Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Training magaZZZZZZZZZZines

What is it with training magazines? I used to ditch tons of them, still in their plastic wrapping, unopened and unread, into the rubbish. Why is this?

Last year I got a call from the Training Journal. They wanted to use something I had written on my blog – ‘no problem’ I said. But there was a problem. They could only publish it a letter! I wasn’t happy as I have never sent a letter to the Training Journal, or any other training magazine and a ‘letter’ is not a ‘blog post’. They can’t cope with anything beyond their 19th century format.

And why are they so dull? First they rely on advertising for revenue, and press releases for content. This means avoiding controversy and padding out issues with lots of flannel. You can't bite the hand tat feeds you, so you have to flatter your audience and never criticise anything or anybody. The problem with the advertising modeal is that the circulation figures include all of those still sealed, dumped, copies. Their conservatism means there’s nothing that actually plays any intelligent and critical role in the market. They reinforce old models and contribute to holding the market back.

Blogs have filled this vacuum. They are much more useful, informative, interesting, interactive, accessible, controversial and readable than any of the magazines. Yet there’s no cross-over. They don’t report on or get the bloggers involved. The web, in general, has become a much more exciting source for information on learning and training.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

iirc you wrote an article in one of these things a month or so ago. I usualy scan these things and find that:

1)These mags haven't really changed in the past 10 years, maybe even 20. CBT becomes elearning, then elearning blended learning, now it's 2.0, authoring systems become rapid development environments.
2) The same people, seem to write the same kind of articles.
3)The adverts are very dull - people in business suits smiling at 'innovative solutions' that 'engage and inspire'

Keep up the good work - we need blogs like yours.