Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New jewelry magazine launches inside the Apple's Newsstand; digital-only magazine is built as if it were print

The ability to imagine, create and launch a digital magazine for the iPad is getting easier – but it is still not "easy". Good, native digital publishing solutions are not cheap, and the companies behind them are struggling to make a go of it – which is why they don't give away their services to just anyone (including TNM!).

As a result, a lot of really terrible replica editions get released into the App Store each week. Just today, for instance, Great Lakes Publishing released replica editions for Ohio Magazine, Cleveland Magazine and Lake Erie Living Magazine. Released through PixelMags, these are from a professional publisher who should know better but doesn't – and so, in my opinion, their apps are fair game for anyone who wants to write about them. (I don't really bother anymore, what more is to be said about these digital replicas?)
Then every once in a while someone produces an independent magazine and one has high hopes that they will come to the new platform with a fresh vision. When they don't one is torn about whether to write about the app or just let it go. One must decide whether being "nice" by not writing anything is really the right way to go, but the same standards apply to everyone? I really don't know, to be honest – what one should expect from a commercial publisher should be more, right?

Another app making its appearance today in the App Store is this independent, digital-only magazine named Design Jewelry and Accessories. The magazine was created in support of an online jewelry website and is edited by Sandra Kemppainen. Kemppainen is the manager of the online of the web shop, and also a photographer – a very handy combination when creating a magazine for the jewelry trades. The magazine is from Finland, but is in English.

Sadly, there is not much to say about the tablet magazine except "congratulations", and then move on. But I suppose, dear readers, you expect a little more than that from TNM.

Briefly, this app is a mess. The design makes little sense for a digital magazine; for instance, the pages contain folios for left and right pages, but since this the magazine app can not display more than one page at a time, even in landscape, this makes no sense. There is a two page ad early in the magazine, but again, it can not be viewed in total because of the way the magazine is displayed on an iPad.

If a magazine were available in print then there might be some merit in creating a replica, but if it is digital only... Then again, maybe the people behind this magazine originally thought about print then went digital only, who knows?

As for the company behind the app one can only guess. The link in the app description goes to a log-in page for a company that I've not heard of, and a Google search comes up empty.

Well, that's enough about Design Jewelry – I sincerely wish them the best of luck and hope they find their readership. Really.

Another magazine was earlier released by the same company behind Design Jewelry and Accessories: ProBody is an actual print magazine, but it has also received the replica treatment. The magazine is in Finnish, but the app description states that an English version is in the works. If they plan on using the same app building mechanism they really shouldn't bother. Really.

NOTE: I probably should have written about this new magazine instead: American Gentleman Magazine. The problem, though, was that I couldn't stop myself from laughing at the ridiculous stories to be found in it.

This is from the app description:
This is a publication that echoes the transcendent values of the traditional gentleman while bringing him fully into the 21st Century by addressing the many opportunities, choices and triumphs existing today. This innovative blend of substance and style is what separates American Gentleman from the pack, elevating us into a league of our own, and guaranteeing enduring success.
Wow. The "traditional gentleman"? Isn't that someone who has been dead for 200 years?

Well, maybe this is the perfect magazine to have on your iPad when you are out on a fox hunt (assuming you can get a good 3G connection).