Creators in their own 'write': How Meredith Corporation empowered readers to create and contribute to a new Ladies' Home Journal

Manila S. Austin and Britta C. Ware
Communispace and Meredith Corporation, USA

Introduction

What are the early warning signs of Alzheimer's?

Will this hair conditioner really work?
Am I being as smart as I can be with my finances?

What are the trendy looks this season?

Can my marriage be saved?

Whether commonplace or cataclysmic, questions like these punctuate the rhythm of our daily lives – sparking conversations, directing our attention, and informing our media choices. Historically we would have had to choose among sharply delineated sources – perhaps going to a library for well-researched information, a spouse for trusted advice, a support group for sharing experiences and stories, a good book for an escape, or a good friend to help us see humor in our situation. Trusted magazines, however, are one place where this information has been professionally vetted and aggregated, and thus have played a big role in providing premium content. However in today's world consumers have more options, and the role of print is being challenged by digital and socially-generated media. Blogs, online communities, search engines, apps for smartphones and tablets, consumer review sites; there is seemingly no end to the proliferation of "real" people talking and sharing information through technology and the Internet.