Sunday, August 12, 2012

RC Digital Magazines

The popularity of the tablet for digital media is catching on. Unfortunately, the RC hobby is notorious for lagging behind current technology. Maybe I should rephrase that last statement; RC hobbyists are notorious for resisting change. Let's face it, there are still clubs out there full of members that hate anything electric, don't trust 2.4, and do whatever they can to discourage the shift of our hobby's technology to new members, and new pilots. I was discouraged last year when I was trying to find a digital RC magazine for my Kindle Fire. However, it didn't surprise me. I also knew eventually there would be one, so I had to wait.

Just before Toledo I began to hear about RC Pilot Magazine which was going to be completely digital. I was very excited to imagine a real digital magazine and not simply a PDF of a printed magazine. I was disappointed, however, that it was only available for the iPad. Oh well, I might eventually get one. At the Toledo Weak Signals show, I walked up to the RC Pilot booth and expressed my appreciation for their magazine and I was pleasantly surprised when they informed that it would be soon available for the Kindle. SWEET!

Fast forward to present day. There are at least four major digital RC magazines out and I figured this would be a great time to review each of them.

(I admit it, I do love RC magazines. I don't deny their short comings and I actually make fun of them most of the time, however I can't stay away.) I'm also exploring advertising for ATTF and I figure that a digital magazine is the perfect place targeting the perfect demographic that we're looking for. I'll be doing this in a 6 part series. Part 1 is this introduction, one part for each magazine, and finally a conclusion.

Anti-Shill Disclosure

As a host/owner of the podcast, I did interview Michael Kranitz, owner of RC Pilot magazine recently and they have donated a prize to one of our giveaways. I am a paid subscriber and I am in no other way affiliated with RC Pilot. Regarding Model Aviation, I am an AMA member and that's the extent to my relationship with them. I have absolutely no ties to the last two titles which I have reviewed. Besides my paid subscription to RC Pilot, I have purchased the individual issues of the other magazines I will be reviewing.

Review Guidelines

I am using the following criteria to review the magazines:

  • Use of Technology
I'll be looking at all of the bells and whistles the magazines utilize to set them apart from a fancy PDF. In-line video, animation, creative slide shows, links, audio, etc etc. I'll also compare what the magazine claims to offer compared to what's actually inside.
  • Content
I'll be judging on the quality of the articles. Granted, this doesn't have much to do with the magazine being digital, but it's a key factor in any magazine. If readers don't enjoy consuming/relating to the actual information, it doesn't matter how many cool features the magazine has.
  • Ease of Use
How hard is the magazine to navigate? Does everything work? Do I become agitated at anytime during the read?
  • Layout / Design / Looks
Finally, I'm going to rate each magazine on how it looks overall? Do I enjoy looking at it? Is it pleasant to read? I understand this can be a very personal area, but I feel it's warranted.

Look for the following parts of this review in the coming weeks. Use the label "Digital Magazines" here in my blog to just bring up the posts for this review.

1 comment:

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