12 Aug 2010

Circa Magazine: What DO Women Want?

Behind the scenes 16 Comments


Well if you’re a woman pursuing someone else’s dream. Circa magazine’s take-me-as-I-am-approach write or wrong hits the nail right on the head. So what DO women want? Circa magazine's second edition hit the streets and it reads like one of those after school specials we've all watched! If this publication doesn’t grow legs it’s doomed. Why can’t Circa find it’s footing in Durham?

  • Who is the woman of the new millennium?
  • Who do you believe her to be?
  • Who do you WANT her to be?
  • Most importantly….Who does SHE WANT TO BE?

Circa’s second edition is definitely lacking. Let’s face it this horse has come up lame. The creators have to find a new marketing/editorial model to hitch their band wagon to because it seems a little repurposed to me and my criticisms are based on Circa’s disappointing attention to detail. I guess I should tread lightly on the lack of authenticity, charm and wit. Which leads one to wonder where’s the personality, the magic, and the artistry.

This entire magazine looks bleak. I'd love to hear their side of it, if they ever stop blaming each other. It wouldn’t surprise me that on the next cover there is a giant star burst which reads “FREE PRIZE INSIDE” – to entice readers.

I agree that it is lovely to look good and feel good and sometimes retail therapy helps. But women would not try to make themselves happy with all of that….you need to find happiness within. The magazine doesn't interest me….may as well buy ‘Style’ magazine or ‘Cosmo’. – ST

CIRCA Magazine vs. Blogher

Sure Circa magazine's free and yes maybe it's just that the way we read magazines is long overdue for a change. Or maybe the business model is just so fractured the publishing company and the creator of magazines needs to provide a service if it’s going to make money.

Then I happened upon an amazing blog site for women—in the form of the website BLOGHER.com. Wow. Real women. REAL problems. And they don’t involve wrinkles, hormone therapy, or misinterpreted quotes from some of feminisms’ founding, card-carrying members.



Circa magazine has to stop slip screening on “what woman want” and produce something worth reading. Circa’s latest issue is as racey as red polish in summer, white after labour day, and stripper pole dancing for exercise. What could be crazier?

While BLOGHER deals with issues that DO affect the large percentage of women over 35 in North America, like children experimenting with illicit drugs, like the heartbreak of infertility in your prime child-bearing years, like the death of your spouse in the prime of their lives;  Circa treats these issues like dirty little secrets.  I feel like the cover of the magazine should have a 1950s date on it.

Quarterly supplements like CIRCA magazine should get women out of their homes, out of their comfort zones.  Instead, small minds from small towns spout about false issues that not only do not concern women with half a brain; but also, for women dealing with real issues, can be downright insulting.

So in my opinion Circa needs to shed it’s redesigning your interior, unloading the burden that haunts your life or choosing your next bra. Circa magazine's apparent editorial policy and the editors greeting appears that this publication has left the murderer in charge of the crime scene by cover up a preverbal hornets nest within. So this vote for irreverent… strength is double-edged when it comes at any price; editorial loyalty, market segmentation and ultimately behavioral variables to mimic normality.

Circa magazine is a dreary broker of fake it until you make it.

Circa’s obligatory messaging. What’s the lesson? Today’s marketer’s have to give up control, they need to be transparent and share the same values and ethics to promote mass collaboration. Be entertaining! It’s getting more and more difficult to compete with growing broadband culture and print supplements like CIRCA have to adopt Social Commerce in light of their dwindling distribution models.

Circa’s devastatingly simple “Look on the bright side we all get off track; we don’t always say thank you, or pay your bills on time, or wash that sink full of dishes” reeks of falseness.

On BLOGHER some women talk about how they CAN’T pay their bills because their child got sick and the hospital got all the money (U.S. obviously). Women on BLOGHER get off-track after they leave an abusive husband, give birth to a still-born baby, and they aren’t going to the salon weekly to get their finger nails buffed.

Circa please don’t try to impress people if you’re not going to do your best. Role up your sleeves, get those finger nails dirty and celebrate your (limited) victories.

BLOGHER just keeps going, gathering together a community of women who have real (hard won) victories.  Who have figured out life is not some sorority they’re pledging. Where is Circa’s sense of self, emotions, pleasure and pain, dreams? Is Circa even relevant anymore?

We all have a story too share, some of us have been able to successfully market our lifes’ journey into a commodity; personal appearances, speaking engagements, lifestyle seminars – or a best seller. Magazines that use the medium for propaganda, selling sisterhood using push marketing has become big business over the past few years.

Women, it’s your life. Your life. It’s important, it’s bigger than ever, and every door is open. Which one do you want to walk through?

Related posts:

CIRCA Magazine: Local Magazine publishing industry is fierce in Durham

CIRCA Magazine: Loyalty at any cost

What do you think about the these types of magazines? Any comments? Please add your voice in the box below.

16 Responses to “Circa Magazine: What DO Women Want?”

  1. Rose-Anne Turunen says:

    Loved your comments. And although I am not familiar with either Circa or Blogher (although now I believe I will check out the latter) I have long been of the opinion that print magazines are losing our attention with their Photoshoped images, and skim-the-surface-of-the-real-issue editorials. The reality is women these days (and people in general) are looking for places they can interact and truly share. We are looking for authentic real-life stories that we can relate to in our own lives. In our ever-growing world of information and technology, blog-style magazines have a greater appeal because with them, you can have a voice.

