Monday, May 18, 2009
#5 the first interactive football mag
Ok, we know what you're thinking. Footballer + magazine = unmitigated disaster. Anyone who has seen Jamie Redknapp's effort might have preconceived ideas about what a footballer is capable of when it comes to the publishing industry, but keep your mind open.
Rio Ferdinand appears to have cracked it. Not by insightful, witty pieces of journalism, but by creating a magazine for the i-phone generation. A magazine that is online, clickable, digital and frankly, rather good.
#5 (it's Rio's number), is the world's first digital lifestyle magazine, is free and is fully interactive, allowing the user to view video clips, pictures and pop-up menus at their discretion. And it looks great.
The first issue has interviews with 50 Cent, Mickey Rourke and Welsh songstress Duffy, while also contains a helping of footy skills, clothes and competitions - everything that a mag should have.
However, it's the video content that makes this site/magazine so appealing. Not only is the page layout exceptionally well designed (with a graphic that 'flicks' over the page when you turn onto the next), but a page will contain an embedded video clip, allowing you to view the content with ease.
It is guilty of slight lagging, but more than makes up for it in the content available. Tricks from Cristiano Ronaldo, skills from freestylers and even direct clips from interviews will blow your mind in the first issue if you have a speedy internet connection.
The flash graphical interface, the click zoom, and click-to-drag usability also makes spectacular viewing and the whole page has the feel of a glossy mag. The picture quality is superb and you are able to flick between the words in a feature - breaking up the text and making it easy to digest the information. Just like you would expect to have at your fingertips on an i-phone.
The great thing about the interactivity of a magazine like this is that if you want to go to a particular website that interests you, the link is there. The music reviews will take you to the artist's homepage and you can always find out more information at the touch of a button. Advertisers are happy too because the ads are clickable, allowing users straight to the source of what they are interested in.
The one slight problem is its appeal. Will the hand-held mag ever be replaced by something on a screen? Some may argue not, but in a time when luxury items like magazines are being forgotten, a free, sleek, online version with some great features may offer hope for the future.
If it can overcome the stigma of being directly linked to a footballer, and of course Rio's infinitely forgettable 'World Cup Wind-Ups', this one could lead the way in terms of what it offers.