(2003-03-27) Magazine Formats History

Art Kleiner's history of magazine formats. In a systematic way, since about 1890, the slick Magazine style has been refined as a corporate formula for grabbing readers, for enticing them to look at everything (especially the Advertising) and for allowing them to forget everything once they've read it.

See also his Aug'01 piece on the future of formats on the World Wide Web. The web is still in its infancy precisely because the formats for mainstream web medium have only barely begun to be developed. The creation of these formats, far more than the development of new hardware and sofware tools, will be the focus of the Internet's "KillerApp" activity during the next few years. And that will be disorienting, because the kind of businesses and strategies that develop successful formats are very different from those which develop successful technologies, especially in the early stages of a new medium.


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