May 19, 2015 Last Updated 8:30 am

Power of the press: Cosmopolitan write-up enough to get magazine project quickly funded

The Weather Channel struggles with iPad app, issuing update that users say make the app crash upon opening or using the radar feature

This website has written about a couple Kickstarter publishing funding campaigns, and I’m happy to report that each of them ended up getting funded. But one must admit that TNM’s influence on the success of the funding effort was minimal compared to that of Cosmopolitan. That magazine published a report on the Kickstarter campaign led by Jillian Goodman which wanted $20,000 to launch a women’s magazine called Mary Review.

MaryReview-mockupIt is early in the day, but the campaign has already hit its goal, and I’m sure will go well over it as it still has 26 days to go.

Goodman wants to launch a magazine for women, by women.

“The same way there is a tradition for men’s magazines, there is a tradition in how the content of women’s magazines is pitched to readers,” Goodman told Cosmo. “Elle is full of great writing. Cosmopolitan tackles some very serious issues for women. But there’s a perception that women’s magazines aren’t as serious. With this magazine, I want to cut through those things.”

Goodman may well regret not asking for much more money for her project. $20,000, Goodman says, will be used to cover all expenses for the first issue, hoping that one prototype issue will be all that will be necessary to attract more support.

“Your money will be used for the production and design of the magazine, web hosting fees and technical help for it to live online, publishing and shipping costs for the finished product, and a great party to celebrate when all is said and done,” Goodman wrote in her Kickstarter campaign text. “Most importantly, your money will be used to pay writers. Surviving in the media industry gets more and more challenging all the time, and nobody should have to work for free.”

The Weather Channel app is certainly one of the worst out there, and it has been for a long time. I can never understand, for instance, why the app can tell me it is 74 degrees outside, yet the high for the day will be 71. Isn’t there a mechanism built in that would prevent that?

TWC-iconThe app also has had plenty of other problems through the years, so many that there are over 24,000 1-star reviews for the app. But there are also plenty of 5-star reviews so maybe other users have had better luck with the app.

Today, The Weather Channel issued an app update for the iPad version of the app and early reviews say you really should not download it. The problem is that the last update was issued late last year, so if you do make the mistake of installing this one you might not get a fix for a long time.

“Really?” writes on user. “I thought this update was to improve performance, not add constant crashes.”

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, as if anyone didn’t already know, that Apple won’t be building an Apple-branded television set. I guess the paper thought it was necessary to say this after investor Carl Icahn said he expected the company to launch one next year.

Icahn, who must be the world’s more insecure millionaire, seems to make headlines every couple months, proposing incredibly stupid things, either to get a little attention, or to see if a company is really stupid enough to listen to him. I would suggest that every public company should have a clause in their bylaws preventing the robber barron from owning any of its shares.

In any case, most people still believe that Apple is set to launch a new version of the Apple TV at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. They better have something interesting up their sleeve, or it may be a bit late.

Apple generally isn’t first to market. It certainly wasn’t the first to launch a smartphone. It’s strategy is to expend much energy learning from the mistakes of others and then launching a product that is so obviously better than what had been available before that consumers immediately recognize the difference.

The Apple TV has been a different kind of product, though. Originally launched as a larger device, it eventually migrated to its current design and found a market. iPhone and iPad owners love the fact that one can use Airplay with the Apple TV, and a few media companies were eager to launch channels for the device.

But Apple hasn’t updated the Apple TV in quite sometime – meanwhile, more and more TV viewers have been cutting the cord and realizing that the Apple TV is not as good an alternative as other devices (the Roku, for instance).

So, now Apple has to do several things to make the Apple TV the best choice: it has to improve its remote, add more channels, an App Store (channel store), and it has to offer an inexpensive line-up of broadcast channels. That might be a tough thing to accomplish (especially the last item) as search is something that Apple is apparently not very good at (the App Store/Newsstand being the best example of its weakness in this area).

I’m looking forward to seeing what a new Apple TV looks like and is capable of doing. But one wonders it this may be one time Apple waited too long.

As for Carl Icahn… enough already, go away.

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