digital digs: the future of the magazine? or the textbook?

Alex Reid offers his commentary on this Sports Illustrated promotional video, that imagines how the magazine experience might work on a color tablet reader.

In this YouTube video, the WonderFactory and Time present the “future of the magazine” (including more interactive advertisements, oh goody). Hmmm…. I wonder if the future of Sports Illustrated (the magazine) is not unlike the current Sports Illustrated (the website)? Sure the imagined interactivity of this video (which, btw, also appears to imagine a device which does not yet exist on which it will be delivered) is somewhat different from that of a web page. However one interesting thing I noticed is that if you want a reader/user to have this capacity to switch around between these various views of the content, then you probably need to limit the overall amount of content.

I love reading. I love magazines. I love tablets.

This representation of a more magazine-like digital magazine strikes me as somewhat reminiscent of a plan to improve a “horseless carriage” by simulating horsiness (via a wooden horse head on the front bumper and a poop dispenser on the rear bumper).

Lose the page-turning sound effect. I’m impressed by the idea that every photo on the layout is just one of a series of photos, but I’m not sure that would work all the time — sometimes photos need captions to contextualize them, and sometimes the photos need to go with certain words.  I can easily imagine some sort of icon that indicates “this photo is one in a series,” but I don’t see any indication for when touching a photo will just change the photo, rather than zoom in.  (Maybe the finger is doing a flick gesture, which triggers the “change to another photo” option instead.)

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