Tool twist newsletter 2010


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ToolTwist 4Q 2010 Newsletter

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Tool twist newsletter 2010

  1. 1. In This Issue- Web Typography- ToolTwist: When used on Software Development- What’s New in ToolTwist v7- Do You Need a Mobile Strategy?- HR’s Role in Promoting Corporate Social Responsibility- My iPad Magazine Stand
  2. 2. 1 This article discusses how web browsers support fonts and how using several techniques modern web browsers can be more flexible in the support of more traditional fonts that print media are comfortable with. history The first edition of web browsers in the (publisher) along-with the web page. This early nineties had minimal support for technique is widely referred to as the @font- fonts. Web browsers then controlled the face rule. This technique is controversial, fonts by their own settings. Later on in as licensing issues are prevalent. The font the mid-nineties, browser enabled support licensing terms had not caught up with the for a <font> html tag allowed webmasters fact that they can be downloaded and used and publishers to control the font that web over the web. This issue is slowly being pages would display. However, either the corrected by the major font foundries font in question had to have been already modifying the licensing schemes to allow installed on the computer; or a standard fall webfonts distribution schemes. back font as supplied by that computer ’s operating system. In the late nineties, the concept of a ‘web- safe’ font was widely discussed. These were the fonts that were more likely to be present on a wide range of computer systems. At the same time, Microsoft started core fonts for the web initiative that saw a standard pack of fonts released to be used by all web browsers and operating systems. These standard packs of ten fonts were widely adopted and licensed by various manufacturers. In the last few years, CSS2 (Cascading Style Sheets version2) added support for a technique that allowed the downloading of remote fonts as supplied by the server T ypogr aph y arT by W ob 2 l e rTo o l Tw i s t N e w sl e tte r // Issu e No.1 // Decem ber 2010
  3. 3. 2GlossaryeOT embedded OpentYpe A form of OpenType font designed by Microsoft for use as embedded fonts on web pages. It is supported by Internet Explorer and unfortunately not widely support by other browsers.T TF/OTF trUe tYpe Or Open tYpe A scalable computer font, originally licensed from Apple by Microsoft, but further developed by both Adobe and Microsoft. Most of the medium-age browsers have support for them. A medium-age browser is 2 to 3 years old.WOFF Web Open FOnt FOrmat A recent initiative, this is a font format developed by the World Wide Web consortium and has very good support among the major font foundries and new-age browsers. This is basically an OpenType font with enhanced meta-data.traditional workarounds of yesteryearsFor more than the past decade, webmasters between images and text.and publishers have had to get around the Implementing this technique means itlimitations mentioned above of using only breaks regular text selection and copy anda standard set of fonts on webpages. The paste.most common ways to get around this isby using images of fonts, using Adobe sIFR - scalable Inman FlashFlash embeddables (sIFR) and Javascripttechniques to display custom fonts. All of ReplacemenT This is a dynamic web fonts implementationthem come with various limitations and that enables replacement of text elementsperformance issues. of web pages with Flash equivalents. ItImages is widely used by brochure ware sites and a lot of design companies favor thisThe easiest way to put custom fonts on approach. This approach does have thea webpage. Take Photoshop, put your same faults as the images technique,custom font in as a text box, save it as an though publishing has been made easierimage and put it up. The limitations are with some tools. Lately with the widethat images take much longer to download adoption of Apple iPhone and iPad devicesto a web page, and while this technique is which don’t support Flash, this techniquegood for a heading or so, large swathes of is now completely unworkable acrosstext cannot be done this way. It also breaks these devices.the whole publishing cycle by switching Tool Tw i s t N ew s l etter // Is s ue N o.1 // De c e mb e r 2 0 1 0
