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The Magazine

October 29, 2012

I finally made time this weekend to subscribe to Marco Arment‘s new Newstand app The Magazine. Just like The Magazine is an experiment with curating content for tablets (and smart phones, although I’d argue The Magazine is better suited to reading on tablets), my subscription is a bit of an experiment as well. I’m not sure I’ll stick with The Magazine long-term, but if I don’t it’ll be due to the content itself rather than the form. I actually really like the form: clean, simple, elegant. And I like what Marco did with embedded notes and links.

The content so far is quick to read. I made it through Issues 1 and 2 in less than an hour. If The Magazine brings in enough money I expect Marco will expand the amount of content over time, but I think the current amount of content is sufficient to get started. The first 8 articles were good but not great; I didn’t find them particularly thought-provoking. I expect the range and quality of articles will improve as Marco can cast a wider net for content, rather than needing to keep it close to the vest while developing the app. And in the end my main criteria for deciding whether to stick with my subscription will be whether I decide the writing is worth the investment in reading time, not whether I decide it’s worth the $2 monthly investment. Because let’s face it, $2 a month is noise. It’s worth it to me to subscribe in the short term as an investment in the experiment in hopes that it grows into something with content I eagerly anticipate reading. It’s kind of like a slow Kickstarter for the next generation of magazines.

Oh, and the lack of ads is awesome.

From → Musings, Software

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