AdRants reports on the astonishing advent of the personalized magazine cover: Reason Magazine is sending out copies of their periodical with covers that feature a satellite image of the subscriber’s neighborhood, with their address circled in red; as well as their name on the cover.
This is made possible by not only the magic of computer databases, but also the new one-off printing technologies that can print short runs of brochures and other collateral, personalizing the piece. I’ve always wanted to use one of these printers, and I’m kind of bummed that Reason has come up with the killer app for it.
What makes this all more interesting is the idea that one day soon, because of this technology, you may never need to subscribe to a specific magazine:
There would be no need for a magazine called Sport Illustrated or Entertainment Weekly or Car and Driver. All relevant content would be pulled into on magazine and it would be called (Insert Your Name Here). If this model reached a workable level of sophistication where every content desire of the individual could be delivered, the magazine newsstand business wouldn’t have much going for it. Why would you read a bland copy of Newsweek or have to buy several copies of magazines to serve your various interests when you could buy one that contained it all. Oh yea, this is all very futuristic but its not unworkable and its not far off.
This has wonderful appeal (only sports featuring Andy Roddick pictures with his shirt riding up, for instance) but I have always been wary of targeted news because it lacks the serendipity factor.
I like paging through my paper/hardcopy Washington Post partly because I encounter things I might not expect. I never want to lose that.