Member’s Guide: Pushing the Envelope Yet Again

We published the first Member’s Guide today, and its benefits to a casual reader are rather straightforward: a curated, visually appealing monthly selection from what we churn out daily.

But there is more to this. There is a passion to experiment with the good-old magazine form, to create something that captures the allure of its paper ancestors in today’s digital universe. Right from the very start 10 years ago, our team has been pushing media production boundaries. We began with an award-winning Interactive eBook, got known for a world-class paper Pocket Guide, and put together a pioneering Video Map too.

Out of the three, only the Pocket Guide still exists — and who knows if it will survive the Covid-19 collapse of the tourism business … At the end of the day, every innovation needs to survive in a given economic environment.

How well the brand new Member’s Guide will do entirely depends on our success attracting paying supporters of the Gorilla Highlands Experts concept. Nevertheless, we plan to have a blast with it for the rest of 2021 at least, reinventing the magazine.

In the half-year evaluation post from a month ago we committed to making a monthly “digital magazine” made for responsible travellers and based on the Daily Dose. We listed the following characteristics of a paper magazine:

  • anticipation and excitement before the next edition
  • latest information unavailable anywhere else
  • an invitation to take quality time for yourself
  • an orchestrated experience that makes you feel something
  • part of a like-minded community
  • exclusivity and a sense of intimacy

We have definitely tried to capture these in The Essentials, the first issue of the Member’s Guide, and we intend to do more in the future. What’s significant is that we have settled on the technology of its delivery.

Flipboard’s approach with flipping digital pages is cute (see our test above) but its publishing options are far too limiting. Many other online “magazine” solutions are attempting to recreate paper on the screen — a dubious direction that isn’t our cup of tea. We don’t have the funds to build a bespoken app either.

So our “magazine” is just a WordPress webpage, nothing more than that. But also nothing less than that! Initial feedback is encouraging.

The next issue will cover regional attractions, followed by a health and safety edition.

It’s surely going to be an interesting ride!