Pop sanity

Mike Haney would like you to wait.

At least another 365 days.

Or would 730 days be too much to ask?

“iPad magazines have failed. That’s insane. We’re less than a year in.”

Haney is the digital development director for Bonnier tech group (PopSci, PopPhoto).

He sandwiched the Bonnier culture and its innovative Mag+ platform between an outstanding ESPN session and a scatter-shot hour with BH&G.

We’d been hearing the same spiel from everyone, framed to fit their distinctive corporate cultures.* Among Haney’s most crisp slides:

• It’s not about recreating the magazine, it’s about recreating the magazine experience – immersive, intimate, easy.

• Take advantage of what we do well: designing pages, telling stories, connecting with readers.

• People read with their hands as much as they do with their eyes.

• Multimedia should help tell the story. Don’t add it because you can. You wouldn’t add an extra 100 words.

• Magazines on the iPad should realize that the platform is not a page. But it’s also not Angry Birds.

A key distinction Haney made was to reduce the iPad to its mathematical components.

— Print magazines are parallel information processing systems – you see everything at once.
— iPad layouts are a linear information processing system – solution: reinvent the piece as a sequence of ideas.

While Gary Hoenig, from ESPN, said he believed iPad would replace print, Haney argued that it would only do so for the marginal titles. Mainstream mag brands will have a “really strong print business with a tablet component.”

Who wins in this mercurial magazine era?

Test, fail or succeed, learn. Just fail quickly and cheaply. The one’s that will succeed will empower their people to fail.”

 

*Side note: I almost used the word “unique,” instead of “distinctive” but it’s a pet peeve of mine that nobody uses “unique” correctly. I abstain in protest. Sometimes.

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