Social content agency Sutro Digital launched its own quarterly magazine, Technode, using content generated by its own websites Shiny Shiny and Tech Digest.
The new magazine can be accessed in print from Magcloud, HP's print-on-demand service, where it is a $8.20 purchase, or through the App Store where the app, Technode, is a free download.
The whole production is a lesson in outsourcing involving at least three other companies besides Sutro Digital: onegoodeye.co.uk, which is credited with designing and preparing the magazine, Alligator Digital Magazines, which I assume took the files and converted them for use in an iPad app, and Magcloud, which was the vendor chosen to produce print copies.
It is pretty clear that magazine was designed to fit into the Magcloud system first. This creates portrait oriented pages which would then be put into an iPad app. Added to the print content was then added embedded YouTube hosted videos.
Because issues created using Magcloud are so expensive for the consumer to buy, the publisher here was forced to limit the content to 36 pages. This shows that the model just doesn't work: the print edition will cost you $8.20 but is limited, but the iPad version is free and contains more content.
This new magazine, while it holds some lessons for publishers in how to produce inexpensive products, is really a promotional piece for Sutro Digital – an expense they obviously considering paying.
The real point of interest for me in tablet magazines such as Technode is the concept of gathering up content from multiple websites and creating a magazine. Here, with Technode, the magazine is not simply copy taken from the websites, but additional material, as well – long form rather than short posts.
This idea can not only be used within the same media company, but as a way of creating a third product from two or more separate websites – say, for instance, websites that cover the same topic but from different regional perspectives.