He was recently in Barcelona for business so we were able to get a chance to sit down over lunch and really talk shop. We spoke about the future of documentary or reportage photography, his vision for Magnum in Motion, the potential of online marketplaces like DRR, PhotoShelter, and even the potential of Flickr but more than anything else we talked about the potential of multi-media. I had just seen the highly publicized piece entitled "The Marlboro Man" by Luis Sinco which was published by Media Storm, so I knew we were on to something, but then we got some really good news!
The New York Times announced on beet tv that they were seeing increased interest in their online content every since they started using a new multimedia template. You can see the interview here. So for a nice change the Times sees the value of photo essays and with their web presence they can deliver this content in a way that they can no longer afford to do so in print. When I shared this news with Mark he was exstatic.
He gave me permission to share his email here:
"When I first met with the Times....they moved out the entire Times.com into another building. It was a real war between the physical paper and the web. Now the web is back in the same building and everyone understands it is the future.
The fact their slide shows makes up 7% of all traffic is amazing....because yes they rarely are good. They increased their web traffic by 30% after eliminating a fee....can you say hello Advertising money! I am sure the increase in 30% traffic made up three times what they were making in subscriptions. AOL did the same thing.
I agree the Times should be commended for their actions......now we must see if the market really cares about quality!"
Of course it's early to say anything based on such short term statistics but this is promising news for the documentary photographer.
I'm putting an audio recorder on my Christmas list.