Two issues into his limited subscription, Slate technology columnist Farhad Manjoo is surprisingly upbeat about Mine magazine, an experimental online personalized periodical from Time, Inc., backed by Toyota bucks. I'll find out in a few weeks if I'm among the lucky first 31,000 subscribers to sign up to receive the first five issues of the magazine gratis.
To create a publication just for mine, er, me, Mine cherry picks articles based on my interests from five of the magazines I choose from among Time, Money, Travel & Leisure, In Style, Simple, Food & Wine, and Sports Illustrated. To gauge my interests, I had to answer four questions, which included whether I craved sushi or pizza, sang in my car, would rather learn juggling or celebrity impersonations, and if I'd rather dine with daVinci or Socrates (that's easy, daVinci, to avoid getting Socrates' hemlock order by mistake). I suppose I'll know if I'm among the chosen 31,000 if Rich Little drives up to my house to deliver a pizza singing like Dean Martin.
According to Manjoo's column, Mine inside and back covers are adorned with Lexus ads, and some of the articles are reprinted from older issues of the selected journals. I have mixed emotions about making the team of inaugural subscribers. It can't be a good thing that our society's reading habits have devolved from Life to People to Us to Self to Mine. If the online magazine is sent directly to my bathroom, I'm pulling the plug on my PC.