I just turned 30 last October, and even I can remember the days when an editor could fully focus on the words destined for the page. We didn’t even take the Internet all that seriously. It was ALL about print.
How things have drastically changed in less than a decade. I was reminded of this last week as I exchanged e-mails with fellow regional magazine editor Beth Wilson, from The Iowan magazine. Her initial e-mail inquired about YouTube, specifically the embed feature and if we at Nevada Magazine were utilizing it on our website. I told her that we are and finished my response with a sarcastic, “Don’t you miss the days when you could just write a story, print it, and be done with it?”
Don’t get me wrong, I love the various forms of communication available today and embrace them wholeheartedly. But my editor mind does go a little crazy sometimes trying to stay up on it all. Pins, posts, tweets, follows, friends, likes, circles, comments, shares … it seems as if there’s no end. I liked the first line of Beth’s follow-up e-mail: “Help me, Mr. Wizard! I don’t want to be a regional magazine editor in the social media age!“
While I am long in the tooth enough to remember the smell of a fresh newspaper in the morning, I have to admit I had to Google “Mr. Wizard.” Turns out the reference is from an early 1960s NBC cartoon starring Tooter Turtle, who would ask Mr. Wizard the Lizard to use his magic to transport him back in time to somehow change his destiny. Inevitably, things wouldn’t work out so well in the Turtle’s alternate world, and the moral of the story would always be the same: “Be just vhat you is, not vhat you is not.” Watch an episode here.
Unlike Tooter, if you’re a modern-day editor, you can’t afford to be “vhat you is.” We’re faced with figuring out these various platforms and assessing how they can help us reach a new audience, or provide supplemental content for those discovering things outside the print realm. I took this into consideration in creating a promo for Nevada Magazine’s March/April 2012 issue using Prezi and Screenr (you can watch it below).
Have you gone outside your comfort zone lately to promote your business on social media? If so, I’d like to hear about it.