Change Comes On Generational Boundaries

I was a writer for Comstocks Magazine, a regional business magazine, in the late 1990 and early 2000.   Comstock’s sponsored a writers group called The Writer’s Bloc, and I was the co-chair of for several years.  Age and nighttime driving finally took a toll on my participation.

Winnie Comstock was the Editor in Chief and the publisher of Comstock’s Business.  In several discussions with Winnie about the Internet and why Comstock’s should adopt the Internet and web publishing, she resisted. Her fear was that readers would go online and not buy the magazine on the newsstands.   

As we approach the generational boundary, newsstand magazine sales are down across the industry and more publishers are turning to the Internet for the distribution of their ads and stories. Note I put ads first. During one of the early Writer’s Bloc meetings,  Winnie explained the reason for buying stories from freelance writers was to have enough text to keep the ads from bumping into each other, and oh yes, providing a reason for the reader to buy the magazine in the first place, the stories and articles.  The number of freelance stories purchases was determined by the number ads that needed bumper material.  But, I digress.

This month Comstock’s new editor is Christine Calvin, and Comstock’s launched a media friendly website, where one can read Comstock’s online. We have crossed generational boundary. To check out the new online site go to comstocksmag.com where you will find articles in the current issue and back issues of Comstock’s.

If you are not now a reader, I recommend it is a good source of information on the economic activities in the region, although Nevada County is often left out of the mix. Mainly, because Nevada County businesses do not see any advantage in advertising in a regional business magazine. Our tech cluster businesses sell to a world wide audience. Tourism businesses do not view a business magazine as a good venue for tourist ads. Thus, Nevada County is not covered very well in Comstock’s, even though we are in the business region.  Again, you can see the role that ads play in the magazine publishing industry.

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About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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