Hey, who's that handsome devil on that magazine cover? It's none other than world renowned blogger and Wiley author Robert Scoble. But what's the magazine? It's a new one called Blogger & Podcaster and it's something I didn't even know about till I stumbled across it a few days ago. I recently signed up for a free e-subscription and you can too at this link.
I also asked the magazine's publisher, Larry Genkin, if he'd mind doing an interview for my blog. He graciously agreed and here's what he had to say:
JW: So a magazine about blogging and podcasting, eh? When did you come up with this idea and what's the driving force behind it?
LG: The idea came to me around last November. We had been around the space having just published a wonderful book titled Promoting Your Podcast by Jason Van Orden. Then it dawned on me that this industry didn't have its own trade magazine. It's not often that you have an opportunity to be first in such a fast growing market so we moved heaven and earth to launch the magazine in under 5 months. Usually you give yourself 12 months to get a publication off the ground. My team pulled off a miracle so we wouldn't miss this opportunity.
JW: Will the magazine be aimed at newbies, experienced bloggers or all of the above?
LG: The magazine is targeted to "serious" bloggers and podcasters. The people who are dedicated to their craft and are interested in taking some time each month to learn new ways to improve upon what they're doing. Our editorial is written to primarily deliver value to the experienced blogger/podcaster. However we're careful to not use so much jargon and technobabble that we make our content inaccessible to a newbie. I think when the first issue is published next week people will agree we struck the right balance.
JW: Critics would argue you're going in the wrong direction and that most print products such as magazines and newspapers are trying to establish relevance online. Why do you feel swimming upstream like this is the right approach?
LG: Instead of "swimming upstream" we decided to make it easier to succeed by publishing the magazine in 3 formats: Print, Digital and Podcast. I believe we are the first in magazine history to do this (and another reason why my editorial team is about ready to string me up.) Each edition is different too. The digital edition uses cool software that gives our readers a magazine-esque feel with pages flipping on the screen and also allows us to embed audio and video into it to add to the experience beyond what you can get from the printed magazine. Then our podcast edition includes some of the actual interviews we conducted in writing our stories, to give subscribers even more detailed information from the industry experts we interviewed. In addition, we've also started a blog, written by our editors, so we can have a more regular and intimate dialogue with our readers.
JW: The notion of community involvement is all the rage, of course. How do you see the blogosphere community being involved in and helping to shape the direction of this magazine?
LG: We cannot succeed without being able to publish information that bloggers will find valuable enough to dedicate some time to read us each month. That's no easy task given the abundance of information out there. This means we first need to know what information they want so we can go out and find a way to deliver it. It is my hope that the community will step forward and get involved. This means subscribing, giving story ideas to our editors (firstname.lastname@example.org), and letting me (email@example.com) know what we should be doing to make Blogger & Podcaster a magazine they feel that they can't not read each every month. If they want it, we're going to move heaven and earth to give it to them. And, if this huge business opportunity wasn't motivation enough for us to form a strong connection with the community, fear of 62 million opinionated bloggers regularly thrashing us in public certainly is.