Many of the magazines featured in the article will run 30+ page spreads because they have a space to do so, but Grace argues that “Magazines are about projecting a level of quality, care and thought that comes from producing less content, less often” and I whole-heartedly agree. The standards of good editing should be upheld regardless of the platform.
That being said, the Design*Sponge article also recognizes that new platforms can and should mean adjusting your content accordingly. She writes:
To me that current format of flippable PDF magazines online feels like trying to force print into a web world. Where iPad magazine formats seem to be a more seamless blend of both worlds.
This is something I have thought about a lot. I feel really strongly that editors of online lit mags should at least consider the potential their platform has, and how that might affect the work they publish. I think they should actively seek work that couldn’t be published in any other format. That doesn’t mean all of the content needs to be some type of hypertext media (though hypertext artists have been primarily publishing on their own platforms for years now and it might be nice to bring attention to the amazing work they are doing) just that online mags are in a unique position to bring dynamic content to their readers in a way print can’t. So why not take advantage of it?
One step in the right direction is “Phone by Darby Larson” by Darby Larson that ran in issue 9 of The Collagist (also a good example of careful editing and curation). Some might argue that this could have been rendered in a print publication, but I don’t think it would have the same effect; it seems a natural extension of web viewing that compels readers to actively engage the text.
Are there journals you think could only exist online? What makes them unique? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section!