When Conde Nast’s WIRED was officially established in Taiwan last month, it was clear from the beginning that it was not going to be your traditional reproduction of the WIRED title. Its intention to be web-first with a periodical physical paper copy was clear from the outset, but it’s only now becoming clear how untraditional the publishers intended on being, after the appearance of a café called Wired Café in downtown Taipei.
Though the establishment is named Wired Café, it is not owned by the publishers of WIRED.tw. Rather, it is a cooperation between the publishers and the owners of the establishment, which prior to the renaming specialized in Belgian bottled beer.
The partnership is not only in name, but also in distribution as well. Registered WIRED.tw users can login to the WIRED passport and create a unique QR code, which they can scan in the café to get a copy of the magazine.
“We are experimenting with different O-to-O (online to offline) models,” Assistant to the Editor Cheryl Wu explained. “Future trends are a large part of what WIRED is about, and O-to-O is definitely an important trend.”
The digital era has given rise to media that compete with magazines for readers’ attention spans.
The interactivity of two-way internet media provides readers with blogs and YouTube that publishers of magazines have struggled to find a happy marriage with. It’s not just blogs that are giving mags a run for their money, either. Service and e-commerce providers are moving into content generation as well, as Lauren Indvik points out. In a screen-dominated era that allow for two-way interaction, it is clear that magazines can no longer rely on a pure physical product to get by anymore.
This is something that WIRED Taiwan seems to get, but it will be interesting to see how the café, which is underneath a building that houses many technology companies, adds to WIRED’s distribution and readership in Taiwan.
For more info and location details on the Wired Cafe, visit its Facebook page.
edit 2/16/2012: changed the name from WIRED cafe to lower case letters.