The Women’s Magazine in the Digital Age: Blogs vs. Print

blogIn her book, Remake, Remodel: Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age, Brooke Erin Duffy extrapolates on a number of shifts taking place in the industry of print media. Within today’s media landscape, online and/or on-demand content is growing increasingly prevalent, as today’s consumers are more geared towards using personal devices such as laptops, tablets or smart phones as their preferred means of media consumption, rather than the modes of years past, such as television, printed newspapers or magazines. Duffy believes an era of media convergence is upon us; she states,

“While definitions of convergence vary, most are oriented around two interrelated movements: (1) the coming together of the components of print, electronic, and digital media on a singular device, and (2) the blurring of boundaries between media producers and consumers.” (3)

Duffy’s opinions on convergence are heavily influenced by the role technology has played in the shift from print to digital. However, I believe there is another, albeit less obvious, explanation as to what draws female viewers to media outlets such as blogs over both print and online versions of popular women’s magazines.

As a woman myself, I can honestly admit that I’m pretty bored of women’s magazines. Cosmo, Glamour and the like ALWAYS follow the same rules and instructions, issue after issue, to the point where each cover I see in the store looks shockingly identical, month after month. Blogs and other online media sources offer a much wider variety of content to choose from; I’ll admit, there’s only one blog I follow somewhat religiously (any Refinery29 fans out there, ladies?) but even though I’ve limited my online media choices to only one source, the amount of stories and information I get from said source is quite vast, and a whole lot more intellectually stimulating than what I tend to find in the traditional women’s mag. Of course, as an online media outlet, Refinery29 and other blog-style media outlets have a bit more wiggle room with how much content can be shared with viewers, versus a single edition of a magazine. That said, I feel there are and have been plenty of opportunities for women’s mags to amp up and/or change the kind of content they produce to make them not only more interesting for the modern-day lady, but better than what’s currently offered.

Technology has undoubtedly changed the game for print media, including women’s magazines. But, if I got the same kind of media and information from a print women’s mag as I did from the few online sources I keep up with, I’d definitely still read, and more importantly, buy them. Looking forward to hearing what other’s thought of this book in class Thursday!

Image found through Creative Commons.

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