The first issue of mine magazine has been released, Time Inc.’s 10-issue experimental mash-up of its different magazines into a kind of printed RSS feed, and the results are not going to put Google Reader out of business anytime soon.
A number of the magazine’s 31,000 subscribers received content intended for other subscribers (i.e. In Style fans ended up with Sports Illustrated content). Time Inc. spokespeople say that the glitch was the result of a computer error. To make matters worse, many of the stories picked by the project’s editors were up to two years old–something that Time Inc. claims was done on purpose since it “was never the intent for this to be a breaking news vehicle,” and that future issues will have more recent content
But the test subscribers have another, bigger qualm: creepy ads. Joshua Benton, the director of Harvard University’s Nieman University Lab, said that his issue of mine contained a Lexus SUV ad that used his name, referred to where he lives, and even referenced a highway that he often takes. Time Inc. has always been a pioneer in the realm of direct marketing for their titles, but mine may have gone too far.