Colin Crawford Is Smart, But I Still Think He’s Wrong
Written by Nxtbook Media
In a recent blog post, Colin Crawford writes that publishers may not be prepared for the types of metrics content on the iPad will provide them with. He also says, "Transferring the elements of an old media to a new one has never worked before so it’s unlikely this time will be much different."
These types of global statements are always interesting to me, not unlike the popular blanket statement, "The media defines the medium." The fact of the matter is that while there are many true elements to these statements, they’re not patently correct.
Fact: Digital magazines have succeeded. Not all of them, of course, and the reasons why vary widely. Some publishers employed awful strategies or used awful solutions. In some cases, the audience was just wrong. But there have been many success stories. Stories which have been broadcast in webinars and at events that Colin Crawford has spoken at. While Crawford’s attempts may have all failed, his perspective is just one.
Secondly, Crawford’s assumption is based on the statement that all digital media results in lower engagement times simply because it’s digital, but has been documented by many numerous times, digital magazines have longer engagement times than websites. The content and the formatting have as much to do with the engagement time as the fact of whether it’s displayed on an LCD or a piece of paper.
And finally, let’s keep in mind that the media doesn’t always the medium. If it did, sites like YouTube, which is chock-full of low resolution videos would’ve never risen to prominence. This isn’t to say that content shouldn’t be reformatted to the medium, but only to say that getting on the medium is better than sitting on the sidelines because you think you have no other option.