Future of a Digital Magazine: Flipboard?
- by Matthew Brodsky
Let’s lift up the hood on Wharton Magazine so you can see what’s underneath. At its core, it is still a quarterly print publication mailed to Wharton alumni and friends of the School, as well as distributed across campus to faculty, staff and students—about 94,000 to 95,000 people a pop. We know our readers love to have the magazine in hand, so we will continue to produce it for them.
That said, we’ve explored a number of digital strategies, namely, our website and Wharton Blog Network (thank you for reading it!). We’ve also experimented with our mobile app. (Download it for iOS and Android here if you have not already.) The motivations behind these moves are in part obvious (readers are measurably moving to the Internet), but we also love digital at the magazine because we have more inspiring and informative Wharton stories than we have room to tell them—and the Internet gives us space.
One other avenue we’ve explored is to produce whole issues of the magazine that would be exclusive to digital, particularly to the app. We haven’t gone that route yet for a number of reasons, though we continue to expand the allure of the app in other ways. With the Wharton Magazine mobile app, you can:
- Download the latest issue and back issues and read them as they would look in print.
- Catch up on the latest Wharton videos and blog posts.
- Sign up for key Wharton social media platforms.
- Submit photos and news for the magazine’s Class Notes section—the newest of new app features.
We came up with another solution for a digital magazine, though, in the process of exploring app options. That solution is the social media tool Flipboard. If you’re not familiar with it, Flipboard is part social sharing, part publication tool. It allows anyone—from casual readers and small business owners to big media companies and corporations—to create their own magazines, generating and amplifying their own content and gathering in others’ from social media, news outlets, blogs, videos and other sources. Users can then follow these magazines, or “flip” in individual content items into their own magazines—whether those topics are based around a particular consumer interest like sports or part of a business’ content marketing strategy.
In our case, we created the “Best of Digital” Flipboard magazine. On a daily basis, we update it with the latest content from whartonmagazine.com—not to mention some of the best online material from around Wharton, including articles and videos from Knowledge@Wharton, Wharton Entrepreneurship, Wharton Social Impact Initiative, the Wharton MBA for Executives Program, the Mack Institute and elsewhere.
The team at Flipboard was gracious enough to spotlight the “Best of Digital” Wharton Magazine Flipboard in the business section on its homepage, giving us a sense that content is worth reading, even if you didn’t or don’t go to the School.
When Flipboard started in 2010, it was only designed for use with an app on mobile devices, but recently, the platform and all its magazines can be accessed through a browser on any computing device. So please, no matter what screen you’re glued to, take a peek at Wharton Magazine’s “Best of Digital” Flipboard magazine and let us know what you think.