Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Everyday I Write The Book

Time launches reader-customized magazine venture/experiment

I just received my first issue of my free subscription to mine. It is the future of 'printed' magazine publishing, according to Time magazine.

I read about this new project on the New York Times website a few weeks back and signed up online. Time magazine is letting readers customize their own magazine content. By picking five from eight different magazines, you as the user are building your own issues of mine. The first 5 issues are free and my issue reads like 5 magazines condensed into one. My mine. came in today's mail.

Each of my five choices features two articles by each chosen magazine and are layed out as they would be from the mags they originated from. The Real Simple pieces look like they came from that mag and the two Time pieces look they are ripped right out of a recent Time magazine. Though the articles have a different layout style something keeps it all cohesive. Maybe the trends of magazine layout are so similar that the differences from mag to mag aren't really so far apart. The cover is generic, the table of contents is customized from my choices and there is only three ads: the inside front cover, back inside and back cover. They are all for Lexus who paid for this venture.

Is this indeed, the future of magazines as they gasp to stay alive in the digital era, where many proclaim print to be dead? Is this condensed magazine the way of the future- instead of five fat zines, stuffed with ads, what about a condensed version all in one, with only a few ads.

Did I get the best from these five zines or will I be left wondering what I am missing? One thing for sure, it is neat and clean and will work well for strategic placement in the bathroom... it takes up a lot less space than 5 different magazines. Who suffers here? the public or the advertisers?

Sign up yourself while the limited subscriptions
expire: and judge for yourself.

FOLLOW UP (...after reading it)-

The issue is light. A good magazine gives and gives and gives and is good for several reads. It sits around and can be enjoyed more that once. This truncated magazine was all read in about 20-30 minutes.

There are a few mistakes in this first issue- a jump to another feature, which doesn't exist and a content mix up. I received an apology email last night stating that "I may have not received the content I selected and this would be worked out in my next issue" ... which makes sense, I don't remember picking "Golf." I'll cut them some slack though, they did produce literally thousands of custom issues.

Other points: the section breaks between types of magazines are a white page with the mag's masthead on it- kinda lame, like chapter dividers in a bad business report. The lack of ads make thew few Lexus ads in there stand out. Magazines that are full of ads have a lot of ads that are well designed and subtle that sort of sneak up on you. These ads with it's variable data of my name and "Buffalo" added into them are too obvious and slightly obtrusive (what is in a Lexus that makes it "more mark wisz.." I ask you....??)


It's Brad said...

I know, the thing about a Lexus that manke it more Mark Wixz is the killer Pioneer 8-tracks system and the huge ash tray. Did I win?

j.ll said...

is it rich corinthian leather?
a cb radio?

Jason Gusmann said...

i think its the real creamery butter!