Greece adds Your… and Yet Another Reader-Generated Magazine is Born

October 24, 2008

Reader-generated content is becoming something of the present. Before the web (BTW) magazines like Country and Taste of Home depended on the postal service to deliver bags of mail to create the reader- generated content that was the corner stone of the Reiman Publications’ empire before selling it to Reader’s Digest Association. After the web (ATW) JPG magazine and its publishing company 8020 pioneered the use of the internet to create printed reader-generated content magazines. Budget Travel magazine and This Old House both created magazines written completely by readers. In fact This Old House altered the name of the magazine to Your Old House to reflect the nature of the content.

Now in this ATW age, comes Greece magazine from the United Kingdom. Merricks Media’s John Weir tells me that the November issue of Greece magazine will be their first reader-generated issue and they too altered the name of the magazine from Greece to Your Greece.

I asked John about this ATW experiment with Greece magazine and the input he received from the readers.

He responded, “We had more than 500 entries to the reader issue. The really pleasing thing is the quality of both written submissions and picture entries -in many cases the quality and selection of pictures were better than the photo libraries!!”

And as to who had the final say in the selections of the articles and pictures, John said, “The editor and the editorial team did the selection of both articles and pictures and then contacted the readers who were successful in submitting the material.”

As for the major benefit from this experiment John told me that “In all cases, the major benefit to the magazine was the detail on the “undiscovered” Greece – all the tavernas, restaurants, tourist sights and antiquities that are both off the beaten track and real finds for tourists. They are exactly the sorts of things that one journalist cannot find but that thousands of readers can.”

Will he do it again? “We’ll definitely do it again – already we’ve seen a 30% rise in subscription applications and the emails have started coming asking when the next issue containing reader content will be put together,” he said.

John added, “If anything, it has exceeded expectations, and has encouraged us to get a more regular conversation going with readers.”

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