As the recession and the popularity of the internet ground away at the traditional magazine world like the opposing teeth of a hungry beaver, everyone has had to make adjustments. Some had layoffs. Other cut back on pages. Still others turned to outrageous promotional gimmicks. But Ladies Home Journal may have hit on the most transformative idea of all: just have readers write a bunch of crap and then put that crap in the magazine instead of whatever other crap your own writer were writing, in the past.
Starting with the March issue, LHJ editors will cull much of the magazine's material from posts on DivineCaroline.com, a sibling at Meredith Corp. that lets consumers upload their own stories, as well as from the magazine's website, its Facebook page and other digital channels.
The magazine will still use fact-checkers and include experts in fields such as medicine and beauty, but it will start with consumers where it can.
Ad Age says this is because of "research revealing that readers wanted a greater role in filling its pages." Yeah, well. Readers also want a golden helicopter, a personal Fabio harem, and a chance to be in the Olympics their very own selves. But we don't give it to them, any more than we give children their desired all-Jolly Rancher diet. Because readers are stupid. We, the professional, know better, and that is why you pay us, the professionals, to write things which you, the reader, then passively consume. That's the lesson of the internet, right? I have to look that up again.
Fortunately Ladies Home Journal was probably just full of pap anyhow, so who really cares who wrote it? It will be way more interesting when we reach The New Yorker: Gawker Comments Edition.
Future of media!