Zinio and the prospects for digital magazines

Is Zinio, the digital magazine technology company, fish with feet?
Stephen Baker

It was a blogging panel a year ago in New York. John Battelle was there, Wonkette, our then editor in chief, Steve Shepard, and a few others. The question came up about the future of magazines in the digital age. Shepard mentioned Zinio, the company that produces page-turnable, digital versions of magazines, including ours. I think it was Battelle who responded that Zinio was "fish with feet," merely a transitional product for those who need help migrating from paper to the Web.

Zinio has all kinds of flourishes. Advertisers can produce display ads that morph into videos. Magazine graphics can come alive. And subscribers in far-flung spots in Asia and Latin America can receive the "print" version of the magazine without waiting for the mail. But all this is also true of the Web--without the magazine format. Is there a place for a magazine format on the Internet? Does Zinio have a future?

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