Cool or too much personalization? Magazine cover with a satellite photo of your home

by Todd Ogasawara

The June issue of Reason magazine features 40,000 personalized covers. Each cover has a satellite photo of the building associated with the subscriber's address. Is this a cool publishing hack or a just 1984-ish scary?

There's a streaming audio interview on NPR with Reason magazine's Editor-in-Chief, Nick Gillespie with more information about this innovative magazine publishing idea.

How much personalization is too much? Or is there no limit?


2004-05-06 07:15:42
I'll go with "cool publishing hack"
They did not invent or deploy the technology specifically for the magazine. If this stunt unsettles you, then it's because you weren't aware of what's already possible.
2004-05-06 10:36:18
Streaming audio -- blech!
2004-05-06 11:05:11
I think it's both scary and a cool publishing hack.

One can be aware of what's possible and still be unsettled by it.

Obviously, the publishers of the magazines to which you subscribe know where you live. But this particular application of that knowledge raises individuals' awareness of how much we all rely on the good behavior of the umpteen custodians of our personal information.

2004-05-06 14:08:38
cool hack, but
DPict magazine here in the UK did something similar a few (about 5) years ago. Dpict was a re-launch of Creative Camera for the digital world and for its first issue they put photographs of subscribers and some of the people who worked in the newsagents that sold the magazine.

Their aim was to hilight databases, targeted advertising and the advances of print technology that allowed them to generate so many unique covers for what was really a magazine with little money.

at the launch of the magazine we held a small presentation to dicuss privacy, cctv and advertising which was sadly pooly advertised (ironic) and attended.

this is a very interesting update, in fact i wish i was a subscriber so that i could have got a copy...