Marco Arment’s newest project: The Magazine, an unimaginatively named, but otherwise excellent iOS-only magazine “for geeks like us”.
These are exciting times in publishing. While the value of raw news rapidly approaches zero–no matter how quickly you publish, Twitter is faster–there is ever-increasing demand for commentary, for good, curated content. That’s where I see the value of magazines, of newspapers, of pretty much any kind of media. In opinion pieces, essays about things I genuinely care about.
The nice thing is: You don’t need a big corporation to create a publication like that, all you need is an idea of your audience, taste and a delivery method. Marco chose a quite complicated, but beautiful one: An iOS app. It is a very minimal one, in many ways the polar opposite of the ridiculously bloated magazine apps we get from the likes of Condé Nast. I quite like that, but this is by no means the only way of designing a digital magazine. It is, however, one that is appropriate for the kind of content Marco intends to deliver: Medium-length essays that don’t need images, info graphics or custom layouts. Just writing about the ways technology touches our lives.
Every issue is going to consist of (about) four articles from different writers, the first one had contributions from Jason Snell, Guy English, Michael Lopp and Alex Payne. I liked them all, I think they are well worth the price of a 2€ monthly subscription. At two issues a month, that works out to about 25 cents per essay, which is completely sensible in my opinion.
It’s going to be very exciting to see how Marco’s little experiment is going to play out. For now, I’m looking forward to the next issue.