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The Power of Interactive Printed Magazines… A Magazine called “Your Old House”…

May 29, 2008


First there was JPG, then came Everywhere, and then the mainstream media took notice: there is a good, indeed a very good use, for the internet and the web in generating content for the printed magazines that we do. Before the Web, writing letters to editors and sharing comments was limited to a few who were determined to do so. Now, readers’ opinions are a click away and the minute they read something they like, they hate, or they can’t stand, chances are you are going to hear from them.
That is why the folks at This Old House have decided to bestow the honor of changing the name of the June issue of the magazine to Your Old House, since it was 100% reader created. And the “YOUR” belongs to “You people,” who are “Kooks. Obsessive. Irrational. Possibly out of your minds,” writes Scott Omelianuk, the magazine’s editor. Omelianuk quickly adds, “And we love you for it.”
To me, this is yet another example of the power of print in being an interactive medium. Before the web, Reiman publications set the standards in reader generated content. After the web, the field is now leveled and those editors who are willing to listen to what Time’s managing editor Richard Stengel told my students that the future of journalists is “to be more curators and less creators,” there is a lot of room for printed magazines to thrive and excel.
“The Public Voted” for the June’s issue of This (Your) Old House’s cover image, the winners of the remodeled houses’ contest, and the shared money saving tips on home improvements.

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6 comments

  1. While I might stop short of referring to print as an “interactive medium” I would definitely agree that this type of thinking is the way forward for print based publishing. Still – I find it funny that you don’t recognize the elephant in the room here Samir. This kind of publishing is a fundamental operational and editorial shift that stands to upend the sort of traditional journalism that you champion. There is only so much space in a printed magazine – the more of it that gets filled with unpaid “user” submitted content the less of it there is for professional work, no?


  2. That Stengel is a genius. . . you can tell from the abundance of advertising in Time Magazine and the booming circulation numbers. And Jeol (sic) Stein is a god to people in their 20s and 30s, doncha’ know?


  3. I think that one of the most interesting topics to read in a print issue magazine is about houses and home. and a good photography is needed to make it more fascinating =)


  4. [...] The Power of Interactive Printed Magazines | Mr. Magazine Samir Husni quotes Time’s managing editor Richard Stengel – “The future of journalists is “to be more curators and less creators.” (tags: curation) permalink | categories: All other | Time posted: 12:18 am on Friday, May 30th, 2008 [...]


  5. [...] name (with a nice 2.0 site, by the way). Its latest issue has been rechristened Your Old House, and consists of cover art voted to the cover by readers, tips from readers, and the like. As Sam Husni observes, editors become curators, not creators, in this [...]


  6. Print incapable of interaction? Tax forms, paper dolls, playing cards, iron-ons, baby!

    But that’s not why I’m commenting. Budget Travel just did the same thing as Old House. My take is here:

    http://www.designingmagazines.com/?p=589



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