I remember when I was a much more youthful age, say 30 or so I could go to a local shop that sold smokes, newspapers, candy, comic books and magazines. There were racks of them, usually arranged by topic. Once you selected your topic, you would see a side by side selection of publications displaying a recognizable title and a cover designed to get your attention. Remember it was competing with other books of the same topic right next to it on the shelf.
The articles in each magazine may have on the cover, on the index page or on the articles page itself a concise paragraph that would sell you on reading the article. If you could get the necessary information (we read whole paragraphs at a glance back then) and agreed you might purchase the publication.
Ideapod is evolving and if it provides a means of attracting readers as efficiently as the magazines of my time did it will be very successful. Will Ideapod become the equivalent to a magazine rack with a broad selection of topics? Magazines did not focus on using readers comments as a significant source of content. There were letters to the editor, and they were impressive but were selected by the editor because they were interesting.
Is Ideapod going to be a specific topic publication? If it is to be successful, it will have to sell itself with the efficiency of my magazines. I have no idea what competitive products might be on the web, but if any are successful, it may be a good idea to learn from what they do.
Will Ideapod become something like a Readers Digest? That was like buying a “best of” magazine rack, you had your choice of articles and specialty sections of humor and drama.
This is not being critical of Ideapod; it has not yet reached a point in its development where we see a real personality. If you have great content and poor presentation or poor content and excellent presentation it will fail. The exhibition is totally under the control of the Ideapod developers. Content is totally under the control of the Ideapod creators — one last critical component. In my day the magazine racks were very popular, they provided a significant portion of the profit for the shop.
Are there any readers left that would frequent Ideapod, hopefully paying something to support the Ideapod shop? Are the minds of today’s potential clients still interested in improving their thinking skills? How large is this pool of readers, for one or multiple topics? Has market research been done to see if it is large enough to support the Ideapod business?
Am I stating the obvious? I hope I am.