Second Issue of 'Mine' Doesn't Feel Like It
Time Inc.'s customized print experiment fails to impress jaded media editor.
Great idea, but Time Inc.â€™s Mine kinda sucks.
There, I said it.
When I first heard about Time Inc.â€™s experiment in publishing a customized magazine, I was impressedâ€”particularly that a big publishing conglomerate would attempt such an innovative ideaâ€”and hopeful that the concept, at least, would be successful, even if the business model was not.
After two issues, however, itâ€™s clear to me that the execution of this cool idea is failing from a consumer perspective.
Why? Because nothing about Mine feels like it.
From the customized belly band Lexus ad with the mismatched shades of greyâ€”for a car I have no interest nor means to buy (the all-new 2010 RX was inspired by me? I donâ€™t think so)â€”to the dated content (James Poniewozikâ€™s essay on the future of mobile television peppered with references to Thanksgiving and the Super Bowl) that is neither customized to me nor matches my interests (I like Sports Illustrated, donâ€™t like footballâ€”so why, in May, would I want to read a story about an ex-Green Bay Packerâ€™s drug use?).
My hope probably shouldâ€™ve been dashed much earlier. That Time Inc. only solicited answers to three questionsâ€”designed mainly to fill in the blanks on the Lexus adsâ€”before cobbling together my â€ścustomâ€ť magazine was not a good omen.
Iâ€™m not the only one in this office that thinks Mine feels like someone elseâ€™s. My colleague, Bill Mickey, made that call after his first issue arrived.
Still, there is at least one jaded media type who is ready to call Mine a success. Slateâ€™s Farhad Manjoo says his skepticism was â€śmisguidedâ€ť:
I've received two issues of Mine, and I love it. Unlike a lot of the publications that slip into my mailbox each month, Mine is full of stories that I actually feel like reading. As promised, many of the articles look as if they were picked just for me.
Mine isn't an echo chamber that merely reflects my narrow views. Instead, reading it is a bit listening to Pandora, the online service that serves up songs based on my musical preferences. Like Pandoraâ€”and like the best magazine editorsâ€”Mine exposed me to stuff that I liked but probably wouldn't have sought out on my own.
To each his own.
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