There seems to be a lot of coverage around the subject of magazine apps, and I found another couple of interesting articles. In one of his recent posts, Mathew Ingram considers the failings of the “walled garden” approach being taken by most publishers:
The biggest flaw for me is the total lack of acknowledgment that the device this content appears on is part of the Internet, and therefore it is possible to connect the content to other places with more information about a topic, or related material of any kind, let alone any kind of social features that allow readers to share the content with their friends. Some magazines have made some tentative steps in this direction, but so far they are few and far between. Meanwhile, Flipboard and Pulse have taken Twitter and Facebook and RSS and turned them into magazines — and much more appealing ones in many ways.
Navneet Alang goes one step further and questions the relevance of editorial magazines in the online space:
But another necessary question is this: What is the magazine? After all, other than its physical dimensions, what unites People, The New Yorker or Tennis? What really seems to unite a magazine into a coherent whole isn’t subject matter. The same magazine could contain a column on politics and a recipe. No, what turns a magazine into a single entity with a name is editorial focus: what the overarching purpose of the magazine is. It’s the idea of a magazine as a single editorial entity that makes it work.
But here’s the problem: the web allows you to collect and gather your own content from many many different sources, putting together your own set of things to read based on your interests and desires and social network. It is the opposite of a magazine. Instead of one entity providing all the coverage on a given topic, the web allows you to cull from multiple sources to put together your own collection of things you’re interested in.