Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Electronic magazines "made it simple"

A few years ago I was excited when Zinio started (what was to me) a new business: Electronic magazines you can download and see them in your computer display. Zinio model required a DRM-ed software on your computer and Internet access to double-check the binary file you've stored in your computer was one you're entitled to see.

Platform-dependent and not so flexible made me walk away from Zinio. However, for a number of years I've been a paying subscriber of Circuit Cellar magazine whose model was, IMHO, simpler and better: a PDF file.

Today I've learned that this magazine (that sometimes has featured articles by me) is adding (not moving) a new flavor for their electronic version. One version powered by, that in essence is a Flash-based viewer similar to the one at Issuu. I guess that besides free content the company also manages users subscriptions.

By checking on-line I can see that now Zinio has also enabled a browser-based reader that does not required the user to install any software (it was not like that a few years ago).

And, by the way, it really helps when you have a really big display :-)


  • At 10:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi! Thanks for your great post. I am so glad that you took another look at Zinio. We have some great things happening in the digital magazine space, including 2 magazines that have all interactive only digital versions ( and Popular Science's new title: Genius Guide).

    I am the CMO at Zinio and would love to hear any other comments or feedback you have.

    You can always reach me at or at empg on Twitter.

  • At 8:42 am, Blogger Miguel Sánchez said…

    Wow Jeanniey, that was fast!

    I do think that both on-line and off-line electronic readers are the way to go. And while non-paying readers maybe a drawback from the simple revenue generation, they are an asset as they mean an increased in the magazine circulation and, therefore, of the value of advertising it contains and the perceived value of the brand.

    I understand that to find a balance between readers rights and subscriptions revenue is not an easy task. I guess it pays off to trust the customer (RIAA made the opposite move and it does not seem it's paying back).


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