  4. 4. 3 It is to be noted that all three techniques cuFOn above suffer from various performance This is a technique that seeks to be an issues as well as they don’t support regular alternative to sIFR. It uses Javascript text selection and copy and paste. and Vector Markup Language (VML) to convert the font using a font generator into a Javascript friendly file that is rendered using Javascript code on the web browser. status of webfonts now and the future Webfonts as mentioned above are the future of fonts in web pages. These are F O n T D e ck font files that can be embedded onto webpages in websites using the @font- face rule. Since 2007 and 2008, most of F O n T s pRI n g the newer browser from Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and to a certain extent IE now support this technique. It is actually T y pe F RO n T being widely used again. This brings the question, of how would W e b T y pe you use commercial fonts embedded in a website as they are publicly available to everyone and get around the licensing T y pOT h e q u e issues. Generally you would need to check the licensing agreements of the fonts from the font vendor to see if it is ok to embed WebInk the font and make it available publicly on h t t p : / / w w w. e x t e n s i s . c o m / e n / a web server. There are list of public fonts WebINK/ and commercial fonts that allow being embedded on a website. Ju sT a n OT h e R F O u n D Ry The other option is to subscribe to a cloud- based font service that for a small fee k e Rn e sT allows hundreds of fonts to be embedded on to a website. Some popular webfont services are: These services allow the fonts to be served from a distributed CDN (Content TypekI T Distribution Network) and thus offer the advantages of being cacheable across websites etc. Thus, if one is looking to use FO nTsl Iv e this service, research needs to be done on the number of fonts supported. Plus, how popular the service is among the peers, g O Og le F On T DIR ecTOR y o l Tw i s t N e w sl e tte r // Issu e No.1 // Decem ber 2010
  5. 5. 4how does tooltwist conclusionadvance this forthe publisher While ToolTwist offers a wide range of functionality for the publisher to embed custom fonts on to the webpage and theirToolTwist offers a variety of support to make websites, the following considerationsit easy for the publisher to deliver pages should be taken into account when thewith support for custom fonts. Widgets for requirements are drawn up.most of the popular webfont services arefreely available, plus the ability to embed • What are the requirements for compatibilitycustom licensed fonts directly on to the web of the website, business-wise. Targetingserver. More importantly, ToolTwist has modern browsers only?the ability to fallback to more traditional • What are the requirements for fallback ifmeans if it detects that a browser does not targeting all browsers.have the ability to support webfonts. • Font licensing considerations.ToolTwist routing modules can automatically • If using a webfonts service, check if theirdetect the device and browser type and list does support all the fonts you mayallows for fallback fonts to ensure that need.pages are read on older devices. In • Think about the potential for layoutcertain extreme cases, publishes do have changes as fallback options arethe opportunity to present completely considered.different layouts depending on support forolder and modern browsers and what therequirements for website consumption is. T ypogr aph y arT by d ou glas W ils o n Tool Tw i s t N ew s l etter // Is s ue N o.1 // De c e mb e r 2 0 1 0
  6. 6. ToolTwist as used for Software Development As a software development tool, ToolTwist provides a development environment that accelerates application development, by extending the capabilities of regular Java. Why extend Java? While Java is a rock-solid upon which to develop an application – platform for enterprise-level applications, they don’t form part of the application. it is not itself an application. Like with .NET, Visual Basic, and other popular There are many types of application, development tools, Java is a language and there are many possible parts of an and software development platform – if application. However, applications such you want an application, then you need to as those in use at a typical enterprise will write the program yourself. typically have the following parts: In most traditional software development 1. A User Interface. In the past this has environments, tools are provided upon been a windows interface, but for cost which to write applications. These tools and reliability reasons, applications are are generic in nature, and provide a increasingly being built with a web browser way to program (the IDE), provide basic based interface and run over the Internet. underlying functionality and access to the operating system (APIs), and provide a 2. Application specific logic. These are way to debug applications. the calculations such as stock updates, Products such as .NET, Java and VB6 stock calculations, benefit calculations, however need to be generic in nature, as processing eftpos and pos calculations, they are required to be able to be used to totalling and even day-to-day reports build any type of application. As a result, calculations such as summaries and they are intended to provide a foundation totals.To o l Tw i s t N e w sl e tte r // Issu e No.1 // Decem ber 2010
