Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blogs and Magazines: Friends or Enemies?

This week we saw another big design magazine go away. Metropolitan Home is gone. This trend is starting to get really noticeable.  At first it seemed that the publishing powers-that-be were just trying to use their arbitrary muscle to decide what we do and don't read.  But now with several design publications gone, I've got to begin to question what is really going on here.
In the blog world I feel there is an underlying sense of guilt that maybe bloggers are having a detrimental effect on the big design magazines.  And I've got to admit there has been a little bit of a feeding-frenzy excitement surrounding this past year's proliferation of blogs, (including my own humble attempt).
So maybe a time of reflection is what we need.  One thing I know for sure; bloggers love magazines.  It's obvious we absolutely devour every word and photo.  We own extensive collections of them and use them as our reference libraries.  We know the writers and editors and photographers like family.
So which is it?  Do blogs hurt or help the magazines?  Can we live in a world with no design magazines and only blogs? 
This is my take.  Blogs are an additional fix for decorating junkies, not a replacement one.  We still really, really want our magazines.  No monitor in the world can replace a beautifully photographed magazine, pure and simple.  The big culprit here, I believe, is the crappy economy and the fact that sometimes luxuries, however small, go first.  I just think we didn't realize that the magazines really do count on our support in the form of purchases to survive.
I will continue to do my part by still visiting my local Barnes and Noble every month, buying a big stack of design magazines and devouring each and every one!  ( Hopefully the kill-off will stop soon. )


Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I have been a magazine junkie for years, but lately, I have made a point to buy even more! I used to feel guilty about all the $$ I spent on them , now I feel I have to do my I do, don't I...

Southern Chateau said...

My sentiments exactly! We have to our part to save our magazines!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Great post. I spend 25 years working for magazine in the advertising end. Magazines and newspapers do not make their profits on subscriptions, or single copy purchases. They make their money on advertising. So when the economy dives, the advertisers, like Sears, Armstrong, Olay, Whirlpool, Hallmark, Shaw Carpet etc lose business as we all cut back on shopping for clothes, furniture, makeup, carpeting etc, they in turn have cutback on their spending

One of the first places they cut back is advertising. So magazines and newspapers suffer.

Once the encomy picks back up and consumers start purchases "extras" again, you will see new magazines appear.

Southern Chateau said...

Penny, I really hope so. It's all pretty alarming, but I hope the nosedive will stop soon.

Suzanne said...

I too have read and collected magazines for many many years (37).
While that sounds really isnt. I have bought almost every design magazine and book out there.
I love to relax by just reading the magazines and books. It is real eye candy and a treat to just imagine what designs I would love to copy or implement in a home or two...or three! I have done 3 remodels on 2 homes in the last 9 years. Saving all those old magzine clippings have helpe tremendously. I truly hope we will see some new magazines return...and in the case of Victoria..maybe we will.

Kelley said...

Very interesting post. I still purchase design magazines but pretty much have let the subscriptions fall away. What I find is the biggest turn off is the inconsistency of the material. One month a magazine will be right on the money and interesting and then the next month...yuck. I can't help but feel there is a lack of leadership at the top and no clear direction. Met home was a bit of a surprise but they have seemed out of step with everything I read in the "blog" world as to what is current and what matters to designers and consumers.

Thanks for the thoughtful post~*~kelley