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When does a “Web Magazine” Work?

I always felt intrigued with the concept of “cusp” publications between traditional and new media. Take for instance the concept of a web magazine, which is basically a PDF (or otherwise) document that is embedded onto a web page. The main difference is that the “web magazine” never sees the light of print. It stays as a digital document in the same way a magazine remains in its final stages before submission to the printing press.

An example of this is the Mobius ForPlay Online Magazine accessible via the domain.


Advocates of new media (read: blogs) may tell you that this type of layout will be obsolete as blogging provides a much easier platform for posting articles, photos and tracking community comments. But hold your horses gentlemen and ladies!

It would also be good, however, to think about why such companies follow the online magazine format. ForPlay, published by dme (Mobius) is actually a community driven magazine “for players by players” as it says in the tagline. A significant number of articles lifted from the magazine come from “user generated content” form submissions to forum ideas that have become materialized into a full blown article that is well laid out, well thought through and packaged with so many more articles from the community of gamers.

Imagine if the same concept was lifted and converted into a blog. Hmmm, not as eye catching, am I right? Though blogs would be a less tiresome way of building community, having a (web) magazine helps establish what I like to call “traditional credibility.”

The influence of the web magazine is highly dependent on your target market. Like it or not, “creative layouts” on magazines are still very appealing to a certain segment of the market. The best example of this is the Nintendo Power “Current Issue” flash page, that looks and feels like you’re really turning the pages of a magazine.

Thanks to dme for inviting me over for the Rakion Reloaded presentation along with Joey Alarilla and Alex Villafania.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

5 replies on “When does a “Web Magazine” Work?”

i thought about doing something like this, but it takes more effort to download and open a pdf (even if you do it using your browser) versus just scrolling through a blog.

as a supplement, though, this might help in terms of “traditional credibility,” like you said. if we were overflowing with content, it might be a nice thing to try. 😉

Hmmm… This design looks very familiar. I think I know the guy behind this. lol.

I wouldn’t recommend that kind of layout for blogs too. But if integrated and coded properly, it *might* work. hehe. Mabigat nga lang images.

Thanks for promoting DME / Mobius! (No, I don’t work for them or anything. I wish! hehe)

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