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Back in a flash: the new magazine is digital Part II

The New Magazine is Digital Part II

The New Magazine is Digital Part II

Currently, digital magazines exist largely as supplements to print counterparts; they allow publishers to widely disseminate their print content without sacrificing the impact of design. Online-only magazines have long existed, but for the most part publishers and editors have stuck to the daily blog format, relying on HTML for content. It allows readers to scroll through multiple headlines at once and editors to update content daily.

That’s what makes Lonny so unique. A star in the digital community and an industry comeback kid, Lonny is a bimonthly interior design magazine that exists only as a flipbook. It echoes the late Domino, a glossy shelter magazine that fell victim to falling advertising in 2009, despite its popularity and rapidly growing number of subscriptions. After serving as an assistant at Domino fresh out of college, Michelle Adams went on to launch Lonny in October to fill the gap Domino and others like it left behind.

Rather than start a Web site or blog, as many advised her, Adams and co-founder Patrick Cline went straight to Issuu. “We followed our intuition and created a magazine,” Adams said in an e-mail interview. “We felt that our readers sorely miss the print publications that have folded and are longing for something to fill that void. We love that our platform allows us to publish our magazine with the same look and feel of a traditional print magazine, but with interactive capabilities and worldwide accessibility.” This includes the ability to hyperlink content and track which content receives the most attention from readers. And unlike print magazines, content can be added up to the last minute before release, and Lonny’s publication costs hover just below $20 a month.

Digital magazines will never fully replace print, Adams said. Astrid Sandoval, Issuu’s chief commercial officer in Europe, agrees. She said that Issuu does not strive to replicate the tactile experience of holding a magazine but to deliver an underlying quality of print magazines that Web sites simply can’t provide.

“A Web site is kind of a continuous thing with all these real time events,” she explained. “A digital publication is a moment in time that gives you a kind of constancy.” In other words, like a print magazine, a digital magazine can be opened and shut, yet stories can be revisited on the same “page” without being replaced by a new headline.

“We truly think this is the direction magazines will go and we’re excited to be one of the pioneers in the industry,” Adams said. The fourth issue of Lonny is due out April 10.

— Janelle Zara

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