A Testament of Time


“Some stories deserve more time, … Join our reporters as they put today’s biggest issues in perspective.”

This is what TIME Magazine says about its awesome TimeFrames project.

“To know how we got here, you have to know where we’ve been. Because understanding comes with TIME.”

The TimeFrames project is a website dedicated to the hot topics of the moment: Environment, Politics, China, Religion, War, and the “Millennials” (boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, etc.). Within each topic are reports on symbolic events from TIME’s 87 years of publication. The project has me yearning for the past, and I am excited to read about history again.

The project is proof that the only constant is change. Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Soong Mei-ling were named the Man & Wife of 1938, only to lose control of mainland China and flee to Taiwan 11 years later. In the January 3, 1938 issue, the great Swedish explorer Sven Hedin was quoted “Recent events in China constitute not only a warning but a final signal that the white man’s burden soon will be taken over by a very willing Japan. The reign of the white race in the Far East is coming to an end." Well, Japan surrendered in 1945, ending WWII. In the second quarter of 2010, while Japan was still recovering from the economic decline caused by the burst of its stock and property bubbles 20 years earlier, China surpassed it to be the world’s second largest economy. In July 2010, the US owed China $846.7 billion. Who is the burden now?

To access the project website, “simply scan the QR code with your smartphone or visit TIME.com/timeframes.” The barcode scanner on the Android does not recognize the QR at all. So I fired up the phone browser and typed in the URL. The layout of the website is relatively simple, and the topics are separated cleanly into two columns. The font size is just right, and the articles are easy to read. You get the same website whether you access it from your PC or from your phone, so it is not optimized for mobile per se. But I suspect much care was taken by TIME to make it a pleasant experience for readers on the go.

It makes me sad that the TimeFrames project is flawed by a seemingly dysfunctional QR code. After the last two weeks, I really wanted to take a break from discussing QR failures. But in any case, seeing as how Time Warner habitually keeps its 130 publications independent of each other (cross-advertising is uncommon), I take it upon myself to help raise awareness of this incredible website, among non-TIME readers, by blogging about it here.


Does your scanner recognize this QR?


2 Responses to “A Testament of Time”

  1. Kelly McIvor Says:

    Another sad tale of the QR code.. I actually got it to work on my Android phone. That is, the reader (NeoReader) recognized the code and directed me to the URL specific to religion. However, the page too a really long time to load and eventually my phone’s browser popped a warning, “Could not open a new window because you have already opened the maximum number.” I only had three other pages open. The problem is that the content of the TIME page consumed all the memory my phone browser could give it. In addition, the non mobile-optimized page has a box in the top left that says, “We’re sorry. HTML5 players are currently not enabled for this account.” Huh?
    FAIL. Sigh..

  2. […] recent post by ChinWonder had me trying yet another QR code. The code didn’t work for her so I thought it may be a FAIL […]

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