Archive for the ‘Magazines’ Category

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Magazines

March 30, 2009

Magazines have always been one of my great loves. Something about the format, the content, and the intent of a magazine has fascinated me for decades. They feel like little “escapes” into a different world on a regular basis.

The flow of magazine subscriptions into my home has been significant and consistent for a long time. At least a dozen different titles every month, with some weekly and some monthly. Even now I still get a little rush of excitement when each issue arrives.

Of course, as with all media magazines are faced with some fundamental changes and massive challenges ahead. The economics of publishing are no longer very favorable for anyone, especially smaller publications. Advertisers are evaluating the best places to spend their money and diminishing subscriber bases are not the most attractive option. Even the Green movement is pushing on publishers to reduce their environmental impact.

One of the shifts taking place is the move to digital publishing. Zinio is the most well-known solution in this space. They present a gorgeous full-color version of a magazine, ads included, online in a dedicated reader. It is an excellent experience, also available on the iPhone. Worth checking out.

Amazon, of course, is in the magazine game as well. You can order a subscription to just about any magazine imaginable on their site. More interestingly, however, is the ability to subscribe to magazines for the Kindle. I was very skeptical of this at first, so took advantage of the two week free trial period for a couple of magazines. In particular, I was interested in how The New Yorker would work on this reading device, especially given how text heavy it is. (I didn’t even bother with any image-centric magazines – I know what the screen looks like on my Kindle).

The experience for me was very mixed. It was wonderful being able to read the long articles the same way I read books on the Kindle. But, it didn’t feel like a magazine to me at all. The TOC was difficult to understand and there were a handful of cartoons thrown in as single page images.

It made me realize that one of the things I love about magazines is the joy of discovery. I don’t know what the next page will bring; it could be a cool ad, a great article, or some fluffy promo piece. I love that discovery and surprise. That is one of the most enjoyable elements of the magazine to me and it is just not yet replicated online.

(Plus, I could never leave my computer in the bathroom like I do my magazines!)

Bottom line, I am sticking with print. Not as eco-friendly as I would like, but I have to balance doing good for the environment with doing right by me.

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Some good things

September 11, 2005

Sometimes just a category of good things is enough to make the blog entry worthwhile.

Here are some good things in my world recently.

Apple iPod nano
You can choose to scoff and you can choose to ignore, but do so at your own peril. I remember being a kid and so deeply immersed in science fiction and the world I had waiting in the future. I had my 1970s and 80s gadgets and thought they were so cool (I doubt anyone reading this remembers Superscope cassette recorders — they were the Apple of their day and the hottest thing I had for a good many years growing up). I always imagined that the future would be filled with devices that could be carried around and do all sorts of things quickly and easily. Yes, Star Trek was an influence on my vision as well. There was something beckoning from tomorrow, and I so wanted to capture it.

The future has arrived. The nano breaks through a number of barriers, both real and Psychological, to create the perfect device of the true 21st Century. Unlike the original iPod, or even the mini, which both had a substantial “thickness” to them, the nano actually feels slim. This feeling of it being slim, something my RAZR barely achieves, is an amazing experience. Somehow, the dimensions are just so that it no longer feel like a “device” but feels more like a piece of information.

Add to this size factor the amazing color screen and the black body (black is clearly the new black) and without even knowing what the device does it is already something to desire. The fact that it plays music, carries pictures, has a set of world clocks (perfect for travelers), and even some simple games is almost beside the point. The nano is a key to a doorway. The doorway opens to the future.

Men’s Vogue

Yes, I am a certified over-35 metrosexual fashion slut. It is not enough that I already read the existing men’s fashion magazines, I once had my own subscription to Vogue itself. I love seeing the clothes, reading the stories, seeing the clothes, admiring the watches and shoes and briefcases, and seeing the clothes. I am not ashamed. I am their target.

Luis Martinez at Liberty Tattoo

The man rocks and did an amazing job on number three for me. Ask me if you want to see and I might oblige.

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of he Kitchen — Harold McGee

Nerds who love to cook (and to eat) are a coveted target demographic lately. This book is the bible of this new religion of food elevated to transcendental consumption. Amazingly enough, I really had not paid attention to the existence of this book until recently. It was being whispered about in many other things I was reading, but never surfaced loudly enough for me to focus. My loss.

McGee explains everything that can be consumed. He does it beautifully and with both depth and breadth. End of review.

London

It is a city. Visit it. Stay at St. Martins Lane. Eat at Maze and Hakkasan. Buy a shirt at Ted Baker.

Oh, I did that already this week.

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