How to lose your readers in three easy steps.

Feb 15, 2011 | | 1 comments |

Step 1.
Publish a great magazine with excellent photography and well-written articles.

Step 2.
Announce a tie-in with a mediocre web forum.

Step 3. Stop printing the magazine and move everything to the mediocre website.

I used to read a really good motorcycling magazine called TWO - Two Wheels Only. A year or so ago they started a big tie-in with visordown.com - a myspace-like website that was littered with abominable design, popup ads and a forum full of people with tourette's. Then in September last year, the magazine disappeared from the shelves of my newsagent completely. I figured there was a printing delay or something so I waited a while but come November, still no TWO. No Christmas special either - WTF? Eventually I googled it and discovered they'd simply stopped printing the magazine and turned it into part of visordown.com. The website has undergone a redesign so it's not quite so nasty now but it's still impossible to navigate.
The bigger problem is that it's not a magazine. I can't take it on an aircraft. I can't read it on a train or in the toilet. I can't take it on a ride to browse through after a long day's corner carving.
I can't see any business sense in what they've done but they must have lost almost their entire readership by doing this.