I've had a little over a year to really experience the digital age, insofar as it applies to magazines... and to be honest, I don't like it.
My initial impression was favourable, and for a few months I enjoyed having Wallpaper and Azure with me wherever I went. I received an email from Zinio every month, letting me know my latest issue was ready for download. My Issuu feed updated every time I logged in, and I found a number of great magazines there.
Everything was great, until I dropped my Kobo Vox e-reader on the floor, which somehow reset the stupid thing back to its defaults... wiping everything I'd downloaded.
Being an older tablet/e-reader, I wasn't able to download the latest versions of a number of apps - Zinio being one. The old version that came bundled with my Kobo would no longer download my magazines, and newer versions wouldn't work. I was still able to use the online Zinio reader on my XP laptop at home, as well as my Windows 8 laptop at work, so I didn't swear too loudly.
I continued like this for a few more months, but once my Zinio subscriptions ran out, I didn't renew them. Now, that's not to knock Zinio - they offer a great product and their support is top notch - but it was pretty clear where my heart lay... in print media.
I resumed buying print magazines a few months ago, after I got tired of reading digital mags on my computer. Sure, the quality of the digital variety is great and I don't have to worry about accidentally tearing it, someone writing on it, getting coffee stains on it, etc, but it's just not the same.
What I don't like about digital magazines is you can't leave one out on the coffee table. You can't lend it to someone. You can't draw mustaches and beards on the female athletes, or Hitler mustaches on all the politicians and businesspeople. There's no sense of wonderment when you find one in a box in your closet. There's no scent. You don't get free rub-on samples of cologne in them. Worst of all, you have no physical artifact to leave to posterity.
Call me an anachronism, but I prefer the real thing.
Which brings us to the Audience Participation part of our show...
I've put up a poll in the upper right sidebar of my blog. It runs until Midnight, March 1st, and it's aimed at those of you who still buy print magazines. For those who still enjoy print magazines, I'm curious about how you prefer to buy them. Specifically, I'm curious to know if you prefer to support local businesses by buying magazines in-store, or if you prefer to support the publishers directly by subscribing to magazines.
Legal note: This poll is for my own curiosity, and I'm not acting on behalf of any demographic, research, Law Enforcement, or marketing agencies. I will not share (or sell) results with any third parties, this is purely for my own amusement.
Let me know what you think!