Virgin’s Project Magazine Fails To Deliver
Well, as I often do when I have had a chance to use a product for a while, I have changed my opinion on the Project magazine/app for the iPad. When it was first released, I was extremely excited and declared that it was the digital magazine I had been waiting for. Content is truly king however and, in my opinion, Project has so far fallen short.
When the first issue was released, it came with the promise that the stories would see some sort of regular updates throughout the month until the next issue was released. Apart from blog-style comments I didn’t see any changes to the stories in the first month and it took the publishers nearly a month and a half to release issue number two.
Given that they took so long to put together the second issue, I was hopeful that the content would be worth the wait. On the contrary, the content in issue 2 is even less interesting than the first. Their cover story is on celebrity and supposed adventurer Bear Grylls. My dislike of the story is probably personal preference for the large part, but given Grylls’s checkered history when it comes to keeping it real on his “reality TV,” I would expect at least a brief mention or a question allowing him to explain the discoveries that he was bunking in hotels instead of snow caves. Nada. Instead, it sounded like the writer had a pretty serious man crush.
Another thing that concerns me is that the publishers seem to have little respect for their readers. The letters to the editor section was shocking. Most of the notes from readers were scathing reviewed of the content and layout. Instead of simply stating that they were listening and maybe acknowledging that improvements were in store, the editors flat out mocked and ridiculed the people who had taken the time to share their opinion.
Sad. It was an exciting experiment, but a failed one as far as I am concerned. I bought two issues, but will not buy another unless I hear about drastic changes on the Project front. Until then, I think that RSS readers like Pulse will continue to take the lead and fit in much better with the iOS ecosystem and letting users zero in on the content and apps that are tailor made for them.
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