The Wall Street Journal dissects Time Inc’s attempts to stake out territory on the vast Internet. After more false steps and mistakes (Pathfinder, anyone?), the WSJ believes Time is now ready to get it right.
Or, if you will, the time has come for Time to change the way magazines work in the print world to accommodate the web world. Let us, for the moment, skip the irony of the WSJ writing about keeping content under lock and key — much better to focus on the fact that Time realizes that the web isn’t competition; it’s simply another distribution channel. One, if managed right, can be broader and less expensive, simultaneously. Win, win.
As a media critic, I find myself amused that it took until the year 2006 for Time to do stuff like demand “… that writers produce more copy for its Web sites.” Maybe it’s because I’ve been hearing those words every day for ten years. Now, I’m not saying anything, but I do hope Time’s strategy is more than Ana Marie Cox and Andrew Sullivan. Both are fine writers, but Time’s strength, indeed its potential for web domination, will come from innovation and long tail content, in addition to unique voices and attitude.