Evan Hansen, the editor-in-chief of Wired.com, was the marquee speaker late Tuesday afternoon as the kickoff for MagNet 2011 magazine industry conference in Toronto. For a flavour of the event, see the liveblog done by Graham F. Scott of This Magazine, with Chantal Braganza.
It was interesting that Hansen said there is almost no overlap (5%) between Wired magazine's print content and the original online stories on Wired.com. The site now is bringing in about 40% of Wired's revenues and he is expecting that this will crest 50%. It now gets 13 MM unique visitors/month; 43 full-time and freelance editors, writers, photographers; ~40 posts/day. ~200 videos/year; ~880,000 Twitter followers, 243,000 Facebook fans.
Kat Tancock's Magazines Online blog linked to the liveblog and summarized some key points including Hansen's 8 keys to digital success:
1. Don’t think platforms. Think brand. Stop thinking print first; it’s just part of the brand.
2. Your core product is community, not content. Example: Wired started a Ning.com site around the Haiti earthquake, and now has 2,000 community members there, including 80 engineers talking about building earthquake-resistant buildings.
3. Let technology lead editorial strategy. Eight of top 10 media companies in the world are digital (i.e., Google, Apple, etc.).
4. The web is not dead.
5. Pay attention to your advertisers. People will sell ads through networks: huge disadvantage. Custom campaigns are better, brand first. Advertisers will pay for brand affiiliations. They don’t want banners and buttons on the website; they want events, content, to be part of the editorial ecosystem.
6. Scale up.
7. Keep an eye on costs.
8. The web is the web. If you want to succeed there, don’t act like a magazine, act like a website.