Issue 2 of Project – the ‘revolutionary multimedia magazine built specially for your iPad’ – hit the App Store last week. While the content mix and writing in the magazine are quite good, the title continues to be a huge disappointment when it comes to its promised regular and frequent updates. Just as with Issue 1, there are just about no updates at all a week after the second issue’s release.
Why do I keep harping on this? Because this is how Virgin Publishing’s talked about updates when Project was launched back in November:
PROJECT is a monthly magazine that will change daily, hourly – minute by minute at times – to give its global audience of early adopters a month of entertainment for less than the price of a decent cup of coffee.
And this is how they’ve delivered on that since the app was released:
— No meaningful updates to the content of Issue 1. When I asked about why there were none, the response I got from my contact at Virgin Publishing was this:
… this month the updates come in the form of comments, blog posts and the ‘Projected’ section of the magazine. For the next issue we’re looking at ways of adding whole new feature pages through the month.
Which means no real content updates to the magazine at all – just user-generated comments, updates to their blog, and the extremely lame and small ‘Projected’ section – which occupies about a third of one page towards the front of the magazine. Here’s what the Projected section looks like:
— Issue 2 came out well over a month after the first issue – so even their monthly releases are not timely.
— Now Issue 2 is out and I’ve been browsing it nearly every day – and once again there are no new article updates. Nothing or very little has been added to the Projected section. And even ‘The Blog’ section now shows its most recent post dated January 12 – over a week ago.
How’s that for daily, hourly – minute by minute at times? It’s a million miles away from it is how it is. And I do not buy the argument that the lack of updates may be due to restrictions put in place by Apple – because I have seen titles like USA Today and El Pais deliver continual and timely updates to content, every day. Real content updates too – news stories right within the apps.
Project is not a terrible iPad magazine title – but it is the poster child for over-promising and under-delivering thus far in this space.
No wonder people are so skeptical about the chances of the publishing industry making a success of the iPad (and tablets in general) as a new medium.