magazines end of new york observer.jpgWe featured the New York Observer cover parody yesterday with Anna Wintour and S.I Newhouse as LeBron and Giselle respectively, which was entertaining enough but the Observer also had some bigger issues on to tackle.

Their 'Mag as Hell' issue features pieces on Annie Leibovitz and the death of the writer, they also asked some of the biggest names in the magazine business where they saw mags going over the next decade.

Chris Anderson, the editor of tech-culture publication Wired told the Observer he didn't see magazines dying out anytime soon: "Technology adoption happens slowly. This is the editor of Wired telling you no. Obviously, newspapers are going to be changing dramatically over the next few years, but magazines are not newspapers. And I think magazines 10 years from now are going to look something like they do now."

Being a web publishing company we at Shiny Towers are enamoured with the internet and love the flexibility and immediacy of the medium; I don't think there are many of us who would make the switch back to print. It allows a closer relationship with your readers, and is much more of a two-way discourse than traditional magazine formats.

The proliferation of blogs means magazines have to work harder at providing niche content and something a little extra for your money. Publications like Lula, Fantastic Man and Amelia's magazine all get a really great response from the fashion crowd because they offer something innovative. Amelia's magazine has had scratch and sniff, flock and glow in the dark covers as well as a cutwork cover from my fave Rob Ryan. Fantastic Man uses interesting paper and has a clean classical design that gives it a sense of permanence. This new generation of niche magazines aren't something you're going to throw away but will collect and keep.

There's no denying that the web has become tremendously important in terms of publishing and that magazines have undoubtedly suffered because of this but it just means magazines will have to evolve to become luxury objects. Novelist Kurt Andersen said: "The readability thing of electronic ink is getting good enough that the next stage of the beginning of the end is for paper magazines. In the next 10 years certainly: the easy portable piece of plastic on which each magazine can be beamed."

What do you think? Are you firmly pro-internet or do you love the feel of print mags?