Harper’s and MetaFilter: magazines and communities

February 10th, 2010 by bruno boutot
What I wish I could do is take our tens of thousands of nice registered subscribers and offer them a Metafilter-style community – something where they could create the content and talk and interact (with editors) and then we could promote the most interesting stuff to the home page. #

Of course this quote is found by a member of MetaFilter and kittyprecious posts it on the site. There, moderator Jessamyn West remarks: #

It’s just a pipe dream at some level. But people who run magazines would kill for the sort of community we have here. And most people that run community blogs would kill for the sort of income that magazines [still] make, relative to what most blogs make. So we sort of meet in the middle and talk about it. And it’s an interesting conversation. #

Happily, it doesn’t stop there because Paul Ford is also ftrain, a member of MetaFilter, and he adds these precisions: #

My point was that MetaFilter is one of the best communities on the web and that if comments are about community, and not just about traffic, then as a nat’l magazine Harper’s would be well-served to emulate the blue [MetaFilter], and maybe the green [Ask MetaFilter] and the gray too [MetaTalk]. #

Now, if you are in charge of a magazine and you are thinking that this is a good idea, you may wonder how something as MetaFilter has been built. #

What about readership?
Matt: It’s continued to grow and grow — about 10 percent every few months, doubling every year. My Google analytics say there are about 17 or 18 million pages viewed by 7 million people around the world each month. #

(Besides its founder, MetaFilter employs one full time programmer, two full time moderators and a part time moderator.) #

What makes Metafilter a success?
Matt: I’d like to think it’s intense moderation and customer service. #


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4 Responses to “Harper’s and MetaFilter: magazines and communities”

  1. brunoboutot Says:

    How can the content produced by readers be a part of a magazine? http://bit.ly/9jHAXL

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. boutotcom Says:

    Comment le contenu produit par les lecteurs peut faire partie d’un magazine? Journalisme et communauté: http://bit.ly/9jHAXL

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  3. brianoberkirch Says:

    Good @ftrain & @mathowie stuff in this post: http://bit.ly/bh2utp

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. mattbucher Says:

    Harpers and Metafilter: both editorial successes, but one has a real community. http://is.gd/8abgd

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

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