Reveal Undiscovered Stories
Kaleidoscope - The Europe Magazine is a digital magazine of curious culture for passengers in transit. Each issue is a curated quality experience & portfolio about a topics in four cultural categories: food+drink, music+dance, art+craft & travel+move. Sounds traditional and conventional, and in its best, it is! The magic is in the model.
Europe is full of culture. Lot of it is in various digital channels already. Lot of it is hidden deep under the most watched videos and viral nonsense, most of it is not yet digitized, especially the very latest and the very old. Timing is perfect for funneling the plethora of untold content through a quality curation, beautiful and usable interface and self-sustaining business model. We present, the multifaceted window to European citizen culture, Kaleidoscope - The Europe Magazine for tablet devices. The content production is be based on Europe-wide freelancer journalist network consisting of travel&culture journalists, artists, photographers, film-makers and musicians. They are already out there, in Istanbul, Sofia, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Amsterdam, London, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Berlin, Barcelona... finding the untold stories, silent knowledge and disappearing skills. The quality content will be packaged in surprising and intuitive interface. Besides simply browsing a category of choice, the reader can choose the time she wants to spend on it and the engagement she is after: funny, courageous, informative, jaw-dropping.
All the technology we are using is in place and easily available. The proliferation of tablets is changing the whole magazine publishing industry. They are forced to bend their models to the new era, we are born with it, building directly for it, agile, distributed with minimal running costs, bottom-up. The journalists in the network are born-digital, savy with the lightweight production and distribution technology. Stories are documented, edited and distributed instantly, in the high quality the reader today is expecting. The application development process for tablets has matured light and streamlined, all the middleware is in place from multiple device authoring to contextual ad services, community management, scaling cloud hosting and most importantly the app stores. Game industry led the way, the audience is waiting for the quality content.
The target group of Kaleidoscope magazine is in-flight passengers, the +700 million annual travellers in Europe craving for meaningful past time during the flights and in airports. The airliner in-flight magazines are too conformist and infrequent for many curious traveller, Kaleidoscope can provide the latest, surprising and unknown cultural diversity which is out of reach for traditional media. The travellers Interrailing Europe in 90’s, escaped for backpacking trips towards the rest of the globe last decade. The next adventurous expeditions can’t be further away anymore, they are closer. Kaleidoscope freelancer network will find the untold stories of disappearing traditions from the backland Europe, the dark folklore and medicinal herb tradition from village no tourist has visited to curiosities in the European capitals.
The implementation is matched with the @Diverisity competition process. If the proposal is selected, the first phase deliverables aim to get the best out of the online & onsite coaching and securing second phase funding through the pitching events. First phase (Oct/2013-March/2014) : Concept design & prototype Content production & curation model is prototyped with our network of freelance journalists. They will each pitch in few articles for the demo issue of Kaleidoscope. Appearance & usability is prototyped with fully designed but non functional mock-up magazine app. The functionalities will be explained to test users (eg. manually launching video content to be embedded). Questions asked: “Would you recommend - would you pay for the issue, if how much”. Business model will be prototyped with both the content producers and content-related advertisers: “How much would be the reasonable compensation of the story” for the former, “How we can turn impressions to purchases for the latter.” If the pitching is successful, the second phase continues with research, production & soft launch, where the reader, producer, advertiser interviews are conducted and the model finalized accordingly for production and soft launch. The third phase will continue with the 1.0 launch and ramp-up.
During the concept design & prototyping phase in the implementation plan, two business models or even ideological models will be modelled and tested. The first, very familiar to every existing app magazine contextual ad as meaningful & unobtrusive the technology can provide. The commercial messages are packaged as quality service, not annoyance: “This is the story of this very peculiar place, in this is how you book your travel, should you be interested”. Being travel oriented publication revealing the hidden treasures of Europe, the states, the cities the regions are naturally obvious commercial partners. The second model is like the first one, but the organization is nonprofit. The revenue coming in from ads & partnerships is directly distributed back (after the running & development costs) to the content providing community, scaling the freelancer network rapidly. Two interesting things happens: nonprofit player is more empathetic, increasing the brand value and nonprofit organizations are not sold. Sharing culture, let alone saving it - the media archaeology of tomorrow - is not sustainable if the business model is for profit and the service model and IP are likely sold if proven successful. There is no guarantee for Youtube™, Facebook™ or Spotify™ in the long run, but better chances for Wikipedia, Archive.org and alike. This would be valuable model to proof.