Tag Archives: Apple

Advertising is publishing – the Facebook effect

Before the internet made it easier for advertisers to become publishers, they were already growing tired of the limitations (and inflated price) of traditional display advertising. In the magazine industry one of the big growth areas of the past 20 years was client publishing: helping – to varying degrees – companies create magazines which were then given or sold to customers, staff, members, or anyone interested in their field.

With some traditional advertising revenue streams dropping like a stone, newspapers belatedly started to see similar potential in their own markets. Trinity Mirror’s Media Wales are among a few newspaper publishers to sell video production services and the organisation has followed US newspapers in selling SEO services; while the FT followed Conde Nast when it recently bought an app production company.

While the execution varies, the idea behind it is consistent: this is no longer about selling content, or audiences, but expertise – and quite often expertise in distribution as much as in content production. Continue reading

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Are Android phones the best option for journalism students?

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ADwPLSFeY8%5D

A few months ago I was asked what sort of mobile phone I would recommend for a journalism student. Knowing how tight student budgets are, and that any choice should have as much of an eye on the future as on the present, I recommended getting an Android phone.

The reasoning went like this: iPhones are great at certain things, and currently benefit from a wider range of applications than other mobile phones. But the contracts are expensive, the battery life poor, and Apple’s closed system problematic, for reasons I’ll expand on in a moment. Continue reading

OK then, I'll talk about the Times paywall

Tom Whitwell of The Times: We ARE assuming that driveby traffic will fall significantly. If it doesn't, we'll make 2 billion pounds this year ;-)

I spent a bit of time talking about the Times paywall today for both BBC News 24 and their 6 o’clock news programme (on iPlayer here). One particular aspect which didn’t make the final cut concerned how paywalls challenge the commercial decisions behind the traditional news mix, so I’ve recorded it below.

UPDATE: More thoughts:

Listen!

The iPad magazine cover – lovely, but pointless

VIV Mag Motion Cover – iPad Demo from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

The bit of spectacular video above is doing the rounds as I type – a mock-up/demo of how a “motion magazine cover” might work on an iPad.

It’s lovely. But pointless.

What does it prove? It proves that magazines could do spectacular things with the iPad. It is, essentially, an advert masquerading as a magazine cover.

But then, magazine covers have always been adverts for their contents – and it’s a curiously old-media approach to focus so much energy on the front cover when, online, the majority of users typically never touch your homepage (will the iPad change that? I’m sceptical).

In fact, I wonder if a user on the bus would grow impatient with such an overblown introduction to their magazine.

It reminds me of those Flash-heavy ‘splash pages‘ that websites used to employ to impress users – but which ultimately ended up frustrating them.

So it’s lovely, but it doesn’t solve any fundamental problems publishing faces right now. The iPad ain’t no silver bullet: the old problems haven’t gone away – an oversupply of information, oversupply of ad space, and a proliferation of alternatives to spend our entertainment budget on.

If anything, the iPad is a silver bullet to the head: with Apple keeping hold of user data, and insisting on the lion’s share of cover sale revenue, publishers are not going to be queueing up to join their gated paradise.

N97 gets touch screen – but here are 10 reasons the iPhone already sucks compared with the N95

Nokia have unveiled the N97 and Robert Scoble makes a compelling case for its superiority over the iPhone. Curiously, many of his points mirror ones I had prepared in a blog post comparing the iPhone to the N95, giving me the perfect excuse to finally publish it.

The iPhone is overrated. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Yes, it’s got great usability, but for a journalist it just doesn’t compete. And here are 10 reasons why:

  1. A crappy camera. 2 megapixels is terrible – the N95 has 5. Not to mention auto-focus, flash, etc. etc.
  2. No video camera. Inexcusable in the YouTube age. Yes there are workarounds but…
  3. You have to jailbreak the iPhone to use streaming services like Qik. Installing Qik (or Bambuser, or Shozu) on the N95 is pretty straightforward. The fact you have to jailbreak the iPhone at all says a lot about Apple’s attitude. Nokia’s Symbian operating system is open (if not open source yet).
  4. You can’t save webpages. Once again, you can on the N95.
  5. No alternative browser. Opera Mini is great on the N95.
  6. Battery power. You can at least have a spare battery for the N95.
  7. No recording of audio. You can on an N95, and email it to Posterous for instant podcast.
  8. Walled garden for apps. Apps on the N95? Get them anywhere, without the worry that Nokia will lock them out in the future.
  9. Fiddly keyboard. Particularly difficult when there are…
  10. No external keyboards. You can buy a number of cute bluetooth keyboards for the N95 which make it possible to type updates and blog posts very quickly.
And that’s not to mention bloody expensive. If you know of any solutions to these weaknesses, let me know. You see, I do have an iPod Touch…

Geotagging and news – the mobile future is here

I’ve written before on just how important geotagging will be in preparing for a mobile future – well, now that mobile future is here:

“Apple’s newly unveiled second-generation iPhone includes a news service from the Associated Press which provides stories tailored to an individual user’s location.

“The application uses the phone’s in-built GPS (global positioning system) and serves stories based on the user’s immediate area.”

Now, what’s your excuse?

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