Mag Bag: National Geographic Launches Green Site

National Geographic Launches Green Site

With its tradition of advocating conservation and care for the environment, the only surprise is that it took National Geographic this long to launch a "green" Web site. On April 22, the venerable society announced the launch of, which highlights the numerous environmental issues covered by its journalists, photographers and field researchers.

Along with the reporting--which boasts the added incentive of adventure in exotic locales--the new site provides readers with environment-friendly tips and techniques for everyday living.

The site is a full multimedia experience, with video, podcasts, photos, daily news updates, quizzes, surveys, and social network-style participation in online activities. Topics covered include an array of bad things people do to the environment and vice versa, including global warming, natural disasters and habitat destruction. Online simulators allow users to create virtual tornados, tsunamis, hurricanes, avalanches and earthquakes. Modeling software also enables users to investigate the effects of climate change on the environment.



Advice for consumers includes product recommendations and home-makeover ideas to lessen individual environmental impact or "footprint." This content is an extension of National Geographic's initiative to provide more practical advice for real-world lifestyle issues, following its acquisition of

Betsy Scolnik, president, National Geographic Digital Media, commented: "We've created to be a multimedia tool kit for green living. It's a powerful communication tool that is interactive, engaging and fun for all ages." The goal, she says, is to encourage individuals to make a difference by "giving them practical advice that empowers them to become environmental stewards."

Philips Brings Conde Nast Content to Travelers

Philips Electronics and Conde Nast are teaming for the launch of Philips' Simplicity Concierge, a service that delivers travel-related content directly to business travelers. The content, created by travel experts at Conde Nast Traveler, Self, Gourmet, Golf Digest and The New Yorker, will be accessible to travelers through an online portal and text messages. It includes the latest news and recommendations about shopping, nightlife, dining, events and lodging in 20 of the world's most-visited cities.

Online, the content is available at Travelers can also access it by sending a text message code (82222), then entering a category of information and city. The concierge processes their query and produces an expert recommendation sent back to the user's phone in text-message form.

The information at the Simplicity Concierge will be updated on a monthly basis.

Victoria Gets A Second Chance

Magazines that close don't always stay closed, as the ongoing saga of Radar proves. Now Victoria, beginning anew as a bimonthly in October, is back. After ceasing publication in 2003, the magazine--founded in 1987 by Nancy Lindemeyer--is being reintroduced through a partnership between Hoffman Media and Hearst Magazines. Hoffman Media, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., will take over responsibility for publishing and managing brand extensions for the magazine, which was the sole property of Hearst in its previous incarnation.

The Victoria brand is positioned as an authority on "romantic living," including home, garden, fashion, beauty, food, collectibles and profiles of notable women. Hoffman is planning intensive newsstand distribution and a substantial Internet presence, while promoting the brand through direct-mail campaigns. Hoffman hopes for a paid circulation of 250,000 issues by early 2008. Hoffman's other publications include Southern Lady, Tea Time and Taste of the South.

Figure Relaunches Web Site

Figure has relaunched its Web site with a new look and content targeting plus-size women. Still delivering an array of fashion, beauty, health, entertaining and relationship tips, the Web site leverages a number of new channels, including podcasts, blogs, fashion slide shows and interactive polls and quizzes. The Web site offers plus-size women, says its editor B.J. Towe, "a chance to connect with their communities." The Web site relaunch follows the July 2006 relaunch of the print magazine with Meredith Corporation.

New York Launches Blog, Newsletter, the Web site of New York, has launched two new digital content offerings: a blog, "Vulture," and a daily email newsletter, "Agenda." "Vulture" specializes in entertainment, delivering edgy and opinionated reviews and analysis--and freely mixing content on lowbrow and highbrow culture, including TV show recaps, concert footage and assorted "Web video nuggets." Theater, book and movie deals will be featured prominently.

The blog will be headed by Melissa Maerz, formerly of Spin magazine, and Dan Kois, former director of development for Scott Rudin Productions. "Agenda" will cover many of the same topics, with a format that introduces readers to six cultural highlights daily, selected by New York's staff of critics.

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