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Rethinking publishing for the age of digital consumption

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CRAIG MOD apple newsstand
CRAIG MOD apple newsstand

Digital publishing has received lots of attention with the proliferation of tablets, but designer Craig Mod, formerly of Flipboard, has yet again offered up his intriguing and incredibly sensible observations on the medium in a new essay titled Subcompact Publishing. The name refers to the barebones and disruptive Honda N350 — a forebear to the Civic — which Mod believes is a perfect example of building a product that avoids legacy and directly serves consumer needs. He argues that digital publishing is in dire need of a similar change, and citing Marco Arment's The Magazine as an excellent start, he lays out what seems to be an eminent model for future digital-only publications. It all centers around one underlying argument, really: that everything should be stripped away and reconsidered for the digital format, including subscriptions, distribution, length, content, and even the page turn.