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Issue 66 - The Modern Age

Scotland Magazine Issue 66
December 2012


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The Modern Age

Rob Allanson considers the changes afoot in the magazine world

Ihave often been asked the question before in the past, but as our digital edition, one of the only magazines to appear for the iPad dedicated to Scotland, starts to gather pace and readers, the issue raised its head again.

The issue of course is: "Will the internet and digital magazines see the death of print media?"

This is an age old discussion, well at least as old as the internet, and the sort of debate that goes back to will vinyl replace the wax cylinder, will tape replace vinyl etc.

To a certain extent I think you can say there will be an impact. The digital medium gives you some wonderful options to play with. Format and being constrained by print costs and page sizes cease to be a problem; cutting copy to fit and having to limit the number of pictures per article becomes a thing of the past. Let's not forget you can embed films, tweets, Facebook links...the list is endless, and great fun to explore. One thing you are limited with is download size, but I am sure in time this issue will be overcome.

There is still an excitement in getting a magazine that is not replicated with the digital world. It is a very immediate physical thing; the weight and presence of the magazine, opening the package, the smell of printer's ink, the feel of pages and a spine as yet not broken in.

There is a permanence to a magazine. If you are a magazine fan then chances are you keep them.
You can go back, reference, mark up, even cut out and keep things that catch your eye. I have all sorts of things clipped from newpapers and magazines pasted in journals, they serve as reminders for later.

In fact watching my daughter with a magazine is a joy. There is an innate desire to draw in it, cut things out to save or stick on the fridge and interact with it in a way that a flat screen cannot compete with.

To be honest I see the two mediums working hand in hand, one complementing the other. The digital world can enhance your experience of a magazine. You read something and research it further. Similarly you might find something mentioned on line that you then find more detail with in an article. Of course once you upgrade your computer and loose all the bookmarks, you still have your paper friend behind you on the shelf with dog ears marking out the interesting stuff.

We are on the cusp of something very exciting, embrace them both and enjoy.