My point simply is that there are fundamentals of traditional media that are still true in new media. In particular, I mean the linear story and the experience it creates must still be preserved with new media. Despite all the non-linear and interactive possibilities that new media can provide magazine publishing (i.e. magazine apps that build in more interactivity, or are hyperlinked segments to everything on the internet, these new features of the medium can actually detract from the core value the audiences desire.
So while some in this thread are criticizing magazine app publishers or ipad for not using the ether to its full potential, I suggest that most of these professional publishers are actually preserving what they know has been tried and true: the linear story. It means they can enhance the story with interactivity and hyperlinked access, but not to the point that is a distraction or an interruption to the linear story. The initial wave of magazine apps have been an excellent effort.
I couldn’t disagree more with most of these posts.
For all those looking from a technology POV at the convergence of technology and communications, I suggest looking beyond the echo chamber that you may be surrounded in.
Consider that most of these “large evil media / communication empires” that are operating today have survived a century plus of new mediums / distribution channels / and cultural trends / and economic cycles. Within their institutions seem to linger some wisdom, and a thing or two about the business that you may not appreciate.
One lesson many of you might learn is the significance of story. A story is the vehicle that communicates. The story is what transcends our self and connects us. Stories communicate regardless of medium or format. In fiction and non-fiction, across text, to music to, moving picture, the story carries and connects us. -Think about that when you hear talk about the “narrative” of the news cycle, or focus the message of your power point, or consider the complete story from your broadcaster and journalist, and describe the plot of that great movie and book, or review the feed on your Facebook page, or simply tell a good joke. Stories move the world, make or break a President, and start and end wars.
Why is this important to ipad magazines apps and most of our new media innovations? Because the story is primarily a linear vehicle, and any successful attempt at new media (Ipad magazine apps or other) must work within that linear discipline. The story is linear because we process and store in linear; language is linear, it is a reflection of the simple time-space constraint we all share and are subjects to: i.e. reality. A story is not an aggregation of events that exists separately in time and space connected by hyperlinks. –That is called information. Information can be valuable, mine it all day if you wish, but it’s not effective communication.
New media offers so many possibilities to improve the story in all its shape and sizes, but the linear discipline must be respected if it is to be effective. The beauty and irony of story, is that by respecting and working within its linear discipline, the audience transcends reality to a shared experience. That is a place that ip addresses, algorithms, and digital connections can never build.
Congratulations to those magazine app publishers who embrace and innovate in the new medium without compromising its fundamentals.
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