« The Essential Reader: The Reagan Diaries | Main | Netbooks Prove Microsoft's Inability to Design »

Mar 23, 2009



There is also a french printed magazine called... http://cad-magazine.com/
How surprising! Heavily AutoCAD oriented a few years ago, it is now thicker and well, rather well done.

Ken Elliott

Radio didn't kill newspapers, and television didn't kill radio. I suspect we will continue to see a reduction in the number of magazines, but not complete elimination. Those that remain will be offering something the others didn't.

Railroad companies saw themselves as being in the railroad business, and were crushed by the aircraft and automobile business. Had they seen themselves as being in the transportation business, they might have stayed strong or grown.

PC magazine rode the tide of the personal computer revolution. But they saw themselves as a PC-focused magazine. As PCs became commonplace, the magazine made as much sense as home-appliance magazine.

The preceding examples all focused on the tool, rather than the profession/task/job. It makes perfect sense for CAD-related magazines to follow the same path. But "Design Engineering" magazine can follow the changes, because their title allows them to cover any issue related to the process.

Ralph, I believe your eZine can do just fine as a sharply focused, low-cost e-publication. But how might you evolve the e-zine, given the above?

Al Dean


Let's straighten a few things up. Magazines aren't dead, not by a long shot. People engage with print, read it and keep it - generically speaking and with a few caveats. What's lacking in the trade publications within this field is focused content. The majority of content providers do two things wrong.

They're either too de-focussed (ala cadalyst, with its mix of mechanical and architectural) or focussed on the technology too heavily (this is applicable to many blogs as well as print media).

What's missed is that the core focus should be on the process (as Ken points out) - within this space and the one I'm most heavily involved in, is the development of products. Unless you contextualize the technology, then it's pointless. It's like reviewing a hammer, talking about how many have been sold but never hitting anything with it. It's a tool, but the job isn't about the tool, its about hammering.

Designers and engineers are that, designers and engineers - the days of the CAD operator are gone and the trade content providers need to realize that. If you want to talk tech, do it, but do it well, do it clearly, in an informed manner but always put its use into the context of the process it supports.

Print magazines in this field are not dying, they're atrophying, starved by disinterest. Disinterest by their readers and more importantly, their owners and in some cases, editorial department. There's no investment in the titles, in the creation and presentation of content and no revaluation of what's gone before - just pure reliance on a dwindling revenue stream. When was the last time you saw a trade magazine redesigned, reevaluated and repitched to its readership? And I don't just mean swapping fonts and from a three to a nine column grid.

On the upside, we've managed in 7 short months, to launch a print title in the UK, build up an extensive readership across the globe and switch back that tide of interest to enthusiasm. How's that been accomplished? Through research, planning, engagement with readers on many levels and through investment. Investment in design and presentation that actually engages the reader and makes them want to learn and digest more. Most importantly, through investment in content and authors from all manner of fields and backgrounds.

The delivery method doesn't really matter, be it print (which, as we've found, if done properly, is incredibly viral), be it online, be its with 140 characters with twitter...

Comparing print to web, comparing blogs to plain text ezines is redundant. Give people the information they want, across a spread of media. Let them choose how they receive it and optimize its delivery for that medium.

Content is king, always has been, always will be. With content, you build community and that's key.

If you want a look at the print version of DEVELOP3D, I'd be delighted to send it across. Or I can copy and paste it into an email if you'd prefer. Your call mate.

Anyway, my tuppence.. See you soon captain,

Al Dean
Editor + Co Founder
DEVELOP3D Magazine

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


Search This Blog



Thank you for visiting!