Manhattan Project

Mine Magazine: Big Media Fail

July 13, 2009
Leave a Comment

3445944115_84f63bfeda[1]It didn’t need to come to this: the magazine industry hacking up its last phelgm of dignity for custom made publishing.  For once again, just as we were warming up to long-form narratives and detailed investigative reporting, along comes this hare-brained print version of the RSS feed to piggyback off the Intertubes’ good name.

Time Inc. unveiled Mine Magazine in March as the last ditch checkmate to reader selected content (which, of course, the Web provides in spades, durh.) This free and hatchet job-rich Time Warner mash-up cherrypicks evergreen articles from a smattering of its publications (Money, Time, In Style and Sports Illustrated, to name a few) and frames said articles around the reader’s interests with Lexus-bankrolled adverts thrown in for good measure.

Each new Mine Magazine becomes an exploration in tolerance-building exercises, thanks to its jacked-up zoom features (especially frustrating on a POS Dell laptop) and vaguely creepy corpo-fascism:  “Knowing how much you enjoy singing in the car, Fritz, we offer a 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system,” reads the typical ad.

Teehee. The singing in the car is emboldened, you see, because I filled out answers on a half-assed survey so that Time Inc. could get a feel for my interests. Questions include  “Which do you crave more: sushi or pizza?” (Apparently, Time Inc. is employing the same asshole who infects Facebook with inane quizzes.)

Old media fogies can read into it what they want, but Mine Magazine‘s greatest weakness lies in its ability to provide cherrypicked content that I would never seek out in the first place.  In my third issue, delivered last week, celeb stylist Ken Paves blurbed Jessica Simpson-ready hair advice (In Style), while Money advised me on, get this, bonds.

Bottom line: for a venture so invested in me-ness, Mine Magazine reads like it barely knows me at all.


Posted in Corporations, Media