I’ve been meaning to write a post on the iPad for a while…but I wanted to take a bit for my thoughts to settle amidst the flurry. There was so much hype, so much letdown, and SO many conversations about the iPad, I wanted to take a bit and see how I felt about it.
The topic is near and dear to my heart. As a member of the publishing industry, I’m part of a group of people who’s sitting on edge, waiting with baited breath, to see where the market and the public will take us next.
In the weeks since it’s release, I’ve been reading loads of commentary on the iPad’s potential effect on magazines/publishing in general, from those who are calling it the “last, best hope for publishing” to those who think it’s nothing but a gigantic iPhone.
This is what I think:
We’re only on the brink of a massive, sweeping change in publishing. No one really knows what’s going to happen, and everyone is still trying to figure out what the secret to success is. The perfect balance between print and digital media is still unknown. How do you keep the reader engaged, maintain a print publication, have a decent website, and still make money? Right now, it’s about testing, trying, failing, and succeeding. It’s about risk and reward.
But, I truly believe that there is a need and a desire for print publications, and I don’t believe that will ever go away. Despite the Kindles and Nooks and iPads, people love turning pages themselves, feeling the paper between their fingers, flipping through a magazine casually, and being pleasantly surprised by the content they find.
I really like this article from Fast Company. The author says there’s a more important to question about the iPad: can it save the soul of magazines? The essence of what they are, their identity, and why we love them.
There are much more changes to be seen, but I honestly believe they’re going to be good ones. I have faith in the industry, and I believe the best of the best will not just survive, but flourish.