The iPad: Atlanta media types weigh in

The New York Times reports that in the first day of sales, Apple unloaded more than 300,000 units of the iPad. Crowds lined up hours in advance at the Lenox Square Apple store (thanks, William Ambrose, for the photo), which was a reported mob scene, if by mob you mean politely geeky fans queuing up along an upscale mall promenade.

The advent of the iPad pushed media frothing to unseemly levels. But there’s really nothing surprising there; this little device could determine the future of most media folks’ careers. So where does the iPad fit in the spectrum of communication game changers? We asked a trio of Atlanta media insiders to weigh in.

Josh Jackson, editor in chief, Paste magazine
It’s going to have a huge impact on the publishing industry. It’s a whole new thing. It’s not a magazine and not a website, but takes wonderful aspects of both and creates and something new.

Mitch Leff, publisher, Leff’s Atlanta Media blog
It certainly has the potential to help print publications, but not necessarily save them. If you’re still struggling to bring in print ad dollars, I’m not sure being able to bring them in electronically is the answer. What I do like is the potential to transform the reading experience. But I’d be worried taking it on the beach.

Kevin Moreau, editor in chief, The Sunday Paper
It certainly looks promising. I’d be a little more enthusiastic if we knew how the iPad is going to do. If it does catch on as a platform, it will be great that print publications have another platform that can supplement or take over their websites. I know it sounds like a cliché, but content is as important as ever, if not more so. People might go look at magazines that they have stopped picking up the print versions of, but it’s incumbent on the publications to put a best foot forward and give people a reason to keep coming back, whether the publication’s on an iPad or not. Design may become even more important. If you’re reading a magazine in this format, you would be less inclined to download an iPad version that’s hard to read.