Smashing Magazine’s Tipping Points

Smashing MagazineToday Vitaly Friedman, Chief Editor of Smashing Magazine shares the tipping point/s of that blog.

Since the very beginning of our magazine we had only one goal in mind: helping out fellows designers and developers, smashing them with the information that will make their lives easier. Since then we have explored a number of different ideas and topics in our magazine. Some of them were extremely popular, some haven’t interested our audience at all. Probably the first “tipping” article has been the post 53 CSS-Techniques You Couldn’t Live Without which appeared in January 2007.

This was the point when we realized that what we do is actually considered valuable by thousands, literally thousands, of designers and web-developers across the globe. We have received numerous e-mails then. Some of people who contacted us then still have contact with us, support us and send us useful stuff which they consider to be useful for our readers. This first tipping point brought us a lot of backlinks and strengthened our community which we’ve started to build in the beginning of 2007.

With the post Data Visualization: Modern Approaches we’ve managed to achieve something we have never achieved before: gain support for our research and respect for the work we invested in it. This post has become popular in scientific circles, in academia, professors have linked to us in their blogs, popular bloggers have mentioned us in their articles, even some article in New York Times has mentioned us. It was August 2007.

We realized then that we shouldn’t be afraid of rather complex issues and topics, research them being hard and stubborn, find relationships, identify important issues, think about them, evaluate them and come up with our personal opinion about what is best and what should be avoided. Today we still continue to research intensively, identify ideas, evaluate them and present them to our readers. This is how our Monday Inspiration series was born – and we have 28 issues so far.

The third tipping point was the post Wanted: Your 404 Pages where we’ve asked our readers to create beautiful, functional and user-friendly 404 error pages for their own web-sites. Afterwards we’ve collected the most creative, usable and elegant solutions. This post was a tipping point, because we’ve finally managed to involve our community in making the Web better, prettier, more useful and more effective. We continue to do it today. And we’ll make sure our readers will have something to do in the future as well. ;-)

More Blogger Tipping Points

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. runs on the Genesis Framework

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  1. This is great! I’ve been religiously reading Smashing Magazine the past year and they are indeed a success story, one that certainly deserves a spot in your series.
    Thanks Darren!

  2. 404 page can be created so creative and effective, but this days i just see redirection to simple ads page or main page.

  3. Erica says:

    Great insights from a fantastic blog. Thank you for this series, Darren!

  4. Suzanne says:

    This series on blogs’ tipping points is great. You’ve managed to include all the best blogs. Smashing magazine would have to be one of my favourite blogs.

  5. the Senorita says:

    I am a regular reader of SM and I have to say their articles are by far the BEST in the business. I will agree with the 404 page thought. Even Darren has pointed this out earliar that how important a 404 page is. Same is the reason why I have worked a little on my 404 pages. Still I think their is lots of room left and I will surely give them some more time very soon.

    Thanx for arranging some big bloggers sharing thoughts with us Darren.

  6. space code says:

    I’ve only started reading Smashing Magazine last month but all their posts are very informative and useful.

  7. Bibokz says:

    The magazine look so promising, going to subscribe on their daily update.

  8. Aikyrie says:

    Their magazine is something I read religiously. They have so many great articles that I find useful and I often go there when I need inspiration. I hope they continue to succeed in all their goals. Thanks for the interview, it was great!

  9. Sara says:

    It sounds like being a) useful, b) innovative, and c) user-oriented are again proven to be the keys to success. Thanks for proving that regardless of the genre or subject, these three are essential to any successful blog!

  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE Smashing!!! I just downloaded their wordpress theme which is currently live on Jolly Green Girl. Thanks Smashing and Thanks Problogger for this awesome post.

  11. Smashing Magazine is great, I love their stuff. That 404 article is really interesting, never even thought about doing something like that.

  12. Glad to see Smashing included in this series. It’s by far my favorite subscription.

  13. Ryan McLean says:

    great to see someone being successful
    Gives me encouragement to keep pushing forward with my blog

  14. team ray says:

    wow they have ton of content

    very nice site

  15. Ozh says:

    Smashing Magazine surely is an interesting website, but… I don’t get the point of this guest post at all. What’s the message here, besides showcasing SM’s most popular articles ?

  16. Darren — I’ve enjoyed this whole series, but to me this is the best installment so far.

    I particularly like what Vitaly says about not being afraid to tackle hard, complex topics. The conventional wisdom about publishing more blog posts that are shorter is fine — but then Smashing has found a way to publish *really* long posts that absolutely hold the reader’s interest. Good stuff!

  17. Their magazine is amazing. I especially love the wordpress theme posts!