The Magazine business

so i had lunch with Alan Nelson last week as mentioned in a previous post. Alan is the executive editor in charge of REV! Magazine, a valuable resource for church leaders that is widely read across the country. Alan is a good friend and for many years has been involved with the Group Publishing world which puts out REV!. Alan has helped in making REV! work, not just from a business model but also from a content and editorial model. He continues to push in being innovative, finding new voices, understanding the context of ministry, and having a finger on the pulse of church leadership. He has a new workshop he is doing for church leaders called Me to We. I really appreciate the fact that he continues to challenge the process and work hard to create environments for leaders to grow and improve. The magazine business is such a tough thing to make work. Believe me, I know too well. As I have heard many times, magazines and restaurants are quite possibly the two worst investments to make. But magazines are also a huge part of the media world and a very strategic part of how we gather information and how we determine what is NEXT. I was thinking about my favorite magazine, FAST COMPANY, and why I enjoy reading it so much, and truly look forward to receiving it in the mail. I think it is really two main reasons: one, the content is always fresh, practical and applicable, and the design and aesthetic of the magazine is fresh; and two, it gives me the sense that I am part of an elite group of knowledge experts. Not meant in a traditional elitist way, but more from the standpoint of being in the know and having a connection to a community of experts and content folks.

Magazines truly are a great way to get in front of an audience, but the downside can be considerable as well. So what is your favorite magazine? Runner up for me is Business 2.0, although I think it might have gone out of business.