Dazed opens up mag making process with ideas network

Online content is fostering a new openness in magazine publishing according to the editor-in-chief of Dazed and Confused. Nicki Bidder, editor-in-chief of the style monthly said that its ‘ideas sharing network”, dazeddigital.com, would act to open up the magazine making process as well as invite young talent onto its projects on a larger scale than ever before.

Dazed Digital’s content ranges from multimedia extras from the magazine’s fashion and feature shoots, a worldwide network of bloggers and contributors, audio and video broadcasts and Rise, a section devoted to up-and-coming talent. The fashion for user-generated content has been high among style magazines, heavily dependent on breaking new talent and trends first. The next issue of Marmalade magazine – a bimonthly underground style magazine – will be completely produced by MySpace users – the social networking site’s first foray into print publishing.

Bidder said: ‘Dazed Digital is different from the authoritive way that magazines produce an edition where you never see the process in a state of flux. Magazines are so used to packaging everything – that’s the really great difference.

‘We’re producing somewhere in-between random, unedited, unqualified content and something very slick and user-friendly.’Bidder said Dazed would act as an ‘authoritive’editor of online content. ‘One of the downsides of the enormous growth of the internet and user-generated content is that people are overexposed and desensitivised in some way – that there’s so much out there but so little great editing and original content edited in a way that you trust,’she said.

Bidder said the magazine and online proposition do not replicate each other’s content and staff have had to adapt to new technology. ‘Everyone’s a producer – our production skills are raised. Instead of just commissioning a profile, we think of it as a multimedia project,’she said.

But the magazine, which started life as an independent in 1992, will remain important to the brand. ‘There’s still a massive aspiration for something culturally authoritive that looks beautiful on a page. There’s something very real and beautiful about the way things are designed on a page. It strikes me that people have become very demanding and want both.’

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