I’ve been part of a secret process of reinventing the magazine medium that will be unveiled on Friday when a new kind of Business Week hits the stands and peoples’ desks. We’ve been working with Modernista, the Boston-based ad agency that designed Inside Innovation, our quarterly innovation magazine. We wanted to go beyond a redesign and do a rethink of how people get information and analysis today, given the web and the way we live and work.
The result, as I look on the wall and see it take life, is a new kind of print medium that I think will be the model for magazines to copy in the years ahead. I realize this is a bold statement but the next issue of Business Week does to magazines what Vibe did to magazines when it was introduced some years ago. It set a new template for print.
What’s different? When I was Editorial Page editor, I was The Voice Of Authority. Now, as a blogger, editor of IN and contributor to the Innovation & Design channel, I am a curator of conversations that I have with smart people “out there” in the world. Actually, sometimes I lead the conversation and sometimes I follow someone else. It’s about aggregating information and opinion. The very best blog thread is about aggregating a conversation. It’s a new form of journalism and it’s terribly exciting.
We’re introducing this type of open source aggregation into the new magazine, with blog items, quotes, and content from unusual, global sources surrounding stories, sometimes enhancing them, sometimes disagreeing with them. It’s a conversation, not a lecture.
We’re also doing briefing, setting the agenda for what’s important. In the flood of information flowing over the web today, we need editors or curators to prioritize what’s important and what’s not. Slow things down to highlight trends or insights, make things meaningful in a fast-moving day. Online, most of us have our half dozen bloggers who help do that for us in our own spaces. In print, we’re going to have smart people do that for the business space. There will be a big section you can just rip out and scan on the train or over drinks.
The third big change is a feature well, a special place for great narrative and story-telling, with great photos and illustration. As we all know by now in design, advertising, life, connecting with people through authentic narrative is key.
And yes, there will be a new logo.
I think Friday’s Business Week will be a bold move to reshape the print medium and I think it works. Lemme know what you think when you get a chance to look at it.