Custom minipublishing

Custom minipublishing: While I doubt it will change the media landscape, I’m always happy to see someone innovate a new way to distribute a custom magazine. The website is reporting a new idea called the “on-product magazine.”


“The idea was to create a small…magazine which fits onto a fast moving consumer product and distribute via grocery rather than traditional magazine channels. Joanna’s idea is now patented and will launch in January as the first on-product magazine – a bottled water aimed at the female market with iLove magazine attached and will be joined in Q2 by a magazine for children and a magazine aimed at men on Iced Coffee. Distribution will be focused through convenience stores, supermarkets and gas stations, significantly differentiating the products that carry them and offering advertisers a circulation far in excess of magazines sold through traditional magazine distribution channels. By March, iLove magazine will be the largest circulation magazine in Australia and the company has global aspirations, holding patents for on-product magazines attached to all common food packaging formats.”

While the “patent” part of this sounds a bit far-reaching and the hype-factor a bit over-the-top, I like the concept.

(Sidenote: The first time I clicked onto the Gizmag story, it displayed a Hammock Publishing adsense ad, the first time I’ve seen one other than on a Google results page. Here’s a screen shot.)

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The cult of Mac

The cult of Mac: Dave Winer has noticed that some some people don’t quite understand my earlier post.

Strange thing, we Mac users are. As I’ve said here before, I purchased my first Mac in April, 1984, and have purchased hundreds since then. Everyone who works at Hammock Publishing (except for one) has at least one Mac they use for work and all who have been there over a year own an iPod. (I am happy for people to have iTunes on their work computers, but our backup system does not include backing up their personal files.)

Mac people, listen up: Don’t blame the customer when something Apple does screws up. Apple has decided to go into the consumer electronics business with the iPod/iTunes line. The 27 million iPods out there aren’t all owned by people who know what the word “backup” means, so don’t call someone stupid because they don’t have a disaster recovery plan for their iPod. If they purchase music that must be played on one of five devices that Apple “authorizes,” then the relationship between Apple and the listener does not end at the time of purchase. As long as I can only play that music on a device Apple controls via authorization, Apple should be responsible for enabling me to continue enjoying it if a device they own “eats” it.

How hard is it to understand that Apple added DRM and the whole “authorization” gimmick to convince the record labels that it’s okay to distribute music through the iTunes distribution channel? My advice (and that’s all it is) was for those who choose to purchase music from the iTunes Store to do that thing which Apple makes it easy for you to do: Burn the music to a CD that will strip out both the DRM and the requirement to play the tune on an Apple-authorized device.

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