publishers are pushing release dates back and cutting the amount of books they are releasing per year. Seems like just a year ago you couldn’t not get a craft book deal and now all of the sudden with the economy and I can’t help also think with the blogs publishers are being a lot more selective. I agree I

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  8. Deborah

    The magazines I love I LOVE and I want to feel them in my hands and have the guilty plesure of paging thru and curling up with. And of re-discovering in a year when I dust teh shelf but end up sitting on the floor for 4 hours reading them again. Its the way I adore my craft books.
    I wish in a lot of ways the blogs were still suplemental. Yet I adore the step by step instructions.The ‘i just

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  9. Fredda Perkins

    Economic Darwinism is at work here. First in the form of the evolution of information desimination from print to electronic. Economic survival of the fittest is also evident. When the economy is bad whole sectors contract in response. The state of the economy is having an impact on the publishing business. There may just be too much fluff in the magazine sector right now. How many country/

    Reply
  10. Geek+Nerd

    I love this post. We have very similar viewpoints on this matter. Allow me to share a few thoughts…

    My feelings are that I already spend way too much time sitting in front of a computer, and oftentimes I find magazines turned blogs disappointing. (As you said, I don’t think that this will be the issue with CRAFT, as they already have a great blog). I think that magazines turned blogs

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  11. stacy

    I’ve got to say I’m torn too. There are some magazines I wouldn’t mind going digital (ones with lots of articles and few projects), but I’d hate to see some good magazines go away (or become an internet only) when they are largely project based. Yup, I’m a hoarder too!

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  12. Susan

    There’s nothing like flipping through an old issue you find lying around the house(under the couch, behind the bookcase…) Where would we be without vintage magazines from which to make rerto crafts?

    Of course, I’ll only miss my favorite titles, the rest are landfill as far as I’m concerned.

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  13. Karin

    Of course just this year I decided to subscribe to four of the six mags you have pictured! I too work in publishing. We struggle with these questions every day, especially in the craft book line. As a crafter, though, I love reading ideas online in blogs, but I will never stop buying books. Thanks for the insights.
    – Karin

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  14. AlyiceEdrich.com

    I’d much rather pay a higher price for a good quality magazine subscription that was free of advertisements then see them simply disappear. You can’t cuddle up to a blog on a cold winter day, or flip pages for inspiration on a warm, sunny day.

    I like blogs, but I still like certain magazines more. So glad “Cloth, Paper, Scissors” is sticking around. I love that magazine!

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  15. Chan961

    My feelings are that I already spend way too much time sitting in front of a computer, and oftentimes I find magazines turned blogs disappointing. (As you said, I don't think that this will be the issue with CRAFT, as they already have a great blog). I think that magazines turned blogs try to amp up their content and often end up with quantity over quality. For example – CHOW, great little

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