Catching up on some reading, I pulled out The Magazine while waiting for my lunch date earlier this week, and read two of the best short pieces in a very long time: Gina Trapani’s How to Make a Baby and Stephen Hackett’s Parenting Technology. Both are moving, sharply-written – and one is terrifying – essays on the role of technology in creating and sustaining the lives of the authors’ children. I have to admit that the first few pieces I read in The Magazine sort of left me cold; they didn’t seem quite developed enough, like draft blog posts that did not deliver, perhaps on tone or perhaps by strong buildup with too little room or time for a satisfying conclusion. But as editorial vision and guidance starts to ramp up, the way it seems to be doing now the articles are getting better and better. These two pieces are as good as anything else out there, and I hope strong editorial work will continue to combine with talented writers to craft a very good publication.
The Magazine has also generated a lot of attendant commentary about writing and publishing. Glenn Fleishman on The Talk Show this week noted something I thought was particularly interesting, that he and Marco Arment have a serious strategic puzzle to consider as they continue to develop it: They want to publish as much good content as they can manage; but if they can sustain it on a weekly pace (as alternative to the current biweekly schedule), would it overwhelm readers who already have plenty enough to read on a biweekly basis, or would it foster more readership by providing more opportunity for a broader set of readers to find something they’re interested in?
Now, thanks to Marco and Co., I have two sources of too much reading, both of which I look forward to opening up.