By ROBBIE SHIVER
Salon.com has been one of the premier online-only magazines for around 15 years. But they are now looking to link up with a major news outlet or newspaper because they cannot afford to stay independent.
As Shira Ovide points out in his Wall Street Journal blog, Salon.com has a business model that does not match the consumers’ current needs in an online magazine. The site does not have a specific and dependable niche in the market place to ensure continued support. Other online magazines that continue to succeed in this market have established themselves as authorities on at least one specific topic. The examples Ovide uses to illustrate his point are TechCrunch and Politico.
Other online magazines must pay attention to the Salon.com situation for two reasons. The first is to see if there is a major news source that is willing to pick up a glamorized magazine such as Salon. The second reason is to see if online magazines as a whole begin to fail. With the limitless resources online, other online magazines must be careful in their analysis of whether people want these sources to be authorities on specific topics, or if the online magazine business model is simply not effective for today’s consumer.