The NY Times Covers Reason's Cover

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Here's a link to a story about our June issue, which is currently in production and is due out at the start of May:

Putting 40,000 Readers, One by One, on a Cover

Most subscribers will receive an issue that features four cover pages of intensely personalized information, a demonstration of bleeding-edge technology that may one day allow for mass-customized and hyper-individualized print publications (btw, pace the Times' headline, our monthly print circulation totals about 55,000).

The cover story, written by Declan McCullagh, explores the "upside of 'zero privacy,'"–of how the proliferation of networked databases has made many things easier and better in our daily lives (yes, yes, we take into account the massive potential for abuse).

See what you miss out on when you don't subscribe?

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  1. Is it too late to subscribe and get the personalized issue? And does it work for Canadians?

    Phil

  2. Can’t wait to see it.

  3. Dammit! Can’t you please redirect the NYTimes link through Google so I don’t have to register my personal information to read the article?

  4. I’ll believe in the “upside of zero privacy” when I don’t have to fill out a goddamn survey just to read one article.

  5. Is it too late to subscribe and get the personalized issue? And does it work for Canadians?

    Phil

  6. Shannon-

    “dead tree media”?

    What about dead carrot cake?
    Or dead wheat bread?
    Or dead cotton shirts?
    Or dead orange juice?

  7. Critic-

    Three of those have to be dead- they are food, and eating them alive is in poor taste.

    As for cotton shirts- as soon as they release an electronic version that’s as good as the original, I’m sure Shannon will get rid of those too.

  8. I wonder if they’ll be smart enough to properly customize the cover for those of us who have our issues sent to mailboxes rather than our home addresses? A picture of the local mall just won’t be as cool as a picture of my house.

  9. Can you brush out my bald spot?

  10. How much does this cost? I’ve seen satellite pictures of my house. That’s cool and all, but do I really have to pay more for my Reason magazine subscription for it?

    What will grace the cover of issues at my local news stand?

  11. Sir Real,

    “As for cotton shirts- as soon as they release an electronic version that’s as good as the original, I’m sure Shannon will get rid of those too.”

    Mock if you will, but my holographic underwear project is well advanced.

  12. Art Bell mentioned this last night, so you guys have finally made it.

  13. But I have a P.O. box. 🙁

  14. Matt Drudge mentioned it to. Said “congratulations to Reason.”

    While I’m somewhat creeped out, I gotta admit this appeals to my vanity. I’m looking forward to this cover, and will happily show it to my family and friends. (Unlike the current issue, which I keep out-of-sight from my daughter and two nieces.)

    Maybe because I was raised to think that everything I do wrong will end up on my “permanent record,” I kinda think that privacy is an illusion. A few years ago, I was surprised to learn that there is not one big government database that catalogues everything from my blood type to my high school truancy record.

    As for privacy invasion, I just shrug my shoulders and say, “eh, what can you do?”

  15. I am looking forward to seeing what this “intensely personalized information” is. Thought i’d covered my tracks pretty good.

  16. Hi all – I can answer a few of the questions raised here:

    Shannon – We don’t yet have a premium online service for paid subscribers that allows early access to the print edition.

    Phil – Sorry, but Canadian addresses aren’t part of the customization because most of the data we need is not available or not applicable. But it’s nothing personal — so to speak.

    AndyHat – Enjoy the picture of your mall.

    Jim Walsh – The reflection blinded out the satellite pic, sorry. (I’m bald, I can say that.)

    Swamp Justice – This is a demonstration project and, as such, it is being made possible with loads of help from Entremedia (a direct marketing firm), Xeikon (the printer maker), and Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA (where the printer is located). Your subscription price won’t go up.

    Thanks for the questions and comments.

  17. Can I get a copy with Nick’s neighborhood on it?

  18. Holographic underwear? Wait till Victoria’s Secret includes it in their commercials! I’m sure some culture warriors will complain to the FCC…right after they tape the ad and watch it several time.

  19. Mike,
    You didn’t answer the question of when you have to/would have had to subscribe to get the customization. It might be a good marketing gig to say something along the lines of, “If you subscribe in the next 72 hours, we will be able to take a picture of your house and send it to you.” Come on, if it works for crap like Herbalife, it should work for a quality publication. Now let’s try again. 🙂

  20. Mo – If you subscribe this week, chances are we will be able to get you a customized copy for June — although we can’t be 100% sure. We will try. In any case, new subscriptions are risk free. If you are unhappy after the first issue for any reason, you can cancel and will owe us nothing. So Subscribe!

  21. Very cool and very disturbing at the same time. I’m definitely interested in seeing this issue and whether the picture hits the bullseye.

  22. Is there a way to subscribe just to the online edition or is that just a donation? I have an aversion to dead tree media.

  23. I live on a sailboat. My mailbox is in the marina office, so I’m sure there will be a nice satellite image of the harbor on the cover. However, my boat has only been in this harbor for the past 18 months. And 6 months ago it was in a different slip. It should be amusing to see just how recent the satellite image is.

  24. I live on a sailboat. My mailbox is in the marina office, so I’m sure there will be a nice satellite image of the harbor on the cover. However, my boat has only been in this harbor for the past 18 months. And 6 months ago it was in a different slip. It should be amusing to see just how recent the satellite image is.

  25. Declan McCullagh — sure there’s a foine Oirish name.

  26. Without a doubt one of the coolest innovations in advertising seen in a long time.

    Of course, I don’t mind giving out (some) personal information – I’d gladly read magazine ads if I knew they were targeted at me.

    Just a shame I’m in Australia – anything from 2 to 20 years behind the rest of the world (but still the leading power in crocodile hunting).

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