It’s taken me awhile to write this post. By now, you all know that Domino Magazine will soon be no more. After four incredible years, Domino will finish with one last issue in March. For many, including myself, it is hard to believe. No more Domino, no more website. It feels absolutely heartbreaking.
All over the blogosphere, and from Facebook to the The Huffington Post everyone is talking about what happened at Domino. Over the past week I couldn’t help but overhear people in coffee shops and on the bus whispering, “did you hear about Domino?” In some ways it’s nice to know that there is a whole community out there that loves this magazine as much as I do. It also makes it even more upsetting to see something that really meant a lot to so many of us just disappear. And it’s leaving without any recognition of the amazing talent that made Domino something special and its loyal following of over 800,000 subscribers who would do anything to save it.
So, as many of us continue to talk about the loss, I am wondering, can we save Domino? Over the past week I have learned more about the magazine business than I ever wanted to. It’s incredible to think that with close to a million subscribers Domino could still fold. And yet it did, and not because of us, not because we weren’t reading the magazine, following the website daily, posting our own pics in their flickr group in hopes that we might one day be featured in this incredible publication, but because subscribers don’t make or break magazines, advertisers do.
In this age of consumerism Domino fell not because of its consumer base, but because of an industry which doesn’t serve customers but advertisers. That is the sad and simple truth. We lost something that inspired hundreds of thousands, that helped many of us find our own unique voice in the world of design, because of ad revenue. I find that point infuriating, and it leaves me feeling so empty, and asking what can be done? Well, I have some thoughts and ideas that I would like to share with all of you, and that I shared last week in a letter to Conde Nast publishers, the awful folks who cancelled our beloved magazine:
1. There needs to be a creative solution to save this magazine. Ad revenues fell, but many subscribers are willing to pay more, even in a dwindling economy. I pay $8 a month for Living Etc., and would definitely pay the same for Domino.
2. Publishers have a responsibility to their base. Domino was more than a magazine, it was the only place that featured interior design for a younger audience. In many ways, it was our design manifesto – young, fresh, diverse, and with a clear message that design should make you happy. The Domino brand is significant and unique and Conde Nast should not turn it’s back on it or us.
3. Focus on the website. The magazine may be gone, but Domino’s website offers a trove of resources for many designers and design enthusiasts. I refer to it often when researching content for AphroChic or inspiration for my home. Now, it’s possible that Dominomag.com can continue to bring us style updates, articles, budget-friendly tips, video clips, and more. Such a site could be effective with a much smaller staff, would cost a fraction of what it costs to run an entire magazine, and would likely retain many of the magazine’s advertisers. Especially now that it’s readers have made such a fuss. To keep revenues up, a small subscription cost could be charged to reader’s wanting to access the complete features of the online magazine.
4. Finally, if Conde Nast still doesn’t budge, ask for your money back. The plan is to replace the subscription you already paid for with another Conde Nast publication like Lucky Magazine. Refuse it, and let them know that it’s Domino or bust. If we hit their wallets, they may start to rethink things.
It’s amazing the things that can make a difference in your life. Domino helped me define my style, and made interior design fun. Flipping through its pages, I found my own voice as an interior designer. I thank everyone who made Domino special, and I really do hope that it won’t go away.
Please send your own ideas and thoughts on Domino folding to Conde Nast:
4 Times Square New York NY 10036USA
And, let me know your suggestions for saving Domino in the comments section, or over on Facebook where we’re discussing how “Can We Save Domino?” Maybe I’m dreaming, but I believe that together, we can save Domino.