Happy New Year!

benjiconWe’re currently in the process of working out what we’re doing throughout 2010. Route guide destinations, bike test themes, feature ideas, interview candidates, group tests, travel articles. This involves taking a step back and looking back on this year and trying to work out which features worked and which didn’t. It also involves a degree of fortune-telling about what stuff will be of interest to mountain bikers in 2010.

Another ingredient to add to the mix this time is The Internet.

Obviously we’ve been Internetting since our inception – it’s how Singletrack was conceived – but things are clearly changing in the way people get their biking info and inspiration. Basically people are looking to the internet first. And their expectations are higher than ever. Giving out free content is no longer satisfactory – it has to be good quality free content.

We’ve already started adding “online extras” to accompany our magazine – principally in the form of videos. We’ve also started to do reviews purely online. A combination of online-only content and online content that goes alongside the magazine seems to be working okay and making sense.

So we’re currently working out what stuff will work as well or (preferably) better online than in a paper magazine.

But we’re still firm believers in real paper magazines. They offer something that stuff displayed on computer screens (currently) does not. This is not a criticism of computer screen resolutions or bandwidth issues or anything techy. It’s more a realisation that people do not use the internet like they use paper magazines. The experience is extremely different. They are very different mediums.

Creating a magazine in a traditional way and then sticking on the internet is not The Future. That’s like videoing someone reading a book out loud rather than making a movie of the book. Just like magazines are purely their own format/medium, online content needs to specifically done in an online way from inception to execution.

Magazines aren’t dead. But they need to be concentrating on the things that magazines do best and leaving the other stuff to be done online (where there is so much potential to be exploited).

Anyway, back to business… is everyone okay with “Performance 29ers” being a bike test theme?