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01 April 2009

Nylon dumps paper subscribers

I received an email from Nylon in my inbox this morning informing me that I would no longer be receiving issues of Nylon in the mail. I have to opt IN to paper issues. WTF?! Please tell me this is just an April Fools Joke publicity stunt.

Obviously, I enjoy reading content in digital format, I am a blogger after all. However, I just have not warmed up to the digital magazine platform for ANY digital magazine. Why might you ask?

  • You can't read the format in an RSS feed.
  • There is no easy mechanism to save things I like. I used to rip my favorite pages out of the magazine, now am I suppose to print them on my crappy printer? On a blog I can tumble my favorite images, this is not possible in current magazine platforms.
  • It takes a while to load new pages, which is super annoying when the first 15 pages are advertising. At least on blogs and websites there is almost always content somewhere on the same page with the advertising, or at worst one lone advertisement, not 15 in a row.
  • The platforms tend to be slow, Nylon's is no exception.
  • Reading articles in this format is difficult and annoying. The print is small, the zooming and navigation of the pages is annoying, like reading a Pdf in acrobat, but worse because of the double page layout. I always print out Pdfs to read. I am not going to print an entire freaking magazine that I subscribed to in PAPER originally. If you are going to publish online, you should make your content readable and scrollable.
  • Also on the readability issue: online articles (especially longer ones) are constructed differently than print articles. They are formatted for skimming. Online magazine are obviously not.
  • I used to read print magazines on the bus. I can't do that with a digital format. I doubt the magazine layouts look all that awesome on the now ubiquitous iPhone.
I am so annoyed I am thinking about unsubscribe from the emails and not even bothering to call in for a print issue subscription. I don't have the time to waste with an automated message system re-signing up for something I already subscribed to once.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. You are trying to be "green." You want to get you your magazine faster. You want to eliminate lost magazines. Whatever. At least be honest with your readers, Nylon. If you are going digital because you can't afford to print the paper magazine anymore, and this is your alternative to folding, say so. I could at least forgive that, but only if you investigate other online publishing platforms.

Dear ,

We’re pleased to attach your April issue of NYLON Magazine – in digital format. Just as DVDs have it all over VHS tapes, we think you will come to agree that our digital edition of NYLON offers a number of advantages over the traditional print edition:

  • No more waiting for your new issues to come in the mail! We will email each new issue of NYLON to you the day our editors sign off on it! And yes, the digital edition has all the content of the paper version; plus you can easily click, save, and print out the photos -- or share them with friends online.
  • No more lost issues! Ever had a magazine misplaced by the post office? Chewed up by the dog? Borrowed by your BFF? No problem – each digital edition in your NYLON subscription is always available to you, on our website or your computer!
  • No more paper! Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint? You have found one – enjoying NYLON Magazine on your screen instead of on paper! You’ll have less to throw out too.

Again, thank you for subscribing to NYLON. Wait ‘til you see what we have lined up in months ahead…


Don Hellinger

P.S. If for some reason you would prefer to receive the print edition of NYLON instead of the digital edition, simply call 1-866-639-8133 between the hours of 8AM and 10 PM central time , and a Customer Service Representative will be pleased to assist you.


Ashe said...

I think you make some wonderful points here, ones that I hadn't considered. It actually makes me more annoyed. Originally I was partially okay with it, because at least then it's less clutter... but I'd have liked a choice, especially since I chose NOT to receive it online originally.

Missa said...

Going digital is great for newspapers and business-y publications, but for something so image-dense and tangible like Nylon is just SO not cool (unless, like you said, they'd fold if they didn't do this). There really is nothing like curling up with a fashion magazine in bed or on the sofa that you just can't do with a laptop or iphone.

Designer Shoes Lover said...

I totally agree that there is no substitute for being able to carry a magazine or even newspaper in your bag or briefcase for casual and convenient reading.

It's interesting that the "younger generation Yers" consider older people to be "digital immigrants" for needing anything to be on paper including mags or software manuals or anything.

Nonetheless, I am in full agreement with you and appreciate all the finer points you discussed.

Thanks So Much


RLMEnglish said...

I stopped getting Nylon a while ago anyway for no apparent reason. I just didn't like every issue and figured I could buy the ones I wanted from the store. Now I am not so sad I stopped my subscription. I hope you figure out how to resolve this in your head the best way possible... without waiting for "their" hours to call.

Anonymous said...

I called to switch my subscription back to print. Chatting with Nylon's pleasant customer service rep, I learned that this digital-print switcheroo was limited to subscriptions that were sponsored by Urban Outfitters.

Nobody likes this bait-and-switch: