Magazines, social media and ‘crowd publishing’

Decât o Revistă

Decât o Revistă, a Romanian magazine, has found a following online.

I’ve been enjoying checking out the content on PBS’ MediaShift project site, where they recently posted an article about a start-up Romanian magazine that turned to Facebook to attract attention. According to the article, the mag, Decât o Revistă (“Just a Magazine”), is meant to showcase what great journalistic feats Romanian journos are capable of performing when commercial or political pressures are absent. To make a long story short, the magazine got enough attention on Facebook that its creators decided to keep publishing quarterly issues. And those Facebook fans have generated real sales of the printed product.

The magazines creators credit their social media philosophy with their success: Speedy, short-lived, value-added content are posted on  social media. Hard-thought, serious, lengthy pieces appear in the printed publication only. In a symbiotic relationship, the mag’s social media involvement has also led to content for the printed version.

“We brought someone we met on Twitter to a shooting. We asked a blogger to bake a cake for us. We published another blogger’s personal essay. Someone called this crowd publishing.” ~ Cristian Lupşa, Decât o Revistă co-founder

It struck me that this Romanian magazine is far from the only traditionally printed magazine to participate in so-called “crowd-publishing.”Plenty of well-known and not-so-well-known mags turn to social media to promote their brand. Gone are the days these publications merely needed enough content to fill their pages once a month. Even venerated mags must generate those value-added pieces for social media, every day. And I do think Decât o Revistă’s strategy sums up the most effective social-media approach for magazines. It’s important to get readers involved, while still leaving some incentive to purchase the printed product.

Parents Magazine has a robust Facebook fan page. Some links point to content on the magazine’s own website, while others direct readers to articles of interest found elsewhere on the web. Contests seeking reader submissions are also promoted through the Facebook page.

Unlike the Romanian start-up, well-known pubs still have higher print circulation numbers than Facebook fans. But, in today’s mobile world, those social media efforts can be vital to maintaining readership and integrating their publication even more firmly in to their reader’s lives.

Like the Romanian start-up, other lesser-known magazines rely much more heavily on social media to generate sales of the printed magazine, and even to help generate content. Flea Market Style magazine is devoted to devotees of flea markets, home decor, collecting, DIY projects, and so forth. Its main website is a blog, which promises a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the magazine. In turn, the blog and magazine both feature other bloggers, Etsy artists (the collaborative site for artists) and online shop owners in addition to traditional dealers, junkers and collectors.

Various blog posts actively seek information from readers to source future printed articles, such as recommendations for a list of the best indoor antique malls to appear in the Fall 2011 issue. Subscriptions to this magazine aren’t available; it can only be found in the magazine aisle at stores and through special order. Another niche publication, Artful Blogging, wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for social media. Artful Blogging, published by crafting company Stampington & Co., draws all its content from the creators of blogs devoted to arts and crafts, photographs, written content and all. In today’s digital culture, there’s no longer a distinction between social media content and traditional print publications.


FleaMarketStyle's blog site

Decorating mag Flea Market Style maintains a blog as its website.



5 thoughts on “Magazines, social media and ‘crowd publishing’

  1. no longer a distinction…unless you like to curl up on the sofa with a hot cuppa cuppa and leaf through the pages 🙂

  2. Thanks for a really interesting article and I was fascinated by Decât o Revistă. But more than that I was really interested by your take on crowdpublishing. We’ve just launched 3 weeks ago, which we call a crowdpublished news and views site – i.e. anyone can contribute with articles, photos and cartoons and it’s a collective effort to market (socially) and monetize the the website. It’s far more than the short tweets you mention, with involved articles covering all topics from every corner of the world. Monetization is done via advertising revenue sharing and daily cash prizes. The higher the page views, the higher the CPC for ads, and hence the more money contributors earn. So it’s in their interest to help us with the marketing of their particular content (as they get the ad revenue from money generated on their content page). The concept has really taken off and we have 3500 Facebook fans in just 3 weeks, so that’s a lot of eye balls on our headers! I hope this is interesting to you in conjunction with this article. Our contributors include article marketers and these are exceptionally helpful to other contributors to help them make the most of their own work on the site. So I welcome you and your readers to join the crowdpublishing community! It’s free, and all articles can include a bio and link back to your own site.

  3. Hi Anna, thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked my post. That’s definitely an interesting business model you have at ViewsHound! I’ll have to check it out. Is there any kind of editorial control? —as in, are all articles posted, is there some kind of vetting process? Just curious. 🙂

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