Word Up, man!

Development Hell Ltd recently announced a rather pointless thing; subscribers to their rather good ‘The Word’ magazine will not only receive a print edition but also a url that links to an online version of the magazine published on the Ceros platform.

I think it’s good publishers are giving their readers more for their money, or at least trying, but seriously, what a waste of time.

Firstly you’re putting your magazine at risk, people don’t need to subscribe to your mag if it’s online. There are no security options like password or an email address reader to determine that the viewer is also the subscriber. Instead just go to Google and search for “Cerosmedia The Word” and it pops up. Piece of piss, not a penny spent and it’s the whole mag. Cheers guys.

My biggest problem however is still this slack notion of making “digital editions” that are just reproductions of their print counter parts. Print does not translate into eMags. Who the hell is going to sit at a computer and read that massive magazine with it’s long articles all from JPG’s? People will not do it, and I’d bet a bottle of Jack their page dwell times are lower than a Kings Cross hooker.

Also why would a reader want to read it online when they just received a nice glossy print mag through the post? We should be encouraging people to read print and use eMag platforms as a way of supporting current titles rather than imitating to trying to replace them.

I think it’s a bad idea, I simply don’t get it. You’re offering a reader something they already have but less accessible and at poorer quality.

See for yourself you cheeky non-subscriber you…

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One Response to Word Up, man!

  1. hectorcuevas says:

    There are worse than that. The Mexican newspaper Reforma, otherwise a very fine newspaper, has a subscriber-only website. It has webpages for current articles and a pdf archive for older editions.

    So, if you search for something covered a week ago, you only get a list of links to pdf files, each corresponding to a specific page of the print edition. No headings or something to guide you, other than the fact it matched your search: you just download each file and hope it has something valuable. Webpages corresponding to the old edition are presumably lost forever (I used a 2-day trial subscription, so I didn’t have a chance to bookmark an article and try it later).

    Digital subscriptions are sold separately from print subscriptions at a similar price, and as you can see they are a bad deal. I’d rather they don’t have a digital subscription at all than do it so badly.

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