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Where Content Is Headed (Part Two)

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Yes, it's been delayed but at last, a few quiet moments just to get down the types of content that are evolving and hopefully to make a few sensible comments.

Once again I've tried to mix in a few less obvioius with the blindingly obvious. As I've been doing this I've found more types to include so what might have been three parts will now be four.

6. Pocast/vidcasts (Rocketboom and then some). The attention in this area inevitably focuses on the aggregator as much as (more than?) the content producers. Rocketboom took the headlines recently for entering the Technorati top 100 and there's a hidden message in there which is — it's unlikely to happen too often. It also draws attention back to the aggregators and what they are going to do to differentiate themselves, win trust and foster enthusiasm. Aggregators like pluggd, streamernet, clickcaster, podango, Hipcast, have little defensible position but then it's a mighty big web world so they can coexist.

7. Online movies tend to be lumped in with TV shows and Hollywood movies playing out through the Internet. To date though there's little in the way of highly original content from the A list of directors and movie makers. Venice Strand is an honourable exception. I notice Dan Myrick is also distributing via Netflix now.

8. Mobile content. I spoke recently to Steve McCormack at Wildwave, a distributor of mobile content, globally. Steve was telling me the first wave of mobile content is over, that is content that is ultra-time sensitive — breaking news, sports results, and the like. Also over in the USA, SMS.ac is trying to lever up some content around its own version of the mobile pod (Dilbert is on there), while in the UK bango is providing a platform that helps repurpose and monetise content, though there are also original content offerings. Ajit Jaokar, mobile content expert, tells me the barrier is still transparent billing as well as a monthly inclusive charge. Many people who use mobile content suffer bill shock and never go back to sites once they receive the bill. Nonetheless it's important to bear in mind what Steve says — people are searching out less time sensitive and more long form content from mobile devices.

8. Portals. I wonder when the life of the portal will ever receive a true challenge. When I look at Yahoo.com, msn and the rest the products are so middle of the road that…. well, there are lots of people in the middle of the road

9. Online magazines. When Nerve launched, it looked like the online magazines market might get shaken up. Here was a sexy, attitude, visual web magazine. Much of it, though, lies behind the subscription box. Salon and the like continue a respectable existence while nearer the edge of what's happening CNET have moved into Chow – the food site – and into parenting, proving that technology will not continue to be the only game in town for long. Solid edgy culture continues to be an impressive use of the medium so it will be interesting to see how magazines like Urban 75 and Vice evolve.

10. Mixed media. MSNC had high hopes of using a print, photography, video melange to create a new way of telling stories. I think Brian Storm is doing a reasonably good job when he is involved with MSNBC's Take 3 projects but some of Brian's MediaStorm offerings are better. Nick Knight at Showstudio also has some good stuff but these are places where the artist has put his/her interests first, which may or may not work for a larger audience. They work for me but I find I am an infrequent visitor.

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  • Meg

    In my opinion, magazines will do one of two things in the next 20 years. One of the possibilities for the future of magazines is that magazines will be virtually non-existent as the way we use them today and will move completely to online magazines called webzines. The other possiblity is that they will make a comeback by offering something supplementary such as interaction- more polls, surveys, contest, etc. I feel this along with webzines and a hard copy magazine would allow the magazine industry to make a major comeback.
    Noe- if the future of magazines were to follow the path of the past- then the first possibilty would be the most likely occurrence. According to the timeline on page 133, some of the more recent events that have taken place are magazines such as Life, and Saturday Evenikng Post closing, and the magazine “Salon” going online. If the future of magazines were to follow the most recent events- I feel that magazines will continue to close, and more and more will make their way to becoming strictly webzines.
    I personally would like for magazines to make their way to the World Wide Web, but I would also like for magazines to be in the form of print as well. My reasoning behind this is that wthere is not always a computer available to use to check up on my favorite magazines, and magazines in the form of print will always be readily available, being that there is nothing but the actual magazine itself that I need. Magazines in the form of print are not only accessible but convenient.