Wenner Media is preparing to launch a new gear- and review-centric site for Men's Journal on May 21, a big step forward for the historically digital-adverse publisher.
While the old MensJournal.com had largely replicated the magazine in tone and content, Wenner chief digital officer David Kang said that the new one would have a distinct editorial voice and content. “Within the men’s space, a lot of the sites are just okay, and the publishing model is still wedded to the magazine,” said Kang. “I think that by thinking about the site from an editorial perspective, it will help us find a new audience and deepen our relationship with the existing audience.”
MensJournal.com will also be the first Wenner site to be tablet- and smartphone-optimized. Jann Wenner has been a vocal skeptic about dumping money into developing apps for the iPad, so rather than build an Apple app, the company decided to put its efforts into an HTML5 site that offers an app-like experience available on any platform, while avoiding the cut Apple takes from app developers.
“All devices have one thing in common: they all have browsers,” said Kang. “As wonderful as Apple devices are, we want to be forward-looking, and we think that as the tablet marketplace matures, there are going to be a lot of really cool tablets that are powered by Android and other manufacturers.”
The site will review and explore areas like gear, travel, health and fitness as well as niche interests not typically covered by the magazine. A search feature will help readers parse through gear reviews, while a new “badging” concept will let Men’s Journal editors select specific items as best in class. Kang believed that the reviews could also lead to e-commerce, in which the site would partner with “MJ-approved” manufacturers to offer deals on their products.