5 Things Associations Now Doesn't Do Anymore

Sometimes our great ideas turn out, well, not so great. Here are five things that we stopped putting in the magazine.

In October 2005, Associations Now launched with a bold design and a host of fresh, innovative ideas. (OK, we stole one idea from Wired.) Of course, not every feature lasts forever. Here are five that didn't survive the inevitable march of time.

  1. "Brought to You By." This back-page feature took a lighthearted look at the various associations that were, er, associated with everyday objects, from jack o' lanterns to sunglasses to shoes to beer. But with the toothbrush in the February 2008 edition, it was clear the back page needed a check-up. "It was fun and clever," says Editor-in-Chief Lisa Junker, CAE. "But you can only do one thing for so long before it feels tired."
  2. "Inside" and "Colophon." Lots of magazines have letter-from-the-editor columns, which most readers skip. (For a while, former Editor-in-Chief Scott Briscoe, CAE, kept track of loyal "Inside" readers. He got up to two.) The end came in November 2008 to make room for the Now Online page. The accompanying "Colophon," a paragraph of personal tidbits about staff—the idea we nicked from Wired—morphed into the questions and answers on the masthead, an idea all our own.
  3. "Bookmark." We love books, but the process of selecting, reading, and reviewing three management books each month proved to be a tall order. So in January 2007 we shelved the idea, but our love of books remains undiminished: We include a summer reading guide feature in June and interview plenty of top authors.
  4. "Blog Roll." Blogs—perhaps you've heard of them? In May 2007 we launched "Blog Roll," an Intelligence department feature spotlighting a handful of our favorite blogs each month. (Presentation Zen, one of the blogs included in the first edition, is still going strong; the other, Eric Kintz's Marketing Excellence Blog, isn't.) By November 2008 we removed the concept from our feed. "Blogs aren't the new thing anymore, so we don't need to spotlight it in that way," says Junker, but social media is now a big part of the mix throughout the magazine.
  5. "Lessons From Failure." Intended as a "celebration of accomplished readers who are unafraid to share a story of failure," this feature ran occasionally in the Intelligence department until November 2006, then was revived on the back page in March 2008. It wouldn't survive the year, though. "Accomplished readers who are unafraid to share a story of failure," it turns out, are very hard to come by.