Friday, September 10, 2010

Pop-Up Magazine

The Pop-Up Magazine live event on Thursday at the Herbst Theatre in SF brought the content of a magazine or public radio show to life for a few ephemeral hours. To me Pop-Up Magazine follows on the desire for a more engaging relationship with the media we experience. Not only is it multimedia rich, it allows the authors to connect directly with their audience and captivate them. Better still, Pop-Up creates a fleeting one-off spectacle out of their highly curated content. Once it's performed it's gone forever and they make a point of not allowing any form of recording. What makes this experience so powerful is that the audience experiences the spectacle together, and there is even an party that follows where everyone engages in conversation, even the authors and curators. It's a memorable level of engagement that is hard to replicate with a print, iPad or online magazine. In a highly uncurated world of digital media, we seek the richness of "in real life" experiences that are well crafted, textured and analog.

For example, 4 people from Mother Jones took the new spirit of compelling and emotive magazine infographics to a whole new level by using tape measures to compare the scale of political statistics and at one point they even involved the audience. They asked the front row of the orchestra and balcony to raise their hands. Those were the people were voted out of office in a typical election, 5%. It painted an immediate and memorable image of the scale of incumbency in Congress.

And an advertisement for a tequila sponsor midway through the event consisted of the evening's MC demonstrating a how-to of a cocktail that would be available at the lobby afterparty. And really, what print or online magazine can say they have an afterparty?