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Much Better Magazine

A free online/offline magazine full of healthy advice on how to shop, cook, exercise, and generally feel "much better".

Photo of Alan Ionita
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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it inspire the end user to lead a healthier life?

When coming up with this idea I was imagining the different behavioural habits of family members. In my case I focused on how I search for food tips as opposed to my mum: I’m heavily into digital so I would search online for inspiration, whilst my mum would ask friends and get inspiration from magazines. Then I realised that I too would pick up print if it was accessible and free - placed at supermarket queues, or in key city centre locations.

When coming up with this idea I was imagining the different behavioural habits of family members. In my case I focused on how I search for food tips as opposed to my mum: I’m heavily into digital so I would search online for inspiration, whilst my mum would ask friends and get inspiration from magazines.


Then I realised one common trigger that affected us both - FREE. Instantly I considered an app solution, but then I thought of my mum who will still uses print even though she has access to the internet. Then I remembered the other component that always makes me change my behaviour and pick up print media - ACCESSIBILITY.


Putting the two together we get a free hybrid publication that lives both in print and in digital form.


A good UK example of this concept is the Shortlist/Stylist, two lifestyle and fashion mags that are ad-supported and available for free every week. Stylist is probably the better example because they have a digital version. Stacks of these magazines are present in densely populated city centre locations and people just help themselves.


So why shouldn’t we use the same concept, but instead of aiming to sell movies, make-up, accessories, and games lets attempt to educate families on how to cook healthy and how to shop smarter using a collection of health conscious no-thrills content. This magazine will appeal for older generation because you can pick it up for free in supermarkets, and the new generations who can get new editions pushed directly to their phones.


Now from and editorial perspective:

- we discussed as a team the idea of having content that is 50/50 split between generations so that younger readers can learn to cook like their grandparents, and older readers can learn to cook modern exotic dishes

- we can interview families on their healthy lifestyles and how they do it on a budget.

- we can feature reader shared recipes

- highlight great community efforts


From a tech perspective we can simply use current platforms to distribute content, something like Google Newsstand and the upcoming Apple News. Everything can be kept lean, with most of the content being crowdsourced, and only 2-3 pieces being done by regular writers. We can make a point of keeping the magazine grounded in the community by recruiting writers from those communities, thus rewarding their willingness for positive change.


Financially the magazine will be ad-supported, but using a different principle where the ads are at the beginning, and nothing interferes with the actual content. A lot of sponsors could use the magazine to dispose of Corporate Social Responsibility budgets.


Ecologically printing isn’t ideal, but we can make sure to only use recycled paper and within the magazine we can offer tips on how to dispose of the magazine after reading it whether it’s used as lunch packaging, window cleaning rags, or paper hats. We expect the magazine to be used as a quick shot of inspiration, educating the communities in the long run. Because of this we don’t really care if people dispose of their copies.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We can easily test the project by reducing the magazine to a weekly set of recipe distributed both online and in print on flyers. It would be both easy and cheap to test the idea. Big changes start small!

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea?

Further develop a backlog of healthy affordable recipes.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An Individual

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Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Great to see you in the challenge, Alan! I echo Shane's statements below about loving the mix between older and younger generations, and I also love the idea of having content submitted by the community. It'd be really helpful to see some experiments carried out – have you thought about this at all?

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