Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Social Networking Spawns New Print Mags

Social Networking Spawns New Print Mags
Former Conde Nast VP Mitch Fox Named President of 8020 Publishing
By Nat Ives
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Two months after Condé Nast let go Mitch Fox -- the former Vanity Fair and Details publisher who had risen to group president and publishing director -- he is returning to the magazine business, but in a very digital, user-generated way.

'Participant publications' like JPG aren't subject to mag industry rules about maintaining the division between editorial and advertising, so they can, and do, let marketers sponsor editorial sections.

Mr. Fox is moving to San Francisco as president-CEO of 8020 Publishing, whose high-polish travel and photography titles consist entirely of content submitted online and voted into their pages by online readers.

"The thing that appealed to me most was that all of the fundamental components that needed to be proven, to show whether or not this kind of modern media company could work, have already been proven," Mr. Fox said. "I just spent 18 years in the traditional magazine business, and it was exciting and I loved it, but now I want to be part of a media business that builds its properties in a whole new way."

Because 8020's "participant publications" are created by crowds, aren't part of the American Society of Magazine Editors and aren't subject to society rules about maintaining the division between editorial and advertising, they can and do let marketers sponsor editorial sections. The 16th print issue of JPG magazine will include themed sections such as "Fresh," "Human Impact" and, sponsored by Pentax cameras, "On the Go." Users who have joined jpgmag.com post fitting photos, then hope their fellow users vote their image into the bimonthly magazine. The themes in the third issue of Everywhere magazine will include "Jetset Weekend," sponsored by Expedia.

Samsung used JPG's site and print edition to advertise a new cellphone with a high-end camera, porting reader submissions to its own microsite and sponsoring a section called "Emotion Capture."

"What marketers are looking for are engaged audiences," said Chris Andrew, VP-group director for media at Digitas, where he is responsible for Samsung. "We're looking for beyond-the-banner advertising. For the type of atmosphere that we live in right now where everyone wants a little bit of fame, JPG and Everywhere make everyone a content generator."

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