I'm happy to note that Salon won a 2007 People's Choice Webby award in the category of best online magazine (we were also nominated in the news, political blog and best writing categories). Speaking at South by Southwest in March, on a panel about online magazines with other great Webby nominees and winners, we debated whether the "magazine" label fit what sites like Salon, the Onion, Nerve, College Humor and Media Bistro are doing on the Web. I was ambivalent -- I'm happy to be building something that's brand-new, a news and culture Web site, where you can read, watch video, download music and talk to us in letters, comments and Table Talk. But in a pinch, when I'm asked to describe what we are, the word "magazine" seems to slip off my tongue easily and frequently.
Certainly we're not an online newspaper, if only for the literal reason: We're not on paper. And we are lucky not to carry the baggage of reinventing the newspaper industry, although I worry about it a lot. We're building a business model from scratch to support ambitious and costly investigative and political reporting, along with opinion, cultural criticism and reader commentary on the Web. Will it wind up looking most like a magazine? We'll see. I like the depth and high quality, the emphasis on good writing and thinking, associated with magazines. But "magazine" connotes a little more leisure than we have at Salon -- we're not a weekly or even a daily; can you be an hourly magazine? At any rate, we're thrilled to win our first Webby since 2002. More good things to come.