The future of content, according to Condé Nast

by Rodolfo Rosini

Condé Nast (publisher of Wired, Vogue and GQ and purveyor of “provocative, influential, award-winning content“) has certainly an interesting idea of what constitutes the future of digital magazines.

I bought a copy of Wired UK on my iPad, and seems to me that their vision of the magazine of the feature is akin to a steaming pile of shit with ads that are essentially animated GIFs. I can’t search the text, copy it, share it or even search it (why would anyone want to search a digital magazine!) but hey I get text that moves and a voiceover on the front page. Sometimes you have to swipe horizontally to go to the following page, sometimes you have to do it vertically, but you are not allowed to know which direction you are supposed to swipe until you try (I think articles are vertical, pages horizontal but it doesn’t make a lot of sense and I found it confusing and irritating). And articles are split in ‘pages’ regardless of the fact that you are reading it on a tablet.

Apart from being bad, the cost of producing stuff like this is staggering compared to a blog. Most of it is custom that can’t be reused or A/B tested.

All this for like $3 and a 20 minute wait while the eye candy was being downloaded. And no I could not start reading the text until the graphics and the ads are downloaded on the magazine that you just bought.

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(This is the future of magazines according to Condé Nast, presumably imagined by a designer who made interactive CD-ROMs in the ’90s and thought it was cool back then)

Somehow I’d bet against these guys being there in 5 years. But then again the clueless fucks here are the advertisers who plunge money in shit ventures like these. What I’d really like would be to see some metrics on the ads shown (who knows, I might be completely wrong and there could be an army of old folks who get turned on by reading ‘digital magazines’.)

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