Thursday, September 28, 2006

The web magazines with content 95% suppliers by 'users'.

My out takes from the interview with Jeremy Tapp of online publisher Magicalia.

What we learn from this is yet another market that now exists for good copy from the Public relations industry.

"It doesn't take a genius to look at the ABCs this year to know things are changing.

"Frankly, I think a large part of what is happening is because of the web, it has finally started to grow commercial teeth, its bite is becoming as bad as its bark," said Jeremy Tapp.

Tapp and his business partner Adam Laird co-founded Magicalia seven years ago. It is home to 40 specialist website communities.

However, last month Magicalia bought Encanta Media for £2.72 million to get its hands on its woodworking, modelling, patchwork and gardening magazines and initiate its move from solely digital into duel publishing.

"A lot of people say web is important to their magazines but what they really mean is that it is a defensive action, essentially 'how do we deal with this thing that we would rather not deal with,' by which they mean the ingress of something that changes their world.

"We recognise that magazines are fabulous and have a deep connection with readers, a permanent connection with readers and advertisers, and we want to do that too.

"The fully evolved cross-media company in a couple or three years time will be seamless and will have skills in both those worlds."

Many of Magicalia's sites have up to 95 per cent of their content supplied by the users.

Publishing online and having a sturdy technological base has allowed Magicalia to launch titles that would not otherwise survive in print and attract several small audience groups that when combined offer a powerful advertising bait.

"Without the cost of distribution, without the cost of paper, we can reach into a smaller niche."

"Getting money out of readers for content when there is high quality content available for free on the website next door is always going to be difficult.

"You have to create an environment that is really high quality if you are going to do that, the reason that we have not done it yet is for precisely that difficulty. It's a new world and people are still scrambling for market share."