If you are a magazine fan, like I am, head over to Flyp. It is nothing like anything you have seen on the web when it comes to magazine ‘reading’. It is a great marriage of clean, static medium-like typography and engaging multi-media. It is ‘print meets TV, online.’ Stories, like the one on Osama Bin Laden are embedded with video, but treated very differently from the videos that are embedded in news sites. Graphics come alive off the page and totally engage the reader. Worth checking out. I believe this has potential to be the future of online magazines.
Talking of web magazines, have you checked out India Today Group Online lately? It may have been around for a while, but I recently discovered the new-improved website. I remember accessing the India Today website many moons ago when it was subscriber-access only. They also dabbled with Newspaper Today – a newspaper-like website on the web. That was very distinct in terms of looks and was perhaps ahead of its time. It folded up – bad pun. They have done a 360 and offer the current issue as an e-magazine. I think magazines that serve a niche, specialist audience can afford to go ‘pay’ on the web. The Economist has a premium access section and they would readily find subscribers for it. Ditto for WSJ or a specialist web magazine on say, stocks & investments. But there is no compelling reason for general interest magazines to go ‘pay’.