Recipie for confusion

Recipe for confusion: Don’t have time now, but later I will link back to lots of previous rants on the “digital magazine” topic to give some backgroud to today’s news in that Epicurus has launched a recurring PDF-like document designed using the metaphors and subscription model of a consumer print magazine. “Everything is the same,” they say, “except we don’t send it to the printer.”

“It’s a magazine except there’s no paper” is right up there with, “Except for that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” It’s like saying that pictures of food are like food without the smell and taste.

Note to publishers: The web offers some amazing opportunities to do things you can never do with print. Stop trying to make it print. You’re missing the point.

I will consider the digital Epicurus magazine a magazine, when I see someone displaying it on a coffeetable. It may be great, and no doubt will be, at what it is and can be. But calling it a magazine “except we don’t send it to the printer” requires too much discussion of Mcluhan and Freud for this early in the morning.

  • Robert Angelone

    Your comments about our magazine and digital publishing in general show your thinking to be backwards and archaic. Digital magazines give the reader much more than print ever can, provide advertisers with immediate, accurate metrics, enhance the reader’s experience and dramatically increase the conversion rate from ad to sales for our advertisers. Traditional print will not disappear, but in terms of launching a new magazine, Epicurus has shown the way to prove the product BEFORE making the massive investment needed in print. Like it or not, this is the way magazines will be delivered in the future. I strongly suggest you get with the times and try thinking more of the future than the past.
    The fact that there are more than 500 digital publications and more than 98 percent of those are conversions of traditional print shows clearly that this is the way people will be reading magazines and newspapers. In fact, they already are doing so.
    As a web publisher, I saw the future and jumped on the bandwagon with industry leaders like Business Week, Technology Review, US News, and Cuisine (the first food magazine to go digital).
    Epicurus Magazine provides answers to many of the advertising world’s problems with print. We may be the first all-digital consumer magazine, but we will not be the last.
    Our readers are reasonably tech savvy, but not computer geeks. They’re home cooks and people who use their computers to find recipes and travel, two of the most searched criteria on the Internet. I respectfully point out to you that, our site has an average of more than 1.8 million uniques monthly. Compare that to any food or travel print magazine, then talk to me. I think you’ll find that our readership is seeking EXACTLY this kind of content. Not only in the US, but world-wide.
    This model of publishing allows a publisher to produce a truly superb magazine (or newspaper) with minimal risk.
    In researching this, I found many instances from years ago where people wrote as you did, saying that television will never surpass radio, that color televisions will not outsell black and white and more recently, that the Web will not amount to anything. Your comments are right up there with those classics.
    While you sit there listening to “The Shadow” on your AM radio, you should realize that the rest of the world is moving forward.
    Readers of print are already going forward, with about 15 percent taking either both or digital only subscriptions. This figure has nowhere else to go but up. As the analog generation ages and the digital generation replaces them, do you really think they will want coffee table magazines or something they can read on their wall mounted 60 inch monitors?
    The times, they are a changin’.