Monday, April 12, 2010

Apple iPad & New Media: from Time Magazine

Some really interesting writing from Time Magazine lately about the iPad, it's potential impact and the related area of journalism and new media.

To the iPad itself, the April 12 issue gave us a cover image of Steve Jobs and mention of two stories within the pages (but, more later on this idea of "pages").

First was "The iPad Launch: Can Steve Jobs Do It Again?", a fanboy piece penned by novelist and screenwriter Stephen Fry and second was "Do We Need the iPad? A TIME Review" by Lev Grossman.

Grossman wrote a number of nice things about the iPad, but also noted that it's usage appears to be "lovely for consuming content, but not creating it"... which echoed what I've seen from writers such as Jeff Jarvis in his BuzzMachine post "iPad danger: app v. web, consumer v. creator."

Fry's essay takes a very different approach in that he writes of his visit to Apple headquarters to speak with Jobs and his lieutenants responsible for running various facets of company business. While not having anything that would contradict the idea of the iPad as being for content consumption, Fry presents a compelling vision of it being an elegant and personal device for it's intended purpose... allowing users an immersive user-friendly experience with the things they want to access on a computer (including, but not limited to: music, videos, pictures, games, books and websites).


While the iPad itself is simply a device, the Editor's Letter from this April 12 issue gave a glimpse of at least the potential for it to change markets (in this case the field of Journalism). In "Ushering in a New Era", Richard Stengel writes of Time's efforts to get a version of the magazine available for the iPad.

In the same category of "Journalism: Where it's Been, Where it's Going" was an essay by Alan Brinkley from the April 19 issue of Time. "What Would Henry Luce Make of the Digital Age?" covered the co-founder and former head of Time Inc. and addressed how he might have approached the current business climate and rush to digital facing print media.

What media should do doesn't have an easy answer, but is a fascinating topic. In February of last year I linked to and wrote about the Walter Isaacson Time cover story "How to Save Your Newspaper" and also find interesting (and encouraging) people like the aforementioned Jeff Jarvis and his BuzzMachine blog (and teaching around Interactive/Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York Journalism School).

No way to tell where things with media will wind up, but ranging from the guys writing about and working on it to the new products coming up in the space (even if they're designed more for content consumption than creation), there's a lot of interesting stuff going on around this field of new media and user experience with media new and old.