Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jann Wenner: iPad Magazines a Bad Move for Publishers

Jann Wenner: iPad Magazines a Bad Move for Publishers, article.
"Mr. Wenner thinks the digital magazine market is still too small, and he offered up the Popular Science iPad magazine app as an example. “It’s selling 16,000 on a million-plus rate base, it’s like nothing,” he said.
The transition to ubiquitous digital magazines will be some time coming, too, he thinks. “Who knows how far down the road — years though and possibly decades,” he said.

Decades? OK, *really* ubiquitous *could* take more than ten years. But publishers are really caught between two hard places: while digital mags aren't profitable yet, paper prices, printing prices, and distribution costs have been rising and rising for decades and ads sales falling, does he have any reason to think those trends will reverse? I think not. I think while the jump to the shore may be a long one right now, the boat is not getting any closer from now on.

"Novel in 30"

The maker of one of the earliest writing apps for iPad (My Writing Spot) has made a new app with a fun idea, Novel in 30.
I think it's inspired by the yearly November workshop where people set themselves the goal of writing a novel in 30 days. If you think that sounds hard, you should know that some people go to workshops where they write a novel in 24 hours! And according to reliable witnesses, some people even write *good* novels in that time.

I think that forced production, while it might or might not make for good work, can really help to flush out the blocks in the ol' creative channels, all the bullshit which is just based on fear and doubt and uncertainty. (Wow: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, that's the same things used in some black PR campaigns, FUD.) One often finds that when you simply *do*, you see that you *can* do.

NYT: Female Magazine Readers Flock to Nook Color

NYT: Female Magazine Readers Flock to Nook Color, article.

Women's magazines are selling like hotcakes on the Nook Color.
A very interesting article which to me show that, more important than the differences between platforms (Nook and iPad), the market is already ready for what I'd call a *real* tablet reading experience, as opposed to the Kindle "old man reading experience", a tiny gray screen which can only show text, for people who think that colors and pictures are for people who didn't finish high school, and who would be a little afraid of reading on a device which is too much like a computer.       :-)

Actually, by the way, I've noticed myself recently really looking forward to the day we get a "super-tablet", like an iPad, only with a much larger screen and resolution. Even as the iPad obviously is a huge leap up when you come from a smartphone screen, it simply is still too small for many tasks, including just most web pages! Not to mentioned technical books, comic books, etc etc.

Here is bubbly "Kate" who helps customers understand what a Nook is:

TCGirl said:

Funny: "Generically speaking, the iPad and other tablets are men's toys,"
I guess I'll stop dreaming of, someday, owning a Pad! lol! :-/

I think that the Androids like the Xoom are "men's toys", they have capabilities, but are hardly any fun. But everybody loves the iPad, across genders and literally from age 2 to 82. (Lots of two-year-olds actually using the durn thing!) It's just a pleasure to use, and I think *that* is the thing that is *really* hard to achieve, and that probably no competitor will ever match.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


It just keeps shocking me; how slow downloads often are on tablets and phones, on perfectly good broadband connections. I have tablets/phones of four different brands (Apple, Dell, Samsung, Motorola), and it's the same: downloads of videos or apps are hideously slow compared to the same downloads happening on my desktop machine. Which is on the same connection of course.

I have not made scientific tests, but I would not be at all surprised if the difference on average is at least one full order or magnitude (1:10). It's really clear and really weird.

The only explanation I've heard is that solid state memory is much slower to write to than hard disks. But I doubt that this can be it, because then sometimes the download speed will be useful for real-time video watching, and other times it will take an hour to download 2MB. If it was the storage medium, you'd have even slowdowns. And they are not, in fact "uneven" is a central concept to understand re this phenom.

Example: I tried to download three apps to my iPad. It took half a day before I had them all. And then, trying to get downloads going for app updates, I gave up and just went to my Mac and told it to download all app updates. Including all the apps I don't currently use, there were seventy-four app updates of various sizes, some quite large. It downloaded them without trouble in like two minutes, boom boom boom, cha-dam, done.

Why this great incommensurateness in ability?