    Thanks for this good comparison.

  2. Craig Waterfield says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. There are so many great blog-style magazines online today… And growing thank goodness!

  3. Marie says:

    Circa is not trying to be the next Cosmo or InStyle…it’s trying to sell ad space and generate revenue by paying its contributors as little as possible. And let’s face it, local advertisers don’t want their ads running alongside controversial topics.

    I find it fascinating how interested you are in dissecting this magazine over and over again, Jeff. I wonder why that is? Letting your personal life bleed into your professional one is really tacky.

    Oh, and for the love of God, hire an editor. Your post is full of errors.

  4. Craig Waterfield says:

    Now that’s the spirit! Next time you chose to comment ‘callmecrazy00′ I’ll answer those questions for you! I am glad someone actually had the nerve to ask.
    If I may suppose… *wink* …you yourself are one of those poorly paid contributors – here’s the email for the publisher (twhittaker@durhamregion.com). And as for my writing (since I wrote this blog in a matter of hours)… Let me answer your question. I am a dyslexic graphic designer, not a paid story teller. Welcome to WEB 2.0!

  5. Charlotte says:


    Love your comments. Always entertaining. Other interesting sites: Huffington Post and for women, Erica Ehm’s Yummy Mummy and iVillage. Huge communities.

    Funny though, why the fetish with this women’s magazine? Shouldn’t you be reading/dissecting Wired, GQ or Esquire. Even New Yorker is fantastic. A classic.

    Grown women really dislike being told what to read and not read, being told who they should be. Let them try it for themselves and form their own opinions. It is after all, 2010.

    Keep up the good work. It is always fascinating. Suggestion, how about a blog on the top 10 websites, Reasons why branding is key. I would be curious to hear your insights.

    Perhaps we could do lunch.

  6. Craig Waterfield says:

    Excellent point ‘c_martin’ love to explain over lunch. Are you local to Durham. If you read my first blog… you’ll find links to some of your mentioned links. You sound like you know what you’re talking about, I am impressed! As for my reading habits I get GQ, the New Yorker and Guardian delivered, how about you? BTW I am one of the 9000 followers of Yummy Mummy.

  7. CityGirl says:

    Procreator, thank you for taking this ‘pink rag’ to task, and I think the male viewpoint on the subject
    is very refreshing. BLOGHER has a whole different ballgame going on. I’ll admit there is some fluff, but there
    is real-life grit happening to in this community. I don’t feel like I’m being “told” what to read, same as a movie review, I don’t feel I’m being “told” what
    movies to see. .

    PS who is this “Jeff” person and do you really want him involved?

  8. Craig Waterfield says:

    Well that’s what transparency is all about! I am up for criticism… why aren’t they. I’ve received some ‘questionable’ responses that I haven’t approved. But I am glad people like you have responded.
    Some of the language used in some comments I DO NOT condone (PG please). Must be from the reader base of CIRCA. I will post in my next blog and let the reader’s of my blog decide.

  9. Charlotte says:

    Love the Guardian.

  10. Charlotte says:

    Websites and blogs are nice but having a tangible, well written publication to sink your teeth into is sublime.

  11. Craig Waterfield says:

    Well when we meet for lunch, I will bring back issues of the Guardian. **Although it is reprinted in Montreal and encapsulates the actual printed newspaper. It’s still a valuable read.

  12. Craig Waterfield says:

    Then why does CIRCA do it half-assed. Listen I enjoy the content (as a discerning reader/writer) , it leaves me shaking my head and never delivers. If it wants to be viable… touch people! Get them talking. Funny my blog gets more feed back then their Facebook LIKE page. So who’s doing it right? My point exactly.

  13. Charlotte says:

    There are so many women’s magazines on the market, to stand out one must remain vigilantly local. Toronto Life is an amazing magazine, relevant, good looking, well written, but it has the guts to feature topics that provoke thought, and evoke emotion.The lines between editorial and advertising are very clear.

    I am not sure that is possible on a small scale within an ingrained orporate environment.

    However, i digress. The Walrus does it….and Ms. did it for years. Hmmm

  14. Charlotte says:

    Love the Sarah Ban Breathnac quote. She too is a visionary. Her website ” simple abundance” is transformational. What other websites do you find inspiring?

  15. Blocher says:

    Fluff Me Long Time!!! I suppose it comes down to being able to leave a mark?! I guess you could pick up your pen and write to the editor or you could write your own comment on pg # of the magazine but no one will read it; you won’t be told your not alone and you won’t be able to see patterns of issues that could really help you! Sort of off topic… but most children in our schools here in Toronto and I’m guessing everywhere else are screen junkies… writing on the blackboard… forget about it! Type it out on the computer and project it on the wall… People start writing… Maybe the same thing goes for print and the fixed… You know the people that no matter what the info is or if it’s a better deal or something that will improve your health that has been tested for 100 years… it won’t matter… so eventually they fade… like we all do. So let this magazine run it’s course and like you mentioned it’s (limited) victories and we will all celebrate again and again.

  16. John Doe says:


    sounds like you work for the publication………..hmmmmmmmmm?

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