The Digital Gloss Files

...with Margaret Tran

Sassy and Jane aficionados rejoice! Jane Pratt, founder and former editor of the two now folded magazines has launched her website,, "where women go when they are being selfish, and where their selfishness is applauded." However, common knowledge has shown the online sphere isn't always kind to the self-absorbed culture as it might've been in the magazine heydays. Indeed, the comments under Jane's first post on launching the site seem to attest it so: narcissism is passe?

Initial clicks has it feeling like the Jane edition of Jezebel. As the target market of bright, young women will soon find, it will be a question of what can offer to the plethora of lady communities that have sprung up in the online spaces. Can it compete in an online market where women already have a multitude of established websites to connect through since both mags folded?

Is traditional media losing its appeal among today's youth? A recent study by confirmed more and more peeps of Generation Y are turning to mobile devices, websites and apps to satisfy their retail and content cravings, with their habits strongly underscored by an active presence in consuming and contributing to social media. Immediate thoughts would agree with a resounding "YES", but if you're nursing an addiction to paper stock and exquisite magazines like I am, then perhaps some might argue otherwise.

Vogue Australia will feature online shopping as part of their annual Fashion's Night In shenanigans.,, Ginger & Smart, plus Clinique, Myer and Sportsgirl, are among over 90 Australian and international brands and online shopping portals participating (Paypal is also a major partner). Editor Kirstie Clements says the inclusion "is to engage that audience in a celebration of online shopping where unites a selection of great brands to provide exclusive offers to our audience for one night only." Scheduled for June 8, it's a well-timed move considering online retail sales reached $38 billion in the last three months alone.

The folks at Pop Up magazine launched their first event for "the world's first live magazine, created for a stage, a screen, and a live audience... an issue exists for one night, in one place." Combining all the elements that make up a magazine (reviews, interviews, beautiful photography, artist profiles and so on), it really puts the magazine creation process on the stage and beyond its conventional confines. Fast Company wonders, what does a 'live magazine' mean for publishing?

It's events such as Vogue's Fashion's Night In that contribute to the evolution of the "live magazine", where otherwise traditional journalism is underscored by the very mastheads that hope to retain their audiences in a changing media landscape.

Next in the chronicles of the magazine and the iPad: why are publishers saying yes to Apple? Forbes reports that it's because Apple users are more likely to give out their info, with about 50% of Apple users opting into publishers' databases.

Image by Oleksiy Maksymenko for Paid Content UK
That said, Nielsen reports show that just 5% of Americans own an iPad with that number reduced to less than 2% when applied to UK audiences. It's not all doom and gloom as this group "watch more video and read books; are more accepting of advertising and are more likely to make a purchase after viewing an ad, than users on smartphones or other devices."

Really though, how do people really use their iPads? The Atlantic reports that in a study of 850, 34.7% browsed the web, down 2.8% from six months ago. Good news for the apps (and, by relay, magazines looking to invest in apps), users spend 1.8% more time on them, while time spent watching video and playing games also increased about 1-2%. Having said that, more users browse news sites on browsers (up 37.1% to 38.1%) as opposed to using the news sites' iPad apps (33.9%, down from 34.9%).

Thinking of investing in a magazine app? Here's a short guide to the pricing logic behind the apparently weird subscription system on iPads.

Plus a guide for publishers looking to sell to advertisers on the iPads, courtesy of the New York Times. Current deals among Hearst and Conde Nast apparently offer a flexible run in pricing, customer data and plans, something that will surely be secured once publishers get familiar with the plethora of emerging platforms.

Oh yeah, and New York Public Library's brand new iPad app, Biblion, is delicious, with one commentator upholding it as the standard all magazine apps should aim for.

Broadcast news is beating print news online, new numbers show.

Original content in just 48hours by Ashton Kutcher? Oh, yes. Working with Intel, he forms "IdeaJam: Dream Bigger" in a bid to find new ways of story-telling through talented content producers.

Video via IdeaJam @ YouTube

Lookie, lookie! Easy guide to how journalists can make use of Facebook by Vadim Lavrusik of the Nieman Lab.

A recent study has shown that almost 50 percent of journalists now use social media as a means to find a source. Using said media as a means for distilling and creating content is also cited in the findings.

Indeed, how is social media changing the journalism process? The BBC College of Journalism is holding its first BBC Social Media Summit to address these questions and more. Follow the #bbcsms tag on Twitter to keep updated. Also participating is the ever-passionate lobbyist for social media (and former ABC journalist-turned-academic) Julie Posetti, who, if many remember, was at the centre of Australia's first Twitter defamation case last year.

Image via wtfmediaconf @ WordPress
Is your brand low on fans? Here's a few reasons why.

Gawker finally sees a growth in traffic after their disastrous redesign last year, which saw visitor numbers half in just one day.

Meanwhile, Netflix now accounts for 29.7 percent of ALL peak time download traffic in America. Blimey!

And finally, the perpetually inspiring Sarah Wilson wonders, is it time to stop our Twitter sycophantic? She posits to us the challenge of less 'checking' people out having a great time on Facebook (see exhibit A: travel photo albums times infinity and pretty party people) and less feeling failure in the abilities of having a life. Here's to more celebrating the fact that it's okay to binge on Doctor Who and box sets of The OC on a Saturday evening!

Video uploaded by BestoftheOC @ YouTube

Yours truly,
Margaret @ Girl With A Satchel