Sometimes one plus one equals something less than two. I think that rule applies to IDG's recent announcement to end the print version of InfoWorld. This goes beyond the fact that (until 2006) I been an InfoWorld reader for longer than I care to admit. I'm also sympathetic to the dwindling circulation and interest in print advertising for such a magazine.
Mark Glaser did a nice job summarizing the situation on his blog. As I read his post I started to realize the problem first-hand: Up until a year or so ago I would curl up with the latest issue of InfoWorld and see what was new in the world of technology. I really looked forward to reading the regular columnists and even the Robert X. Cringely rumors. (I forgot to renew in time and then questioned the value of filling out the controlled circ form when I thought about how small each issue had become.) When I stopped reading the magazine I tried to remember to visit the website and catch up on things. Daily visits turned to weekly visits and now if I hit it twice a year I'm doing pretty good. RSS feeds weren't the answer for me either; I got inundated with a barrage of all the various feeds from them and eventually started tuning them out as well. So here's a guy who totally enjoyed the InfoWorld brand, made it part of his weekly ritual, and now almost never comes across it.
There was a real benefit to InfoWorld when a physical product showed up on my doorstep every week. It was harder to ignore than an RSS feed! I didn't want to ignore it though; I really enjoyed reading countless articles over the years. The physical product went away, I never found a compelling reason to make their website or feeds a part of my regular ritual so I'm probably gone for good.
I wonder how many others like me are out there and what InfoWorld (and all the other magazines facing the same fate) can do about it? They need to figure out how to be a destination site customers want to visit every day and not just rely on incoming links and Google searches.