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.âs Mine kinda sucks.
There, I said it.
When I first heard about Time Inc.âs experiment in publishing a customized magazine, I was impressedâparticularly that a big publishing conglomerate would attempt such an innovative ideaâand hopeful that the concept, at least, would be successful, even if the business model was not.
After two issues, however, itâs 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 greyâfor a car I have no interest nor means to buy (the all-new 2010 RX was inspired by me? I donât think so)âto the dated content (James Poniewozikâs 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, donât like footballâso why, in May, would I want to read a story about an ex-Green Bay Packerâs drug use?).
My hope probably shouldâve been dashed much earlier. That Time Inc. only solicited answers to three questionsâdesigned mainly to fill in the blanks on the Lexus adsâbefore cobbling together my âcustomâ magazine was not a good omen.
Iâm not the only one in this office that thinks Mine feels like someone elseâs. 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. Slateâs Farhad Manjoo says his skepticism was âmisguidedâ:
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 Pandoraâand like the best magazine editorsâMine 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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