With newspapers cutting their art’s sections and culture-focused print magazines going bankrupt, today is the day for the online magazine. Throughout the online world, digital arts and culture magazines are cropping up everywhere; some will last, while others will fade into dot-com oblivion. The online magazines staying afloat today all have one thing in common: they all engage with social media in sharp and innovative ways. I’m taking a moment to give props to the online world’s top five heavyweight contenders in the arena of cultural magazines:
1. CONTRA Magazine
Since its 2008 launch, CONTRA magazine has quickly climbed the creative ladder to reach the top, establishing themselves as the go-to space for the creative class. When it comes to social media, CONTRA is on. Go to their homepage, and the first thing you see alongside their latest issue and features is the several ways you can stay connected: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and Email. CONTRA makes it easy to stay in touch, which explains why their readership spans North America and overseas, making CONTRA the go-to space for everything on the cultural edge.
Dubbed “the new music and fashion bible” by The New York Times, this publication started as a print magazine, but has recently teamed up with Zinio to offer the publication online for under $5. Focused on music, fashion and style, The Fader has a reputation for spotting inde artists before they hit the big times. The magazine is under the umbrella of the Fader Media Network, which includes the magazine proper, the online blog, FADER films, FADER TV and FADER label. This magazine has harnessed the power of social media to provide fans and followers with everything on the urban cultural scene.
3. DAZED DIGITAL
Dazed Digital is an online hub of just plain cool stuff. From fashion to photography, to music to film, the crew behind Dazed has actualized the potential for online magazines, creating occular-centric cultural journalism to please the eye. The moment you log onto their homepage, you gain access to the latest images fresh off the streets of New York, Toronto, London, Milan – and just about every other hotspot city you can think of. With their up-to-date trend seeking in all areas of the arts, Dazed Digital is quickly establishing a global online presence.
4. V magazine:How do you stay in the print magazine game when everything is moving online? V Magazine has the answer: establish an online presence while maintaining your print presence. V Magazine has held down their seasonal print edition since 1999 while fostering an online community for interested fashionistas. Their website contains snip-bits from the magazine’s features as well as extras and outtakes that didn’t quite make it to print. vmagazine.com keeps readers updated and informed with the on-goings of everything arts, culture and fashion related.
5. The L Magazine
The online hub for New York’s arts and culture scene, L Magazine engages with social media in a variety of ways: their website keeps readers informed with stream of blog posts from New York’s hottest scenes, while their Twitter page leads more than 12,000 followers straight to the cultural centre of NYC. L Magazine’s Facebook page has been “liked” by a growing number of fans (6,736 to date) and their RSS option is available across all of their digital platforms.