Connect with FOLIO:


Second Issue of 'Mine' Doesn't Feel Like It

Time Inc.'s customized print experiment fails to impress jaded media editor.

Dylan Stableford By Dylan Stableford
05/27/2009 -11:06 AM

Great idea, but Time Inc.’s Mine kinda sucks.

There, I said it.

When I first heard about Time Inc.’s experiment in publishing a customized magazine, I was impressed—particularly that a big publishing conglomerate would attempt such an innovative idea—and hopeful that the concept, at least, would be successful, even if the business model was not.

After two issues, however, it’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 grey—for a car I have no interest nor means to buy (the all-new 2010 RX was inspired by me? I don’t think so)—to the dated content (James Poniewozik’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, don’t like football—so why, in May, would I want to read a story about an ex-Green Bay Packer’s drug use?).

My hope probably should’ve been dashed much earlier. That Time Inc. only solicited answers to three questions—designed mainly to fill in the blanks on the Lexus ads—before cobbling together my “custom” magazine was not a good omen.

I’m not the only one in this office that thinks Mine feels like someone else’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. Slate’s Farhad Manjoo says his skepticism was “misguided”:

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 Pandora—and like the best magazine editors—Mine exposed me to stuff that I liked but probably wouldn't have sought out on my own.

To each his own.


Dylan Stableford By Dylan Stableford --

Post Comment / Discuss This Blog - Info/Rules

RECENTLY in Editorial dots icon

MOST READ on FOLIOdots icon

FOLIO: Alerts & Newslettersdots icon

Sign up for our news alerts, special offers & feature updates:

FOLIO: Alerts
Breaking news & industry updates

FOLIO: Publishing Technology
The Latest on Trends, Issues & Products (2x Monthly)

FOLIO: Special Promos
Special offers & announcements from Partners, Sponsors & Red 7 Media

FOLIO: Update
Webinar, content & service feature updates