Category Archives: Publications

Scribd Sees The Future: Does Publishing See It?

Scribd: Publishers Are Wasting Time, Money, Effort In Creating iPad Apps

With publishers’ budgets and resources fairly limited, online document marketplace Scribd hopes that instead of devoting the time and fees to working with major content design firms, magazines will simply let it create an HTML5 app for them in a matter of minutes. The only price: Scribd wants a share of the ad revenues.

Scribd is correct in seeing that creating an OS-specific/device-specific publication is a sucker’s game.

But it’s also a sucker’s game to give a middleman like Scribd a cut of the money.

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Apple Versus Google: Total Frikkin War

I didn’t watch the livestream of the Google IO event. I didn’t find out until late yesterday that it was live via YouTube. Besides which, I wouldn’t have wanted to devote hours and hours to watching that.

Anyway, it seems the war is now openly declared, if Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs) is to be believed:

The most telling thing to me was Google’s tone toward Apple at the event. Instead of pretending to still be an Apple ally, Google today basically threw down the gantlet and admitted that it’s engaged in total war with Apple.

And unlike other Apple rivals, like Adobe, Google execs weren’t huffing and puffing and wringing their hands about Apple’s bad behavior. No, instead, Google was mocking Apple. Making fun of it. Laughing at it.

That excerpt from a column where he states he’s dropping his iPhone and switching to Android!

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The Trillion-Dollar Web Question

So, Sports Illustrated takes a second shot at doing an e version, one that will pass Apple’s Section 3.3.1.

It’s superior to the first.

But if this is HTML5 — basically a tarted-up website — and not something that’s downloaded to a device to keep … how do you turn that into money?

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Writer’s Digest Magazine On iPad!


Click = big

Ah! The future!

I’d get Writer’s Digest every month — properly, from a newsstand — during several years in the 1970s. It was a like a (one-way) correspondence course for writing (two-way, when I bothered to write a letter — which was only one time, and it wasn’t published, because it was sarcastic about a stupid article about creativity which I still recall because the article was just so damned stupid, “artistic coma,” my ass!). (Now the WD staff will go look that one up. And will have to finally agree with me! See how these things work?)

In every issue there was at least one thing that made it worth the price of admission: one of the regular columnists, or a guide to writing an effective (or even proper) query letter, how to get an agent, or a wonderful interview with a writer, editor, or even publisher.

It’s been ages since I’ve read it and I really didn’t think I’d ever want to again — because it was on print. (I will no longer buy print.)

But now they’re going electronic, with a PDF-based version.

There are some more peeks after the break.

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See For Yourself = Win

Oh, I was really going to rip into the tablet magazine prototypes that were shown by Sports Illustrated, Wired, and Popular Science.

But I never had time.

I’m glad I never used up that time because now that these magazines have been released, people are ripping them to shreds in many of the same ways I would have.

Now you can go yell at them instead of me.

One post I’d especially like to highlight is by Rex Hammock. People like Rex because he’s so goddammed cheerful. But he’s no fool. I just love his review of the Popular Science one and must highlight this excerpt:

I think it’s a good thing they placed a $5 price-tag on the “concept app,” as the price will keep a lot of people from downloading it and using it and thinking this is what an app from a magazine company is like.

Now, if months ago I had come out and stated what absolute crap most of those prototypes looked like and how absolutely breathtakingly brainless they seemed, people would have jumped all over me.

Now all of you can go stab Rex and the others.

Thanks for being my Kevlar here, Rex!

And yeah, I would have told you so back then. But, hey, they like all that money you gave them, suckers! So, as far as I’m concerned, this is all Win.

For those of you who want to do better, start here: Web Designers: Wake Up And Smell The Touchscreen Coffee!

And if the current tools for doing that are inadequate, go yell at Apple.

Some Of The Pre-iPad World We Need Back

I get to tie together what’s happened to the printed word with the dark history of the iPad in one bizarre post right here.

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The iPad Is Here To Eat Your Roadkill

I can’t put it any plainer than the sentiment in this quote:

“Newspapers and magazines are, like, these things outside that get wet,” she said. “They’re like roadkill.”

That comes from an article in The New Yorker that describes a remarkable website called Polyvore.

I hadn’t heard of that site until today. And I’ve never seen anyone bring it up on Twitter, either (and, yes, I do have women I Follow on Twitter and, yes, they have done fashion-related tweets).

Polyvore is a lot like playing paper dolls with pictures of real clothes.

That site, it screams to be an iPad app.

And, hey, where’s the Polyvore for guys? No, not clothes: tech stuff!

iPad Magazines: Doing It Wrong

I’ve seen several samples of iPad magazine proposals.

Most of them are just wrong.

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