Wrong Guy for the Job?

Just how bad is Wired magazine’s new iPad app? Pretty awful according to one review at interfacelab.com:

… [M]y gut feeling is that there is a massive opportunity to reinvent the concept of a magazine – yet we end up with something akin to what the web was like in the mid to late 90’s.  This basically boils down to a print designer’s vision of what the web should be like – but in this case it’s a print magazine person’s vision of what an interactive magazine should be like.
Is This Really The Future Of Magazines, or Why Didn’t They Just Use HTML5?

David Griffin

Hold that critique in your mind — a print magazine person’s vision of what an interactive magazine should be like — and then remember our post from May 13, when National Geographic Editor in-Chief Chris Johns announced that his Director of Photography, David Griffin, was being promoted…

… to the  position of Executive Editor, Electronic Publishing. … In recent weeks it has become apparent that this effort is a full- time job, worthy of executive leadership. David’s grasp of technology and all the promise it offers, his love and passion for photography, his strong sense of design and graphics and his dedication to journalistic excellence make him the ideal person to fill this important position.

Set aside that the need for full-time “leadership” in “electronic publishing” is something that dawned on the Editor of National Geographic in “recent weeks.” Instead, keep in mind that David Griffin is a print guy, and has always been a print guy.

On LinkedIn and on National Geographic‘s site, David has the opportunity to define himself, but you won’t see him use the words interactive, computer, technology, interface, user experience — nothing to suggest he has a “grasp of technology,” or is the right guy to shepherd NGM into the world of “electronic publishing.”

Once again, from Is This Really The Future Of Magazines…:

“… I actually think it’s a huge step backwards and I think the wrong people are working on the problem – just like the wrong people were working on the web problem back in the day.   Sure, we corrected course and we’re seeing the web done correctly more and more these days – but can the magazine publishing industry afford to get this wrong for any amount of time? …”

__________

  • An alternate take on Wired, at least:
    http://gawker.com/5550208/wired-ipad-app-sells-65-times-more-than-gq-ipad-app

    NGM should “fail” like that.

    • 24,000 copies sold on the first day says more about Wired’s print reputation than it says about the quality of the app. Any idea how it has been selling since then? And have you seen any reviews that suggest Wired developed something more than a CD-ROM for the iPad? Better yet, have *you* see the app itself?

      Thanks as always for stopping by, GL.

  • An alternate take on Wired, at least:
    http://gawker.com/5550208/wired-ipad-app-sells-65-times-more-than-gq-ipad-app

    NGM should “fail” like that.

    • 24,000 copies sold on the first day says more about Wired’s print reputation than it says about the quality of the app. Any idea how it has been selling since then? And have you seen any reviews that suggest Wired developed something more than a CD-ROM for the iPad? Better yet, have *you* see the app itself?

      Thanks as always for stopping by, GL.

  • The reaction from general users appears to have been more positive than that of the techno-geeks. Who is the audience we want? I have not tried it because I do not have an iPad and am not especially interested in Wired. I would like to see if sales hold up after the initial surge. Like you, I am very concerned that NGS get this right.

    • Hey G –

      Let me know if you get a chance to see Wired’s version — or NGM’s. And your metric is a good one: Do sales hold up? Or was it just the surge of novelty?

      BTW: Has NGM released their version? I haven’t seen it yet.

  • The reaction from general users appears to have been more positive than that of the techno-geeks. Who is the audience we want? I have not tried it because I do not have an iPad and am not especially interested in Wired. I would like to see if sales hold up after the initial surge. Like you, I am very concerned that NGS get this right.

    • Hey G –

      Let me know if you get a chance to see Wired’s version — or NGM’s. And your metric is a good one: Do sales hold up? Or was it just the surge of novelty?

      BTW: Has NGM released their version? I haven’t seen it yet.

  • Ethel Starbird

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/01/adobes-digital-publishing-platform-behind-wired-app-uses-cs5-t/

    So, despite all that hubbub about Flash, Adobe managed to still deliver iPad magazine publishing tools to Wired after all… and it’s not stopping there. Adobe’s “digital viewer software” is the crux, which Adobe says it built in Apple’s Objective C and will continue to maintain for the iPad while considering other platforms like the iPhone. Meanwhile, anything built matching this vaguely defined spec (Adobe’s keeping a lot of details close to its chest right now) will be able to publish to this iPad reader software, along with any Flash 10.1 or AIR 2-compliant devices. HTML 5 will also come in to play somehow. Adobe will be releasing the publishing tech to Adobe Labs later this year, but you’ll have to have Adobe InDesign CS5 to take advantage of it. Of course, none of this really solves the debate over 3rd party development tools for building iPad and iPhone apps, but it seems to sidestep it pretty handily.

  • Ethel Starbird

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/01/adobes-digital-publishing-platform-behind-wired-app-uses-cs5-t/

    So, despite all that hubbub about Flash, Adobe managed to still deliver iPad magazine publishing tools to Wired after all… and it’s not stopping there. Adobe’s “digital viewer software” is the crux, which Adobe says it built in Apple’s Objective C and will continue to maintain for the iPad while considering other platforms like the iPhone. Meanwhile, anything built matching this vaguely defined spec (Adobe’s keeping a lot of details close to its chest right now) will be able to publish to this iPad reader software, along with any Flash 10.1 or AIR 2-compliant devices. HTML 5 will also come in to play somehow. Adobe will be releasing the publishing tech to Adobe Labs later this year, but you’ll have to have Adobe InDesign CS5 to take advantage of it. Of course, none of this really solves the debate over 3rd party development tools for building iPad and iPhone apps, but it seems to sidestep it pretty handily.

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