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Anthill Magazine Closes to Focus on Digital Model

28 Jul 2009

Australian Anthill magazine was launched in September 2003 by its current editor in chief, James Tuckerman, frustrated by what he considered to be the ‘snoringly dry' personalist of the Australian business media launched Australia's first magazine "specifically dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship."


In what some consider to be a leap of faith whilst others consider brilliant foresight Australian Anthill magazine will no longer exist as a regular frequency hard copy publication. It will bepublished on an ad hoc basis with special feature editions planned for print. The subscriber model will cease.


James Tuckerman, in a post on their website this month explained the reasons behind the decision to move away from Australian Anthill as a subscription title explaining, "Anthill has always prided itself on its ability to embrace change - we are advocates of change - despite the hardship, cynicism, criticism and just plain confusion that change causes."


Whilst they do not deny that economic factors have played a part in the decision Tuckerman states "as part of our ongoing desire to support and promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Australia has required an adjustment of our priorities."


Tuckerman told Publishing Edge that "online traffic has been growing at a rate of 50% per month for the past four months." He added, "We have now created a strategy where we are playing to our strengths."


In his post on the Anthill website Tuckerman says, "In 2006 we launched an initiative designed to lampoon the overwhelming swamp of business indexes and unexpectedly created our own - The Cool Company Awards. In 2007, we offered to buy The Bulletin for one dollar and accidentally discovered how effective blogs can be at mobilising our readers, prompting our own satirical alternative The Bullantin." He went on to say. "This year our evolution has continued, heavily influenced by the state of the economy and reader migration online forcing us to question our identity and plans for the future."


The news brought mixed reactions from subscribers of Anthill with many posting their comments on the site. Whilst many applauded James and his team for their foresight and bravery in what some believe to be the future of publishing, others have expressed their sadness with some saying that the regular print edition was a chance to escape from the computer with one saying "There's nothing better on a Sunday morning reading the paper or magazine over brunch with a coffee. It is a great opportunity to unplug." Another states, "I spend all day on the computer getting bombarded by emails and tweets and the like and I don't have enough screen time to really get in to the Anthill content anymore."


In a sentiment that is shared by many however, one comment summed it up by saying, "as long as you keep giving us awesome content, you've got our support no matter what format you publish in."


Tuckerman is one of the new breed of publishers looking to breaking the traditional mould and challenge the status quo.


It will be in the interests of all publishers to follow the changes to the Anthill model as the future of publishing changes.



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