The Magazine and Open Silos

December 06, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

Much has been made of the The Daily and the last gasps and twitches that marked the end of a wasted opportunity. That's a well worn story and I have no desire to partake. But, I will join in the chorus of people pointing to The Magazine as the way of the future. I don't think the two models of content or publishing can be directly compared. The Daily was designed to be an up to the moment news source where as The Magazine is a periodical of primarily timeless writing. Those are two different businesses.

I do want to focus on what happens to the words after they have been read. The Daily allowed links into articles but only if they were generated from within the app. There was no The Daily Web version.1 It was designed to be read in the app and only discoverable by people with the app. Every word was laid down to be seen from inside the app.

The Magazine has a lovely app that is the premier venue for its articles. For a couple of bucks I can read everything within minutes of them being published. However, there's life after app for those words. The Magazine site offers back issues for the cheap as well as posterity. Here's Guy English's article Fireballed. This is the way for-pay content should live on.

The Internet is a time capsule. It captures and preserves our hopes and fears, creating a record of our culture. Newspapers and magazines have served that purpose for generations. If we are truly moving to a digital publishing model, it would be a shame to lose that record through in app purchases.

I like The Magazine. I'm the target market. Even if I was not, I'd still tip my hat and say thanks for thinking it through.


  1. The Daily has web access to articles if you know the secret handshake. But there are also sources that have indexed the secret garden of The Daily. 

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