I was thinking this morning how niche and obscure subjects make for successful and popular blogs yet bloggers who aim for the mainstream invariably fail. The Australian woman who took fotos of bridges and blogged about it, the other Australian who blogged her pregnancy and craft making and both won awards here and overseas. See? All niche, yet very popular. Exactly the risk you can’t take with a magazine.
The Goog has filed a patent for a system that would allow the “Customization of Content and Advertisements in Publications.” That sounds to us like custom-made magazines.
The way we think it, it’s like RSS for print; you subscribe to feeds, either as they pertain to specific items or broad topics, with categories or keywords. Each month, you’ll receive your print magazine with all the feeds you’ve subscribed to, along with targeted ads.
It’s a neat idea, and hasn’t really been explored very much. Google’s idea seems to be one of both subscription and on-demand. Imagine you’re in a mall, and you see a Google Magazine kiosk. You approach it and select your articles, or perhaps even login and just print what you have pre-selected.
I reckon it will work about as well as those print-a-book kiosk. Which I’m pretty sure didn’t take the world by storm. But we do have a DVD print kiosk at my local supermaket, so you never can tell. For the record, although I have a serious fetish for magazine smells (stick your nose in a brand new glossy then lick the page, become a convert) I learned how to read articles and blogs online, and it was good. And I originally hated e-books on my Palm but have got used to them now. Well not on my Palm, that was years ago.
But I’d need those targeted ads that tell me someone is listening and that they care. Oh oh oh! maybe I could fill out an OpenSocial profile (profile not context ad delivery), describing my life in minute boring detail and the magazine ads would be delivered based on that! *nods happily* Ok, that works.