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The Lowdown On Maximum Tech, Future Publishing's New Personal Tech Magazine

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Once Upon A Time In America … Blockbuster Files For Bankruptcy

Sort of a meta post for your Thursday afternoon consumption. Future, the publishers behind Nintendo Power, Mac Life, and Edge (among others), have a new magazine up their sleeves that may interest you guys. It’s called Maximum Tech (here‘s today’s press release), and it’s supposed to do to personal technology—all the fun stuff you see here every single day—what the likes of Edge and T3 have done for gaming and gadgetry. Allow me to explain.

I spent a few minutes yesterday talking to Jon Phillips, who’s the editor-in-chief of the new magazine.

My first thought was, well, how wise is it to launch a new magazine in 2010?

It turns out that not all print media is dying. As Phillips explained to me, what’s happening is that publications that are heavily dependent upon advertising revenue are falling away. If you take the novel step of actually charging more than 50 cents for something you’re actually able to sustain yourself. So, while the newsstands were once filled with an atrocious number of magazines, often sold for something like $4 (and often worth barely half as much), today it’s more a case of: let’s charge $8 or $9 for this magazine, make it good, and you’ll be fine.

That, and don’t bother with subscriptions. You want Maximum Tech, you’ll have to leave your house (!) and buy it at the store.

That’s the “business” side of Maximum Tech in a nutshell: charging for quality. You don’t have to depend on 8 million advertisers, and then have half of your printed pages be ads.

As for the content, Phillips concedes that the magazine, which initially will be a quarterly publication, isn’t going to be competing with the likes of [INSERT YOUR FAVORITE TECH BLOG HERE] on news. Obviously the lead time in producing a quarterly publication precludes running “small company releases new thing you’ll probably never use” stories that make up so much of the daily grind.

No, what you’ll see is longer (and actually researched!) features—an article this month teaches you how to build your own “better-than-Tivo” box—and reviews based on legit quality time spent with an item.

It’s sorta like how you don’t read Edge to see a quick blurb about how Kudo Tsunoda hates the as a gaming platform, but maybe a multi-page article, borne from that very comment, on the history of the genre, from the early days of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom to Halo: Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops.

The magazine actually has a photography studio! You’ll actually see photos that are properly lit and have a bit more imagination to them than merely, “Oh, here’s some blurry unboxing photos I took with my iPhone.”

You’re paying for quality, you see.

And, should the magazine prove to be a hit, Philips says they’re not opposed to producing it a little more frequently, if not even moving to a monthly model.

So, if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “You know, I like this stuff, but there’s, like, zero depth anywhere. Where can I turn?” now you know.

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