  7. 7. 63. Communications logic to transfer data Use of these traditional tools is part of thebetween various entities. reason why a typical Enterprise’s IT costs are high, and why development output is4. Data Manipulation code, to handle low.various types of information – products,sales statistics, invoices etc. ToolTwist builds upon this traditional model, to build a specific type of application:5. Database Access code that instructs - Web browser based.the program how to get to data in the - Requires manipulation of varying datadatabase. types. - Distributed environment.With these traditional development tools, - Stores data in a relational database.developers must build all these parts ofthe application themselves, a process For this specific type of application,of labor intensive manual coding. This ToolTwist is able to provide pre-formedwork requires a high level of skill, and is parts of the application, and provide toolstherefore very expensive. It is also the that generate other parts of the application,point where bugs are introduced. as shown in figure below.For each type of application logic, removes the need for developers to writeToolTwist specifically provides a way to software.speed up development. The result is faster development times,The following sections explain how low costs, and more reliable systems.ToolTwist handles each type of logic, and Tool Tw i s t N ew s l etter // Is s ue N o.1 // De c e mb e r 2 0 1 0
  8. 8. 7 USer inTerface In the 1980s, the user interface was green is just the start. Increasingly tablets and screen CRTs and/or DOS based systems, other portable devices will be used as while in the 90s a Windows interface was Point Of Sale devices, and will be used in most common. For the past ten years retail settings. however, the preferred interface has been to use a web browser, even for applications Different people access these systems in that do not need to run over the Internet. a variety of ways, for varying purposes. In The reason for this is that users are many cases, the technologies used, and familiar with web pages, with their nice the need to have “programmers”, reduce layouts, pretty images, and hyperlinks. the effective use of these systems. These users are easily trained as this is what they use in their normal day-to-day As an illustration… a typical enterprise has lives. brochures produced by graphic artists, it has a corporate website created by web Browser based interfaces also have the designers, and it has software in the advantage that it is not necessary to install Pharmacies developed by programmers. software to use the application – it can be The separation in skills (graphic art, web accessed over local area network, or over design, and programming) has prevented the Internet. It can also be easily skinned, work in one area flowing into other areas (i.e.) the same application having multiple resulting in: different skins over it to present different faces of it to different users. This allows • The corporate website is grossly out the users to retain familiarity with a type of date. of interface. • Marketing messages and product features included in the The software There are two trends that will increase the provides the end users and clients with benefits of browser based applications: the no relevancy to their day to day task steadily increasing speed and reliability at hand. of the Internet and the arrival of mobile • Programmers producing the devices. While the iPad is currently being software and the marketing message positioned as a consumer product, this are disjoint.To o l Tw i s t N e w sl e tte r // Issu e No.1 // Decem ber 2010
  9. 9. 8Tool Tw i s t N ew s l etter // Is s ue N o.1 // De c e mb e r 2 0 1 0
  10. 10. What’s New inToolTwist 7 verDeployment improvementsThe ToolTwist controller has been adapted todo seamless application deployment to theCloud, Enterprise Server, off-the-shelf Virtualmachines and other machine configurations.Once setup, application deployment becomesa click-and-go process that can be programmedfor continuous Integration Builds as well asProduction control handovers of Productionreleases.Designer Checkin/CheckoutPages can be checked in and out of thecontroller with locking at the controller levelto handle version changes and versiondifferences. A diff tool helps the designers towork out differences between their copy andthe copy on the controller. new widgets • Blog widgetCDn deployment • VideoJS widgets for HTML5 video fallback.Static assets on a web page such as images, • FusionCharts widgetcss stylesheet files, javascript code can be • Multiple menu widgetsautomatically deployed to the CDN. CDNs • Payment gateway plugins for Authorize.NETsupported are RackSpace/LimeLight CDN and • Multiple mapping widgets for GoogleCacheFly CDN. More CDNs to be supported Maps, Bing Maps with layering and polygonas demand is present. functionality.To o l Tw i s t N e w sl e tte r // Issu e No.1 // Decem ber 2010
