Archive of: print
Khoi Vinh examines the state of magazine apps on the iPad and finds them wanting.
My opinion about iPad-based magazines is that they run counter to how people use tablets today and, unless something changes, will remain at odds with the way people will use tablets as the medium matures. They’re bloated, user-unfriendly and map to a tired pattern of mass media brands trying vainly to establish beachheads on new platforms without really understanding the platforms at all.
The landscape is still evolving and there’s lots we don’t know about how this will play out, but one of the worrying things that stuck out for me was this:
The Adobe promise, as I understand it, is that publications can design for one medium and, with minimal effort, have their work product viably running on tablets and other media. It says: what works in print, with some slight modifications and some new software purchases, will work in new media. It’s a promise that we’ve heard again and again from many different software vendors with the rise of every new publishing platform, but it has never come to pass. And it never will.
Dear god how many times do we have to have this argument?! The web is not print. Apps are not print. If the magazine is going to survive, publishers need to evolve and embrace the networked age, not cover their eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist.
I received my invite to the beta of Newspaper Club the other day and ever since have been trying to work out exactly which of the many stupid ideas I’ve had are feasible (not many it seems).
Needless to say, we thought about how memorable it would be if you went to look at a house and the home-owner didn’t give you a simple A4 sheet with an address (yeah, thanks we managed to find the house already, so you giving us the address isn’t much help) instead they gave you a 12 page newspaper about the area. How well the school system is compared to other areas, where is the nearest shop to get some milk on a Sunday morning, a list of restaurants nearby, information about the parking discs and council tax, etc. If a home owner gave me a newspaper about the area and the stats looked good, I’d be sold!
The post is full of inspiring examples of this intersection between The Internet, print on demand and hyperlocal data sources.
Now, if only I could come up with my killer newspaper idea.