Technology: It’s OK to say ‘No Thanks’ Sometimes
Back in November, Virgin released their hyped up iPad-only magazine, Project. $2.99 for the inaugural issue put it on par with the cost of a traditional magazine, but still wasn’t enough to peak my interest in trying. For the holidays, Virgin is giving their first issue out for free, so I decided to give it a whirl. It is still available for free in the iTunes App Store if you too are interested.
Basically, Project is designed to push the limits of what is possible in regards to content on the iPad and it does a worthy job. This is apparent when opening the magazine and witnessing the flashing lights and quality animation on the cover. TechCrunch has put out an in-depth video walk-through, so rather than me explain, you can watch after the jump.
After reading through the first issue and experimenting with the loads of features, I have decided that Project isn’t for me. There is so much functionality encased in this little guy that it seems a bit overwhelming. In order to capture all the content that is housed within each issue, you would have to sit there for quite a substantial amount of time.
Honestly, I don’t want to devote that much time to a “magazine”. With a traditional magazine, you are able to read the headlines and decide if the article is worth pursuing. If it isn’t you move on, but you know what you are leaving behind. With Project, you don’t necessarily know what you are missing until you click through on each button. There lies my dilemma; I don’t want to put this much time into a single magazine, but I also don’t want to miss out on something really cool. This confusion was enough for me to scrap Project all together.
When I sit down to read a magazine, I intend to do just that…read. I do enjoy that the iPad offers the ability to slide through photos, watch the occasional video, and click on links to outside sites. What I love most about magazines are the articles, the pictures, and the design. Awhile back, our Hal Thomas did a nice review of WIRED magazine for the iPad. This is the extent I would like to see magazines on the iPad taken. Several extra features, but not so many that I don’t know what to do with myself.
Especially in digital and tech focused industries, I think we feel compelled to embrace new technology. After all, it is the future right?
Sometimes, it is OK to say ‘no’ to new technology. Sure, magazines and written content are quickly sprinting towards digital, but that doesn’t mean we have to forsake what we love about traditional media. A magazine can translate nicely to the iPad without having a million and one bells and whistles. Those are the iPad magazines that I will read.
There is a difference between being ignorant and being informed yet abstaining. I understand that there is a market for Project, but that market isn’t me. I just hope that in the midst of the epic digital war, magazine companies don’t lose sight of their core competencies.