Wow. If I had attended the American Magazine Conference earlier this week (which I didn't), I might have thought (amid the plethora of opening remarks and keynote address by former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow) it was actually a web marketing conference instead.
This is telling, as the age of the print magazine is rapidly hurtling down the hill of multimedia and mobile markets
. Once you wade through the two and half days of networking, handshaking and "kick-off" events, the general sessions
resemble a Who's Who of digital media
, user-generated content
and social networking
. With presenters like Ariana Huffington of the Huffington Post and Reid Hoffman, CEO of LinkedIn, those in print publishing who have only recently began to drift into the rising tide of the Web are sure to learn a thing or two, even if it's only how to secure a flotation device.
Since I wasn't at the conference, I can only offer an arm-chair judgment of the event. And while I am giddy that they are covering topics like, How Your Web Presence Changes Everything, Leveraging the Web to Drive Quality Subs, Magazines Get Moving: Exploring Mobile Opportunities, Getting into "Leadershape" in the Digital Age, The Web, User-Generated Content and the Future of Journalism and The Future of Social Networking
(among others), I am also impressed that they seemed to have provided integrated viewpoints from those involved in social networking, content and digital management as well as online editors and designers.
Among those offering their perspectives were Michael Skoler of the Center for Innovation in Journalism at American Public Media, and Evan Hansen of Wired.com, Stephen Adler, editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek
, Beth Comstock, President, Integrated Media and Deidre Depke, Online Editor, Newsweek.com. Many of whom have been involved in recent rapid redesigns
So I offer kudos from a bird's eye view to those in the American magazine industry. Embrace an understanding of the digital age and you will have an edge. However, realize that the future is now, so waste makes haste!
If you can offer a more specific perspective of the conference, because you actually attended, presented or were otherwise involved in the American Magazine Conference, let us know what you think