Pity the conventional magazine’s plight. They’re beset on all sides by free content that, in most cases, matches the value of what some publishers wants to charge you $3.99 an issue for (or $.02 an issue with a subscription). For many, adding alternative revenue streams via online content has proven more cannibalistic than complementary. Small wonder several of them turn to the dark side, making shit up more shamelessly than a collision between OK and InStyle magazines (hopefully in flaming vehicles packed with their writers).
Enter Laptop Magazine, a publication that I’ve never heard of before but you have to assume has been around due to the obviousness of its title. They desperately need to separate themselves from other computer magazines and tech sites in a way that’s sure to maximize clicks, preferably in a way that requires very little research. Perhaps by posting some kind of technology competition? One that uses a universally-recognized bracket system? And now the twist: taking the obvious favorite in the competition – from the perspective of every available metric – and ousting them in the first round. Ladies and gentlemen: the Tablet World Series.
To give you a feel for how closely this “World Series” meshes with reality, last year’s winner was the BlackBerry PlayBook.
So if a publication can’t use inflammatory and intellectually-insulting clickbait that blogs scrape and don’t link to (hi!), how are they supposed to survive? It just so happens that I have a back-issue strategy for them.