magazines and their 3 communities

This morning I stumbled across the following post by Derek Powazek, who wrote Design for Communities a few years ago, describing the three communities important to magazines: those involved in creating the magazine, the readers, and the advertisers –

“Magazines need to open their doors to their readers. Instead of thinking of writers and readers as two separate communities, magazines need to realize that they really only have one community: the people who give a shit about their magazine.”

“Traditionally, magazines have three communities they care about: readers, writers, and advertisers. The readers (or “subscribers”) are the largest audience. A magazine’s goal is always to grow this audience to be as large as possible, since the bigger the number, the more the magazine can charge the advertisers. Oddly, though, the reader community is given the fewest tools (you can subscribe and, uh, subscribe some more) and the least access (write a letter to the editor and maybe we’ll read it).”

The post provides background for 8020 Publishing which launched an audience generated photography magazine, jpgmag, two years ago. The idea is fairly simple: people visit the website where various themes for future issues are listed, they upload their digital photos for consideration and the best ones appear in the print magazine with contributors getting a free subscription and a payment of $100.

Nice idea – I’m keen to see if 8020 can successfully expand the model into other genres.