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By Dean Hall

Sources Say Index

 

 

March 21 , 1998

 

The Viability of Web Publishing 
March 21, 1998 compiled by Dean Hall 
Slate's readership dropped from 100 000 surfers to 20 000 subscribers. Word is dead. Do these events have any significance on the future of web publishing? 

On Content... 

    "... people like us - arty bohemians and people who wanted to be arty bohemians ... underachieving subgeniuses who smoked too much pot and took too much acid in high school, and were now on Prozac."  -  Word Editor Marisa Bowe on Word's target market (Wired News) 

    "... something has indeed died: the dream of many early Web zine publishers that they could use the new medium to create ultra-hip, underground-style publications -- and then use those ventures to make tons of money." - Salon's Scott Rosenburg on the death of content.  
     
    "[ it is ] now pointless to link to Slate articles... The web has become [to Slate] a physical distribution network rather than a social environment." - Salon's Scott Rosenburg on the significance of Slate's subscription fee.  

On Profitability... 
    "... notions of success are derived from a technology cycle that is a most inappropriate framework for looking at the success of a magazine," she says, pointing out that magazines on paper don't typically get out of the red for three to five years."  - Feed's Stephanie Symie in Wired News on tech investors unreasonable expectations for Internet magazines.  

    "What we learned is that while each [of the major web brands] relies on some combination of banner ads, subscriptions, and sponsorships to generate revenues, none of them really knows which, if any, of these variables will push them into the black. " - The Red Herring on the unpredictability of predicting future profits

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