By kristin


Despite the rain, the Davis showroom was filled with nearly 300 designers last week for the latest installment of the IDNY/Designer Pages Meetup. It could have been the topic at hand, “The Social Web and Publishing in Architecture and Design,” which tackles one of the most important issues the industry is facing today.

The talk was moderated by (the always lovely) Jennifer Busch, Editor in Chief at Contract, who has seen the changes firsthand in her 20 years at the magazine. She claims that with journalism comes expertise. Since print media is expensive to produce and distribute, publishers hire professionally trained journalists who can establish a trusted voice.

This may be the case but according to Brian Tonry (formerly of McGraw Hill and current Chief Marketing Officer at Emporis), the web changes our idea of publishing and challenges us to rethink the term “quality.” On one hand, blogs cannot compete with print’s thoroughness (due to a faster turn-around time and often-times lack of resources) but print cannot possibly deliver the same caliber of rich interaction generated from user comments, social networks, videos, photo slideshows, etc. In a social-based environment, the web produces a very high quality model, hands down.

For the past few years, the web has extended print as a communication vehicle and the content has been free. However, now the power has shifted and companies can demand a premium for added value. As long as the information is relevant and data-based, people will pay for subscriptions.

Is print a passing phase? I don’t think so. But in the long term, only media companies that can exceed at distributing online content (such as Bloomberg) or packaging content with live events and tradeshows (like Dwell) will succeed.

To view the full discussion, stay tuned to Designer Pages’ Vimeo page:

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