Belgian women’s magazine launches mobile edition

flairmobile

Belgian women’s magazine Flair has recently launched a mobile version of its product, writes Dorien Aerts.

How does it work?

Once you sign up you are sent a text message containing a link, from which you download a mobile application of Flair. When you start the mobile application, you find a very attractive interface (for girls at least) with fashion articles and information about events.

But there’s more to it. Flair goes interactive with the application: you can participate in games, polls and tests. Stubru presentators Sofie and Peter, for example, tried out the ‘Which sex beast are you’-test.

Flair magazine appears weekly in Belgium and this also applies to the mobile magazine: users get a new mobile edition every week, which is automatically installed when you start the application.

How does it not work?

It does not work on all cellphones. The cellphone my employers provide me with, for example, is incompatible. When you look at the list of compatible cellphones, there are already quite a few models on which the Flair application works. And so it does function on the cellphone of one of my colleagues (see picture above).

I find it very brave for a women’s magazine to start with a mobile version. They are the first in Belgium, and definitely not the last. And let’s hope this initiative helps to break open the Belgian mobile internet market. Something the launch of the iPhone in Belgium tomorrow will probably also take care of!

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9 thoughts on “Belgian women’s magazine launches mobile edition

  1. Pingback: Journalism.co.uk Editors’ Blog » Blog Archive » links for 2008-07-10

  2. Nils Geylen

    Terribly sorry, but this is not why I subscribed to the OJB.

    This “article” is puerile, dumb and ill-construed. Your readers demand a modicum of standards, both in style and content.

    Nothing in this post works – it’s written in terrible Anglo-Flemish, it contains no news-worthiness at all, and none of the hyperlinks are of any relevance…

    Please keep the OJB worth our while; don’t allow for the publication of this nonsense.

    Reply
  3. Dorien

    Sorry to read this Nils. Even though the Belgian mobile internet market is kept so closed because of (amongst others) the operators asking terribly high data fees, media players are trying to do projects with this medium anyway. And they even chose women as their target group. Which is quite some news, don’t you think? But this answer is probably written in terrible Anglo-Flemish 😉

    Reply
  4. paulb

    Nils, what specifically do you subscribe to OJB for? Like many blogs, I try to do a number of things – some analysis, some playing with tools, some experiments, some showcasing/linking and some news, particularly from countries which do not receive enough exposure in the Anglo-American journo blogosphere. On the last aspect I’m very happy that Dorien can contribute regarding innovations in Belgium – the quality of the language is down to my editing, and I’ll re-edit it.
    I am looking at ways to produce more specific RSS feeds so readers can drill down to the content of most interest, so I am genuinely interested in your answer.

    Reply
  5. John Freeman

    Interesting post although mobile magazines aren’t that new – several UK publishers are doing them. There’s even web sites such as http://www.feedm8.com that will turn your bloig into mobile-readable format. (I’ve done it with my own blog – http://downthetubescomics.blogspot.com/)

    The issue here for some of your readers might be “are the original writers getting a revenue share for this re-use of their work” which I suspect they won’t, as publishers seek to land grab all rights.

    Compatibility is a major issue for mobile-ready content providers. Keeping things simple works. Once you start to require a mobile user to download an application to read your magazine on their phone, unless it’s pre-installed on it already, you’re in trouble. I work on a comics to mobile site – http://www.rokcomics.com — and we made a conscious decision not to go that route to maximise delivery to phones that can accept visual data, still an issue in many countries.

    I’ve just found this blog — interesting reading. Thanks.

    Reply
  6. Nils Geylen

    Apologies for the late reply. I’m sorry if my comment sounded harsh. Objectively, I feel my point stands, without a doubt, but the fact that your responses were swift and acknowledged my criticism to an extent, makes up for that.

    It may come as a surprise that I do subscribe to the OJB precisely for articles that cover more than the mere Valley tech news and in that, I haven’t been let down. In this case, it certainly isn’t the subject matter that was a disappointment, merely the fact that the story had very little ‘journalistic’ value and that its perspective seems too narrow, as far as I’m concerned.

    Either you report an online/mobile initiative in general or you make it a case study of a local service. Here, it felt as if I was reading a letter in a school paper.

    Of course, as you say, it’s a good thing that young writers get a chance to publish here and that you apply the network of correspondents to break the mold too often imposed by other tech and news blogs.

    Reply
  7. Dorien

    @john freeman: you are right about downloading applications on a mobile phone: it’s quite difficult, especially for people who aren’t really into mobile technology. Nevertheless, dowloading widgets etc gives more possibilities in my eyes. And once downloaded mobile internet becomes more userfriendly, like the iPhone interface for example.

    @nils geylen: indeed your point stands. And even more: point taken. Thanks for the criticism, otherwise I would never have known!

    Reply
  8. Pingback: How to make money and influence people… « Safety in Numbers

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