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My Friend, The Editor

by Allen Weiner  |  July 21, 2010  |  Comments Off on My Friend, The Editor

I hate to spoil the party, but I am not enthralled by Flipboard, the new venture-backed content play that purports to be an application that creates personalized magazines based on what my social circle is reading/recommending. Assuming it was working (the buzz has caused a complete meltdown so neither I nor the socialsphere at large can attach our Twitter & Facebook accounts) I imagine I’d see the content that my friends find amusing, entertaining and informative. I suppose that includes some friends who I haven’t seen since seventh grade who may currently have nasty interests and are die-hard members of the Tea Bag clan. At last check, I have no friends who are expert content curators (read: professional editors) who add a lot of value to my long-form new consumption. I say long form as Flipboard is a magazine as opposed to a content snacking app.

I am in the midst of an actual research note pondering the future of magazines. I do believe there is some degree of elasticity in the definition of a magazine, but my take is it must include content assets created for or licensed for a specific content vehicle. By the way, that takes real editors who have that intermediary skill of identifying strong content and having a sense that the intended target audience would find it worth consuming. The job of editors has somehow morphed from that guy who took delight in red-lining my copy to people who use keyword magic to “curate” media.

As I point out in my research, magazine brands that have a print heritage have an opportunity that revolves around their ability to understand the attributes that will allow them to be successful in the digital world. They need to be: personal, interactive, portable, distinctive, accountable (metrics for advertisers and auditors, interactive and monetizable. Based on that, is Flipboard a magazine? Not so much.

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Category: apple  magazines  

Tags: ipad  kleiner-perkins  magazines  

Allen Weiner
Research VP
7 years at Gartner
23 years IT industry

Allen Weiner shares insights on how to monetize digital marketing through commerce. His focus on “Commerce Everywhere” provides perspective on how social, mobile, search and emerging channels can be tapped to improve customer experiences and drive business results … Read Full Bio

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