Written by Technology


Dennis Publishing has just started “the WORLD’S FIRST fully interactive digital magazine dedicated to bringing you the very latest and best in consumer technology.” The second issue is out this week.
It’s called iGIZMO, and it’s dreadful.
Dennis has previously had success with a magazine called Monkey which is a similarly interactive title aimed at people who “read” Nuts and Zoo magazines. I’m not in their target market, but I can understand how that title might have succeeded – these magazines are things that you look at rather than read. As long as it has the right number of half-naked women, it’s doing its “job.”
As I say, I’m not a fan. But iGizmo has really failed because it has tried to mimic too closely the values of its predecessor. But this time, it’s not just beautiful product shots that the reader wants (although they certainly do want those). The reader also needs to be informed about the products. And that means some kind of accompanying writing or perhaps video. Not only that, but the writing needs to be of a good standard, with an editorial voice that I can trust. If I’m expected to be spending four digits on some new high-end laptop or portable device, I really need to be sure that I’m spending it wisely. That’s why I want a trusted voice. I’m not saying that it has to be a po-faced and dry voice, but I really do need to believe that I’m going to get valuable background information to make a decision.
You only have to look at the paper magazines that are in this marketplace already to realise this: Stuff and T3. They both have great photography, but they also have reviews that at least satisfy your needs. I wouldn’t pretend that either magazine are the last word in flat screen TVs or digital radios, just as Five’s The Gadget Show necessarily covers things relatively lightly to reach a larger audience. But in each of their cases, they do it well, and I’d be fairly happy making a buying decision on the back of one of their reviews.
Of course not everyone reads pages and pages of reviews and background information before deciding what new mp3 player they’re going to buy. They might pick their device on the basis of a one-page summary in a non-tech magazine like FHM or Esquire. But then these aren’t the people who are going to read something like iGizmo either. If I’m going to read a gadget magazine, then I’m going to want it to know about said gadgets in quite some detail.
Otherwise, I’m not really a fan of the page-turning mechanism iGizmo employs, and the double page ads are full of “content” that does nothing of interest. The computer games reviews are again better handled on specialist sites or magazines. Overall, it’s just obvious that more time has spent considering the style and the look and feel of the “magazine” than has been spent commissioning pieces to actually read or videos to view. Very poor.
I’m much better off reading Wired and Engadget.