Tag Archives: Magazines

New Scientist peeks into people’s buying brains with ‘neuromarketing’

Certainly among the more forward thinking magazines in terms of content, New Scientist has this week boldly gone where no magazine (they “suspect”) has gone before: neuromarketing.

Neuromarketing is a from of marketing that uses brain-imaging technology to “peek into people’s heads and discover what they really want”.

You may find that sinister. What right does anyone have to try to read your mind? Or perhaps you are sceptical and consider the idea laughable. But neuromarketing, once dismissed as a fad, is becoming part and parcel of modern consumer society. So we decided to take a good look at it – and try it out ourselves.

A group of New Scientist readers – 19 men, to be precise – were connected to an electroencephalograph (EEG) machine shown various cover designs for the latest edition, after which NeuroFocus Europe, the company undertaking the tests, looked for “specific EEG patterns which the company believes betray whether or not a person will buy a product”.

The winning design is now on the newsstands. As for how it will sell, that is another test entirely.

See the full post at this link…

You can also take part in the magazine’s “Rate the Cover” survey at this link.

Conde Nast appoints new chief technology officer

Magazine publisher Conde Nast has a new chief technology officer – whose first task will be to manage the expansion of the group’s publications, according to Wired.com.

Conde Nast, which is the parent organisation of Wired.com, announced the arrival of Joe Simon, formerly chief technology officer at Viacom, yesterday. Wired.com says the new recruit will be faced with the job of extending the company’s portfolio onto multiple platforms.

Periodicals of all stripes are staring down plenty of challenges these days, due to the massive proliferation of alternate entertainment and information options in these connected times. But they’re also faced with a major opportunity: to expand beyond the paper and website formats. The iPad is clearly a step forward in this regard, and looks fairly innovative now. But it’s by no means the final word on digital magazine publishing, according to Sauerberg, Jr., who hopes his new hire will expand the company’s reach potentially to dozens of further platforms.

See the full post here…

FT: Washington Post to sell Newsweek to Sidney Harman

The Washington Post has agreed to sell Newsweek to businessman Sidney Harman, the founder of one of the world’s largest audio equipment companies, reports the FT.

Harman said he is interested in “the publication’s mission” and was not investing in Newsweek to make a profit – just as well, given recent declines in the title’s ad pages and reported $30-million losses last year.

Full story on FT.com at this link…

According to the Guardian, Harman bought the title for a nominal amount “reported to be just a single dollar”.

Controversy over Time Magazine cover showing mutilated Afghan woman

The Atlantic Wire site has published a series of different points of view about this week’s Time Magazine cover, which shows a harrowing image of an 18-year-old Afghan woman who has had her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban.

Under the headline “What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan”, the magazine’s picture caption reports that the woman was attacked for having tried to flee from “abusive in-laws”.

The Wire asks if Time Magazine is right to publish the cover, with answers first quoted from managing editor Richard Stengel discussing the reasons for their decision.

I thought long and hard about whether to put this image on the cover of Time (…) But bad things do happen to people, and it is part of our job to confront and explain them. In the end, I felt that the image is a window into the reality of what is happening — and what can happen — in a war that affects and involves all of us. I would rather confront readers with the Taliban’s treatment of women than ignore it. I would rather people know that reality as they make up their minds about what the U.S. and its allies should do in Afghanistan.

The article then moves to comments from a range of other publications, some who say the cover is “good journalism” while others feel it “oversimplifies war”.

See the full post here…

Cooliris brings Wikipedia to the iPad with new magazine-style layout

Wikipedia will soon be available on the iPad with the launch of new app, ‘Discover’, according to a report by cnet.com.

Discover is the first app from software company Cooliris, which already produces an iPhone app that enables its users to turn photo collections into “interactive 3D wall” art.

The new app uses content from Wikipedia and organises the data into sections which can be browsed in a magazine format instead of having to scroll down a long browser window.

The end result is a Wikipedia with larger text that can be read like an e-book and photos that can be thumbed through and scaled up to the iPad’s full resolution. The app also takes advantage of orientation to reposition, expand or consolidate the data it’s showing. Along the way, Cooliris serves up advertisements, which is where it can make some of its money given the app’s free price tag.

Discover has been submitted to the App Store and users are invited to sign up here to be notified of its availability.

World’s first social magazine launches on iPad

Flipboard, the world’s first personalised social magazine, has been launched on the iPad, offering its users a magazine packaged collection of the news, features, videos and images circulating within their social networks.

The app was masterminded by Mike McCue, former CEO of Tellme and Evan Doll, former senior iPhone engineer at Apple and is getting its first public demonstration later today.

Because Flipboard renders links and images right in the magazine, readers no longer have to scan long lists of posts and click on link after link – instead they instantly see all the stories, comments and images, making it faster and more entertaining to discover, view and share social content.

Flipboard also lets readers easily create sections around topics or people they care about. Choose from Flipboardʼs suggested sections on topics such as sports, news, tech and style, with content hand-curated from popular and interesting Twitter feeds. Or, create an entirely new section by searching by topic, person or Twitter list to make Flipboard even more personal.

See a demonstration video below, courtesy of Inside Flipboard:

See the site at this link…

Conde Nast brings make Gourmet magazine – as an app

There was much clamour last year when Conde Nast announced the closure of specialist food title Gourmet. Now the magazine has been resurrected as an app and new website, Gourmet Live. Both will make use of Gourmet’s archive of material, but the app, which will be launched towards the end of the year, will feature new, bespoke content for iPad and tablet readers, the video below suggests:

“Because Condé Nast already has one strong-selling food magazine, Bon Appetit, it can afford to experiment with the Gourmet brand a little. What Conde Nast may discover is a new model for delivering the premium content of its magazines,” reports Mashable.

The free-to-download app will prompt users to pay for additional services and content and is promising a rewards system for readers. But as Lloyd Shepherd suggests is this a “gaming” element or ‘iFeudalism’?

Gourmet Live is hiding some content from most users (so isn’t this a kind of paywall I can’t see?). And if I do things in a certain Gourmet-approved kind of way, I get to see that content.

This is wrong for two reasons. One, it hides content away, so all the paywall arguments apply here, but doubly so, because at least there’s a simple way to unlock paywalled content – by paying. Here, I have to jump through some hoops.

And there’s the second problem. It changes the relationship between publisher and reader. It makes the reader a kind of supplicant, willing to perform tasks to get treats. And, frankly, it’s just a magazine, you know? Who can be bothered?

GQ takes home two Maggies including Overall Winner

Men’s fashion magazine GQ was recognised twice in this year’s Maggie Awards, which celebrate the magazine industry’s best covers.

GQ won the top prize of Overall Winner, and the magazine’s September 2009 issue cover, which featured Sienna Miller, claimed them victory in the Fashion category.

Judging panel chairman Jim Bilton said the winning cover, which fronted one of the magazine’s most successful issues of the year, was “a textbook example of great cover design”.

“So good, it looks completely effortless, but a great deal of skill has gone into the execution of a cover which combines beautiful photography and strong coverlines,” he said.

Other winners included Metal Hammer in the Entertainment category and Beano in the Youth category.

Over 40,000 votes were cast to decide the winners.

See the winning covers here….

Brand Republic: Shortlist revenues give hope to free magazine market

Shortlist Media, publisher of the free, weekly magazines Shortlist and Stylist, has reported an 81 per cent year-on-year growth in revenues, from £3.1 million to £5.6 million in the year to 31 August 2009.

The group significantly reduced its operating losses and said Stylist, which launched in October 2009 with a start-up cost of £181,000, is expected to be profitable in its third year.

Full story at this link…