I was humbled and very excited to have been asked to be a regular blogger for B-Metro.com, Birmingham’s newest magazine/online concept. Who, you may be wondering, would start a new magazine when so many others are either dropping like flies or are one-half their typical size, with little hope of improvement? The answer? Joe O’Donnell, former editor of Birmingham’s city publication for the past 22 years.
Your next question might be, why? Joe and I have had several discussions over the past year about the opportunities for those who market appropriately to women in addition to how everything was rapidly moving online. So, I was impressed to learn that he had decided to take the very progressive step of starting a new magazine with one of its main goals being to drive people to a website. The book’s casual, yet elegant lifestyle format, is appealing to women and even the ever so slightly oversized pages will not go unnoticed by the discerning female. Women still enjoy flipping through a magazine, enjoying beautiful photography and escaping into well-written prose, but they are often left longing for more.
So, what makes B-Metro different?
I believe that the biggest mistake that magazines, and all media for that matter, have made when it comes to the Internet is that they have simply repurposed their exact same content onto a website. But B-Metro “gets it.” They understand that women want to dig a little deeper. They want live interaction or connections and they are looking for fresh and updated content. They want to be able to give their opinions. They are seeking a two-way conversation. They have combined their extensive knowledge as a publisher with the changes in technology to breathe life into stories and information.
Even the print version of B-Metro evokes a conversational feel. But if you would like to see more unbelievably awesome photography of kids authentically captured by Liesa Cole from her “Mythic Backyard” piece, you can find them online. I know, because I absolutely loved the shots and went hoping for more.
Or, if you want to know more about the impromptu tête-à-tête between Kate Nielsen, CEO of Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and Shariff Simmons, a musician, and spoken word artist, you can visit the website for the raw, uncut video and organic transcript. [As a matter of fact, Joe, I’d like to see even more video.]
But, that too is the beauty of this flexible format. They can listen and adapt to the wishes of the consumer. A huge plus when trying to nurture a relationship with the female audience!
I think they are off to a great start. But I want to know what you think. They want to know what you think. So, check B-Metro out. Their goal is not to look the same one year from now, or even six months from now. This is your online magazine. Tell them what you want. They are actually listening!