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My brother, avid Mac disciple that he is, sent the above video this morning. He told me Annalemma should think about developing an application (cannot bring myself to say “app,” the word feels soft and wimpy on my tongue) for the iPad. Making one for the iPhone makes sense, I guess. Something like 65% of all content on the web is viewed with a mobile device nowadays (and I’m willing to bet that 90% of that content is Facebook related). But the iPad feels like such a colossal waste of money. What does this thing do that the iPhone does not? The e-book/reading feature is kinda cool, I guess, but it feels more like an afterthought than a primary function. The publishing world was asking for a savior and they got tossed table scraps.

What it boils down to for the magazine is whether or not what we do is accessible to people. I’ve always desired this magazine to be inviting to the savvy reader and first-timer alike, but with a $700 price tag I can’t see anyone buying this thing just for reading purposes.  It’s going to be owned by the tech elite initially and then, months or a couple years later, it’s primary function is going to sift through, or it will be a total flop.

I’m not really interested in being the first lit mag on the iPad. It would probably garner some initial press and a few people would find their way to the site and even fewer might actually subscribe. But if we created a revolutionary use for the iPad, beyond its original intent, then it would be a signal flair to the audience, to people like you and me.

Who can say with this type of shit, though. I’m the worst tech forecaster ever. What say you, Internet? Do you plan on buying an iPad? Are you excited about this thing at all? Or is Wired simply playing their role? Developing an application because they are expected to, not because it serves any purpose? There for the sake of being there?

(p.s. Someone neglected to mention that Wired’s creative director is a cyborg. Makes perfect sense though.)


  1. Rabbit says:

    This comes down to two things:

    – Know your audience.
    – Know thyself.

    The iPad makes me laugh. At the same time, I plan to develop for it. It’s a market and it will grow and having a larger multitouch device does open up for some fun experimentation. If we’re talking market share, though, Apple as a whole is a fairly large failure. That’s just the numbers. If you want an audience you basically have to design for Windows XP running IE 7 and stay away from buzz words invented after 1998.

    But we’re creative types. We don’t always live by numbers even if we know them.

    The question really should be: what would your magazine feel like to you on the iPad? Does that idea excite your curiosity? If not, then don’t bother. Because if it doesn’t excite you it’s not going to excite us. It’s something to consider and you have the luxury of time because, you are right, adoption will take time.

  2. chris says:

    Hey Rabbit! Ultimately it would feel weird and unnatural and I would constantly be asking myself why I’m putting myself through this developmental hell for the sake of being on a platform that is flashy at best and dubious at worst. However, it would be cool to make something like this for the iPad:

    But then again, something like this is can be experienced perfectly fine on the web and I can’t imagine it getting any better on the iPad. What I’d really be interested in doing is figuring out some sort of storytelling experience singular to the iPad, something that requires your physical and mental engagement but without being too gimmicky about it. Hopefully my brain will work that way some day.

  3. chris, i totally understand what you are saying about not wanting to make something for the ipad just for the sake of conforming to some random piece of hardware that may or may not make it to 2012.

    i think the bigger question is are you, or are you not going to engage in touch technology of any kind. the bottom line is that it is here, and its only getting stronger. i think to design something specifically for the ipad is a mistake, but to make an interesting interface that interactively tells a story like you mentioned would be a really amazing thing for you as a literary magazine to invest money into.

    the other argument would be to denounce all of forms of media accept for print. all though people were saying exactly what you are saying about the ipad 15 years ago about the web, so who knows.

    now obviously i am totally biased, and i am not the most avid reader, but i think there is a whole new generation of readers and people who want to be engaged in good fiction storytelling, but no one has truly engaged them. the E-books are a start but they are also trying to adapt a paper book to an LCD screen. ultimately it will evolve into something more interactive. i think its a totally new format that deems an entirely new way of thinking instead of trying to adapt a print book to an interactive touch surface.

    my thought is if you start designing stories in an interactive way. there are many more applications for it other than just the ipad. it could live on the web, live on mobile devices, ect. in fact imagine doing something that you read something on the web, the story leaves you handing, then tells you to go somewhere. you take your iphone with you and use your GPS to get there, when you get there something pops up on your iphone and a new part of the story unfolds. it tells you to go somewhere eles, and meet someone or do something while you read your next part of the story. you could get people to read while they are in the environment you want them to be in.

    its literally the wild west as far as ideas go. i would say that if huge companies like weird and apple are investing in the e-reading experience than there is some legitimacy into thinking that it is a viable market to spend money in.

    thats my 2.3 cents

    P.S. i just realized i wrote a short story on a literary blog. so for the sake of everyone who is going to rip me a new asshole for my insanely horrible grammar, commas where there is no need for one, and 3rd grade spelling, i will save you the trouble and tell you that i got held back in the first grade.

    one love.

  4. Lea says:

    app, application. Just like why is the word abreviation so big?

  5. Lea says:

    ooo and to the person above me… I was suppose to skip 2nd grade and still not quite sure what comma splice is :)

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