February 14, 2014 Last Updated 12:31 pm

First look: BOON promotes the creative talent in Brighton

Replica edition kind of misses the point of digital publishing, but at least it’s a start!

The promise of both the App Store, in general, and the Newsstand, in particular, is that it promises the opportunity to expose magazines to a wider audience. Looked at this way, the new digital medium is not really about creating something new, but simply distributing something old in a new place.

Boon-iPad-aniI don’t look at digital publications this way, but I am always reminded that quite a few people do. To them, the iPad is not a place where they can find a different kind of publication, but where they can enjoy their familiar titles on a new device.

Most of the time, when I open up a replica edition of a print magazine I let it go and simply move on. What else it there to say?

I downloaded BOON Magazine because it looked kind of like the old underground publication I resurrected back in my college days. Bored with journalism classes, I was approached by someone with the crazy idea of relaunching the old sixties underground newspaper/magazine. I said “yes” and the end result was something that looked a bit like BOON.

The cover of the latest issue of this free quarterly magazine is hot pink and looks like those old publications that were xeroxed onto colored paper. Cool look, I thought. This one could be interesting.

BOON’s app description is about as short as I’ve ever seen one:

BOON is a free quarterly magazine dedicated to promoting the output of creative talent in Brighton featuring music, fashion, photography and culture.

To promote the creative talent of Brighton.

That’s it.

Boon-pagetwoAs for the app… if you are a publisher you’ll not want to bother with this one. Yes, it’s just a replica. In fact, it’s a replica’s replica, right down to the blank page two faithfully replicated in the digital edition (seen at left).

Now, it would be easy to make fun of the effort here. That would be a bit mean. Instead, BOON reminds us that even some of the most creative people out there kind of miss the point of why we love digital editions.

But now that the app is in the Newsstand it is possible that someone approaches the folks at BOON and volunteers their talents to create a truly digital edition of the magazine. That is often how this happens: people connect with each other and before you know it they are collaborating. A few reformatted pages, a music file here or there, and suddenly BOON becomes a native digital edition, and something that expresses another side of the talent of the community it came from.

So, congratulations BOON team, you’re in the Newsstand, and welcome to the new world of digital publishing. You’ll love it and have loads of fun.

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