A New InformationWeek Era

Our last print magazine ushers in a renewed commitment to innovating online, in digital magazines and in world-class live events.

Rob Preston, VP & Editor in Chief, InformationWeek

June 12, 2013

5 Min Read

I have referred often in this column to the forces of "creative destruction," the economic phenomenon whereby technological and other advances tear down legacy institutions to make way for innovative new approaches. Some readers have questioned my authority on that subject, asking in so many words: Where do you get off preaching about the virtues of tech-based disruption and displacement from your cushy editorial perch?

Well, InformationWeek has been living and thriving amid that creative destruction for many years now.

The latest case in point: After more than 1,300 print issues of InformationWeek over 28 terrifically turbulent years, our June 24 issue is our last print magazine. (For a retrospective on 25 of our best covers/cover stories in that span, see our slideshow, "InformationWeek's Most Important Cover Stories.")

But it's not a funeral. It's a commencement ceremony for an even better InformationWeek. Let me explain.

InformationWeek stopped being mainly a print magazine years ago. Consider that in 2000, more than 95% of our revenue came from print advertising and today it's less than 5%, and you'll appreciate the print-to-digital journey we've been on for more than a decade.

In that span, we've built up InformationWeek.com -- where today we post 25 to 30 stories, opinion columns, slideshows, research reports, video clips and other editorial content each day -- as the center of our brand. Three years ago, we created a simple, easy-to-use PDF-based digital magazine platform, and this year we'll deliver more than 50 InformationWeek issues on that platform.

And now we're embarking on a strategy to integrate those best-in-class online and digital editorial products more closely with our company's best-in-class live events (Interop, Black Hat, Enterprise Connect, Cloud Connect, E2 and others) to build more vibrant, interactive communities of IT professionals. There's much more to come on that front over the next six months.

What does "community" mean in the context of what we're doing? It's a place where IT professionals can take in the latest technical and business information; connect with their peers and with our teams of experts; and ultimately engage with that community of individuals to ask and answer questions, debate ideas and even argue (as civil professionals).

You may have noticed on this website that we're already tapping more senior IT professionals for commentary and analysis -- the likes of municipal CIO Jonathan Feldman, financial industry IT exec Coverlet Meshing, enterprise architect Imre Kabai, college CIO Keith Fowlkes, IT operations exec Jim Ditmore and our Secret CIO, John McGreavy. We'll continue to seek contributions from the most talented writers and thought leaders in the business technology community.

But you don't have to be a polished writer or presenter to engage with your IT peers and our writers on InformationWeek.com. We encourage you to weigh in regularly with observations, disagreements, insights and other comments on our online message boards, which we'll be revamping and moving to a new community platform called DeusM before the end of this year. We're very excited about that move.

InformationWeek would have gone the way of Newsweek years ago if we had stubbornly and naively resisted the forces of creative destruction and just hung on to our print magazine and other legacies. Instead, we have phased out the old to focus on the new and innovative.

Global CIOGlobal CIOs: A Site Just For YouVisit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

So which tech forces ultimately wiped out our print magazine? Not mobility. Magazines are eminently portable. Not search or interactivity. Readers tell us they still enjoy leafing through our magazine without distraction to discover the business technology trends and best practices we're known for analyzing.

To channel King Kong's Carl Denham, 'twas analytics killed the beast. Or at least wounded it. Advertisers today want to measure everything -- ad click-throughs, downloads, reader time on site/story, etc. -- and print magazines simply can't deliver those metrics. As a business, we must meet the needs of our advertising customers to finance the high-quality, wholly independent editorial we provide to our reader customers.

While we're not holding a funeral to say goodbye to InformationWeek as a print magazine, I'd be lying if I said we're indifferent to its demise. Many of us grew up professionally with ink in our veins and still have a soft spot for the printed word. But we've had electrons coursing through our capillaries for many years now, and we look forward to enhancing our online, digital and live event platforms to provide the highest-quality content and promote the most-vibrant IT community engagement in the months and years ahead.

Please drop us a note to let us know what we can do better to serve you and your organizations. And thank you for continuing to be a loyal reader of InformationWeek. It's an honor to engage with you.

About the Author(s)

Rob Preston

VP & Editor in Chief, InformationWeek

Rob Preston currently serves as VP and editor in chief of InformationWeek, where he oversees the editorial content and direction of its various website, digital magazine, Webcast, live and virtual event, and other products. Rob has 25 years of experience in high-tech publishing and media, during which time he has been a senior-level editor at CommunicationsWeek, CommunicationsWeek International, InternetWeek, and Network Computing. Rob has a B.A. in journalism from St. Bonaventure University and an M.A. in economics from Binghamton University.

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