In my pr and news feeds, the latest from the Association of Media & Publishing sent me an article called : Magazine Apps: Why So Bloated? The pad revolution is probably going to be the single savior of the publishing industry. Er, uh, maybe not.
Bart De Pelsmaeker who is the CEO of readz said :
My iPad ran out of space when adding some magazines. It got me thinking: If the Internet tablet and the digital magazine are a marriage made in heaven, then why do they often get along more like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Why do even the most prestigious magazines receive only a 3 out of 5 rating?
Those are all good questions, and he goes on writing about various situations, and various topics that seem to cover the full range of online magazines. But then he finds there's a negative comment that crosses all the subject and topic lines :
. . . there just seems to be a singular complaint so common it has become the bane of every digital magazine publisher’s existence. Why is this download so large? 500 megabytes! 800 megabytes! For just one issue of a digital magazine?
Then he goes on talking about how bad it is to have such bloated publications. He never actually approaches his initial question of "why" they are so bloated. So, I'll take the challenge and answer for him:
Reason 1: very cheap, very fast, mountains of bandwidth. People have forgotten that they're still online. They've lost the consideration for the reader that the web was originally built on. They were not around, (or were not born yet) when we were building the very first web pages at 256 colors, and a maximum screen size of 840 pixels. They never knew that one of the top ten reasons your web site sucks is if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load, or weighs in at more than 100K. They forgot that 90% of the web access was at or just above 56K. They were never taught the ediquite of lean, fast applications.
That't the first and the biggest reason. I think also however is more and more people are involved in the publishing process who really do not know, or do not care about what they're doing.
Reason 2: Ignorant of the new digital publishing processes! If you'll run some of those 50-meg magazines back through Acrobat's "Make Smaller" routine, they'll crunch down to a half-dozen megs and still look just as good on screen. In a medium where one in a million will actually be printed, why should the design director feel compelled to insert 300ppi, 3,500 pixel images where the repro size is only 2 inches ??? Doesn't make sense.
But heed the advice of Bart De Pelsmaeker
...Every single second that someone waits for your content to load potentially decreases the momentum hold you have on their attention. Those lost moments are the birthplace of twitch decisions that lead a potential reader to click away for something else instead.
Bad user experiences can kill an audience’s relationship with your product... and even worse, with your brand. And in today’s world, ignoring the needs of your digital audience will send you the way of the Dodo bird so fast you won’t need a publicist to tell your tale — you’ll need an archaeologist.
You can read Mr. Pelsmaeker's article first hand
Magazine Apps: Why So Bloated? by Bart De Pelsmaeker
And, thanks for reading