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Jellyfish: Do teen girls want “push” or “pull”?


NatMags has launched its teen girl e-zine, Jellyfish. So if you’re 11 to 19, like "surfing the web and having a laugh" and enjoy listening to the Pussycat Dolls – it’s time to cancel that subscription to Cosmo Girl. There’s something new to read!

The magazine builds on the apparent success of Monkey Magazine from Dennis, although the content is (obviously) very, very, different.

Jellyfish claims to offer "The Best Of The Web Every Week" – a lame slogan which suggests the magazine doesn’t really understand its purpose.

From an "integrated advertising" perspective, things are a bit more interesting. In the "JellyStyle" DPS [see image above], the reader can: "Watch Lindsay [Lohan] as she ducks into the salon then steal her style in a few quick clicks". So you play the embedded video, presumably shot by some LA stalkeratzi, and then click on the fashion products on the opposite page – these are deep links to product pages on Urbanoutfitters.co.uk and Boots.com.

Hats off to NatMags, advertising doesn’t come more integrated than this. It works really well.

Publishers should experiment with new forms of delivery, but it’s unclear whether this is a blind alley. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, it’s all a bit too "linear" and a bit "push". (Definition: Push Technology – pushes information to the user rather than waiting until the user specifically requests it).

Back in the mid 90s, we all got slightly excited about things like
Pointcast and Backweb. But that was until we realised that we wanted more control
over our user experience.The Internet is a ‘pull’ environment and you shouldn’t force people to do what doesn’t come naturally. That said, maybe NatMags knows something that we don’t about teen girls?  

More Blogs:
I agree with analysis of Jellyfish content content blog.
NatMags selects Ceros (Print Week)

7 Responses to Jellyfish: Do teen girls want “push” or “pull”?

  1. Steve Hill April 11, 2007 at 5:43 pm #

    Kenobi, thanks for the comment and I love the blog. I agree, this idea that Monkey and Jellyfish are web2.0, when in reality there aren’t really many ways to communicate.. it all smells a little…fishy.
    Monkey and Jelly come from big media publishing houses – Dennis and NatMags – who are pretty ‘old school’ in outlook. Most magazine journalists simply don’t like interacting with the readers – the typical model of a magazine reader is that of a passive consumer – who will read what the journalist decides to serve up.
    So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the only way to interact is by posting a message on a MySpace page.
    These products are advertiser-driven and that’s probably where the real innovation is happening.
    Editorially it really isn’t up to much. But then again if you believe the figures from Monkey – perhaps I’ve got it all wrong.

  2. kenobi April 11, 2007 at 3:50 pm #

    Thanks for the mention Stephen. What I want to know is – where’s the real user generated content? Forums? Message boards? Are they nervous or bedding it down first before opening it up to users. Surely the time is now – after all, message board posters need something to talk about. Clearly that could be the content they see in each of the magazines.

  3. Steve Hill June 6, 2007 at 12:45 pm #

    Hi Sean, Thanks for stopping by. It sounds like they’ve added some new functionality which I need to check out. I really want to test this with my first year students. They’re certainly nearer to the Jellyfish target age and audience – and they won’t have read so many Jakob Nielsen books!

  4. Sean McManus June 6, 2007 at 9:41 am #

    I just saw this on your blog and took a look at the site. I love the way they’re integrating off-site video, Google Maps links, audio playback and shopping links with in the content and keeping the magazine-like look and feel. The shopping links are similar to what websites have been doing for some time, although the content design is a bit more sophisticated than most. I don’t read gossip mags, but I suspect this will satisfy its audience and that they will consider it to be editorially strong enough.

  5. Paul July 27, 2007 at 7:50 pm #

    Monkey has blown all targets and I know as I work for an agency that promotes them…. but Jellyfish Mag is aimed a the wrong age, as 11-19 year olds have all the time in the world to surf. Nat Mags have got this very Wrong !!

  6. Andrew Davies October 22, 2007 at 2:09 pm #

    Agreed with Steve. These products are advertiser-focused, which isn’t necessarily a problem, but without a proper focus on user experience, they will not be able to build an audience worth advertising too.

  7. Maximus December 20, 2007 at 7:01 am #

    I would like to see a continuation of the topic