Magazines Fumble the iPad Opportunity

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“I don’t think there’s anything magazine-like out there that’s really resonating or working,” said Khoi Vinh, former design director for The New York Times. “Ultimately, the concept of a magazine feels like an uncomfortable fit for this platform. It shouldn’t be a packaged slate of content; it’s an awkward fit for a connected device that can be up to the minute.”

via, RexBlog, and Digiday.

There Are 11 Comments On This Article.

  1. Take a look at WiredUK’s ipad magazine. They are doing a stunning job of reinventing the magazine in the digital age. I’m not saying this because they hire me: I feel like they get it, and they ask for right things from photographers and illustrators to make the platform come to life.

    • Clearly you haven’t read the article:

      “There are examples of magazines that have been adapted well for the iPad environment — Wired and GQ spring to mind — but they’re exceptions to the rule.”

      • I read the post here where he says “I don’t think there’s anything magazine-like out there that’s really resonating or working,” and I commented on it.

        • Yes, because reading a single quote out of context is always a good basis for making general remarks such as yours.

          • I’m not sure why the trolling but how about you read my post as “the wired digital edition is fantastic” and leave it at that.

  2. Vinh doesn’t really say much about what would be a comfortable fit.

    Just because the tablet is a connected devices doesn’t mean the basic concept of a magazine is inappropriate for it. A slate of content, something that allows deeper exploration of a singular or single thread of thoughts, provides a cohesiveness of subject matter and retains a familiar style creates accessibility and usefulness for a reader. It finds unity in disparate ideas. In a time where users are trying to find the meaning of information from a sea of Tweets, this seems like it would be rather helpful. I don’t see this packaging model as wrong or outdated.

    I do think publishers could learn from the Economist’s back issue sales. Maybe it’s not about putting something out there regularly, on the same day every month, no matter what. Maybe it’s about packaging something good as a good resource and letting readers exploit that rather than consuming it according to a schedule.

  3. Donnor Party

    I like the Economist on the iPad because it replicates the printed magazine. I think there is value in the slate of information. If I want up to the minute updates there are other sources, but the static slate lends itself to more considered, reflective analysis, which is why you read the Economist.

    The static form is als valuable because it is an artifact, in as much as it can be in digital form. This has much value to me, as oppose to a website with constantly changing information.