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Working in magazines, and having just purchased my iPad, I was quick to download the new Wired multimedia magazine iPad app when it was available last week. I love it. It shows what’s possible when thinking beyond the page. It also sounds like they did some work with Adobe to create a companion program to…

Wired on the iPad

Working in magazines, and having just purchased my iPad, I was quick to download the new Wired multimedia magazine iPad app when it was available last week. I love it. It shows what’s possible when thinking beyond the page. It also sounds like they did some work with Adobe to create a companion program to InDesign (which many magazines use for their print publication layouts) in order to streamline the process of not only creating printed publcations but moving them to the iPad as well.

Here is what Wired Editor Chris Anderson had to say about the new iPad app (courtesy AppleInsider): “It has all of the visual impact of paper, enhanced by interactive elements like video and animated graphics,” he said. “We can offer you a history of Mars landings that lets you explore the red planet yourself. We can take you inside Trent Reznor’s recording studio and let you listen to snippets of his work in progress. And we can show you exactly how Pixar rafted each frame of its new movie, Toy Story 3.”

Posted by Joel on May 31 2010 • Multimedia

On Reading

I think I am rushing out to buy a new book this morning. It’s A Reader on Reading from writer Alberto Manguel, who just might be the most well-read person on the planet. Read more about him here. I’ve previously written (enviously) on this blog about his wonderful personal library in France. If you are unfamiliar with him, Manguel is a distinguished scholar and man of letters who has become known for writing about reading. I would highly recommend his previous book, A Library at Night, where he talks about the history of libraries as well as his love for his own private space.

Famed critic Michael Dirda writes about Manguel in this issue of Barnes and Noble Review. I like what he says in this paragraph about how Manguel describes writing: “Manguel the reader never quite expected to become Manguel the writer. Reading, he says in “Room for the Shadow,” “is a contented, sensuous occupation whose intensity and rhythm are agreed upon between the reader and the chosen book.” By contrast, writing is “a strict, plodding, physically demanding task in which the pleasures of inspiration are all well and good, but are only what hunger and taste are to a cook: a starting point and a measuring rod, not the main occupation. Long hours, stiff joints, sore feet, cramped hands, the heat or cold of the workplace, the anguish of missing ingredients and the humiliation owing to the lack of knowhow, onions that make you cry, and sharp knives that slice your fingers are what is in store for anyone who wants to prepare a good meal or write a good book.”

Posted by Joel on May 16 2010 • Books

End of an Era

It’s sad news to learn today that Newsweek magazine is up for sale. Growing up in a print culture, I admired the qualities of this wonderfully produced news magazine. It’s the bellwether-- the end of the large market weekly news magazine, the decline of print journalism and the shift to something new as news and commentary moves toward purely online forms of distribution, as this story in the New York Times points out:

“The move comes as companies have been sloughing off and revamping other mass magazines. TV Guide was sold for $1 to a private equity firm; Businessweek was sold for $5 million in cash to Bloomberg L.P.; and Reader’s Digest was given an editorial overhaul as it slashed circulation.

“The circulations of Time and Newsweek now stand about where they were in 1966, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

“Those magazines had much more stature in those days,” said Edward Kosner, who began at Newsweek in 1963 and was its editor in the late 1970s. “It was really important what was on the cover of Newsweek and what was on the cover of Time because it was what passed for the national press. They helped set the agenda; they helped make reputations.”

“The era of mass is over, in some respect,” said Charles Whitaker, research chairman in magazine journalism at the Northwestern University school of journalism. “The newsweeklies, for so long, have tried to be all things to all people, and that’s just not going to cut it in this highly niche, politically polarized, media-stratified environment that we live in today.”

Posted by Joel on May 05 2010 • Journalism