PRWeek: Do you think it’s important/ indicative of any trend that this magazine folded?
Shaw: The magazine industry overall has been under pressure for a while, so this feels more like a continuation of that trend. At the same time, the audience for Business 2.0 certainly seemed to be the same group that has moved into digital in a big way – getting their information and insight from other places via RSS feeds, podcasts, other online sources, so they experienced the shift to digital earlier than some other audiences might. The key point is that consumers are choosing news delivery and access to information with how it directly maps to their lifestyles -- RSS, email/text updates, social networking, news push to PDA's and so on – the publication needs to deliver value both in the print format and in the online world. It’s a challenge for all the existing media.
PRWeek: Now that Biz 2.0 is gone, where do you think the readers or clients who may have wanted to target that audience will go?
Shaw: Probably not to any single source. From a print standpoint, Fast Company is the closest analog, but the reality is that the audience will fragment. It’s a good reminder that for PR pros, the imperative is to be looking at ALL the tools and ALL the ways people receive information, and find ways to have our client’s voice there. There is no single silver bullet to solve communications challenges, and as always the trick is having the right communication method for the right audiences.
There you have it-- an Internet-focused magazine undone by the digital revolution. And as Shaw notes, look for Fast Company to capitalize on B2.0's demise. Unless Fortune dedicates itself to crushing it under its Time Inc.-financed bootheel.