Multi Media Musings

I'm a bit of a crybaby when it comes to receiving my subscription magazines. I read a lot of magazines, so it only makes sense to subscribe, but I feel some cosmic injustice has been served upon me when I'm standing in the check-out line at the grocery store (I have to tell you, I loathe the grocery store, so I'm already a bit put-upon once I get to the check-out line) and I see the latest issue of one of my favorites. That I don't have yet. Dozens of copies. Mocking me.

Topping the list of favorites is Elle Decor. I think it's stylish and fresh. And, by the way, I loved this more relaxed photo of Margaret Russell in the last issue. Not that I don't like her chic party clothes, I do, but this makes me think we could hang out and have coffee. I like that in a magazine editor. Just like I thought Dominique Browning and I would connect immediately because she has boys and I have boys.

But one of the things I have always adored about Elle Decor is their willingness to print really unflattering letters to the editor. I can relate to Elaine's frustration, although not with this particular publication, as I fired off a similar e:mail to another shelter magazine. But longer. And more detailed. I was relating why I was not retaining my long-held subscriber status. Much to my chagrin, I have inherited a new subscription in lieu of my House and Garden. Sometimes the fates are cruel.

While reading an Easy and Elegant Life (and if you're not, you're missing out), I was introduced to "Q: Quintessential Style." The interesting thing was, when I hit the link, the entire publication is on-line. You turn the page. Contents, pictures, advertisements. It's all there. This is an intriguing development. The entire content of the magazine is available to me on-line. Free. But oddly, it only makes me want to subscribe. I enjoyed seeing the images on the screen, but I want to hold it in my hand. I want to lie in bed with it before I go to sleep, to linger over engaging layouts.

It's an interesting puzzle for our publishers. With House and Garden and Blueprint recently expiring, some would say one was a tragic demise while the other a mercy killing, we need to ponder the future of design coverage. The Washington Post seems to be getting in a groove with the blogging world. Terri Sapienza new feature "Blog Watch" is of note. The bloggers are watching, and reporting, driving a little traffic to what could be a Jurassic rejeuvenation.

Image courtesy of the Washington Post.

The Post also has a weekly newsletter  on it's Home and Garden page. This last week, a brief mention in Janet Bennett's article doubled my numbers as she was kind enough to include the link.

And, in case you hadn't noticed, 1st dibs has turned itself into an on-line magazine as well. The content here is some of the best in the business. In addition, previous features remain accessible so, if you have just discovered Maison Jansen, you can enjoy the feature from "past issues."

Recently, when one of my blogging buddies was wondering if she would prefer working at a shelter magazine to her current profession of interior design, one of the commenters opined that she was, in fact, publishing already. I know that I am seeing some resources on blogs before I am seeing them in print. I doubt the answer will be one or the other, print or electronic. But I do think there is a bit of an evolution afoot. It will be interesting to watch how it develops and see who drives traffic where. Am I buying a magazine because I saw something intriguing on-line? Or am I on-line because I saw something in the magazine? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Steven Gambrel, his Hamptons home, Elle Decor.