Eye candy for “isolated connectivity” » Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi and a magazine consultant, calls publications like Kinfolk “eye candy magazines.”
“We are seeing a slew of these visually driven kind of publications — they warm your heart and make you feel good,” Husni says. “It’s fluffy, a marshmallow.”
Husni says the omnipresence of digital media is creating a yearning for escape from the unending information tsunami.
“We are bombarded by information, by folks telling us to do this, do that and how to do it,” he says. “We want to relax, grab a glass of wine and a magazine like [Kinfolk] and flip through it. It’s a me-time magazine. You don’t need to think or respond.”
Kinfolk, with its distribution through stores that share its aesthetics, such as Williams-Sonoma and Anthropologie, is a genius magazine approach, Husni says.
The idea, at least, of informal face-to-face gatherings appeals to what Husni calls the “isolated-connectivity generation” that’s digitally interacting with thousands of people through social media — but in reality is physically isolated in front of an electronic screen. “We are so constantly connected to others, yet we want to be by ourselves when we do it,” he says.
By retiring alone to a comfortable chair — or a wooded grove — with a hard copy of Kinfolk and an iPad, the so-called “I-C Gen” can page through the fantasy of face-to-face community, while remaining linked to a digital world.