  11. 11. Domain sharding ToolTwist can automatically send static assets to multiple static domain sites, so as to improve the parallel performance of downloading to a web browser. A web browser normally downloads anywhere between 2 to 8 assets from a single domain depending on the browser version. By separating your static assets to multiple domains, more assets can be downloaded in parallel. In addition, by making these domains cookie-free, the overhead of transmitting cookies for each http request can be avoided. Wpo hints for progressive rendering WPO, Web Performance Optimisation is the hot topic of the year. ToolTwist provides most of the capabilities to produce the fastest site possible within the constraints of the design and the artwork. With Version 7, more control is given to the marketer to place markersmobile Designer where the visible portion of the page ends, andThe Designer has a template and supporting the ToolTwist generator will optimise to put alllibraries for the mobile web. Need we say more! blocking and time-consuming assets below the marker to ensure that the visible portion renders as fast as possible. Tool Tw i s t N ew s l etter // Is s ue N o.1 // De c e mb e r 2 0 1 0
  12. 12. 11 Let me provide you some statistics first… there are1.5 billion Internet connections on the world today the world’s population is 6.8 billion the number of folks in the world having mobile devices are 3.4 billion (@50%) of these people, the number of potential mobile internet users are 1.3 billion The rate of growth of smart mobile devices You have employed some Objective-C is astounding. Already people who own gurus to turn out great looking apps. mobile devices are more likely to use their You may have invested in cross-compiler mobile to browse the internet rather than platforms such as Titanium or PhoneGap their desktop. This figure is as high as 40% to deliver products to the iOS and Android now. This figure will be more skewed as markepaces. Or you may be large enough tablet adoption becomes more universal. to run separate teams with different skills to do Objective-C on iOS, Java on Android, So, what does an enterprising CIO do? Sliverlight/XNA/C++ on Windows Mobile 7, Develop an app! and the various other different languages and SDK’s on Symbian, Maemo, Palm Apple with their iOS strategy have webOS, Blackberry and so on. successfully ‘appified’ the market space. Apps are a great way to experience the But, the important thing to consider is: richness of the mobile device with some Safari is the most popular app on the beautiful games and applications turning iPhone! the simple mobile device effectively into a mobile computer. Don’t assume customers have downloaded your app. But, is that the strategy?To o l Tw i s t N e w sl e tte r // Issu e No.1 // Decem ber 2010
  13. 13. 12Irrespective of if your strategy is to build Thus, irrespective of your mobilean app or not, expect that people will use applications strategy….a mobile browser, a small format device to …. Don’t ignore the mobile web.visit your website. They are mobile, out and Why? In a year ’s time by the end of 2011,about. They hear about your business, or there won’t be a mobile web strategya promotion on your website and will use anymore, it will be the only strategy!their mobile device to visit your website.Or as it is more common now, people use ToolTwist can help you present screensGoogle to search for your name to visit appropriate to the device format theyour website. (i.e.) no one enters a URL customer visits your website with. It is notanymore. black magic, but by simply making it easy for marketing teams to design mobile webWhen that happens… think about it, are pages for the mobile web, you can provideyou presenting content appropriate to that the optimum experience to your customerssmall screen. Is your website downloading rather than trying to shoe-horn a desktopmegabytes of content and images down a web experience to a mobile user.slow 3G network with high latency down toa customer ’s device who may be struggling In conclusion, let me leave you with thesewith reception issues and desperate to thoughts…. What about the other end of theget the page up and fast? Are you forcing scale? Large format screens. GoogleTVyour customers to pinch and zoom to for example. You need to optimize yourview content and press appropriate links website for 40 to 50” screen with the viewerand buttons to navigate between pages? 10 feet away. Do you have a strategy forA customer who is likely to use a mobile that? Anticipate that in 2 years time, everydevice to locate a bricks and mortar store TV will be able to access the Internet.will experience difficulty to find storelocations and operating hours if you arenot presenting information on your websitetailored to the mobile format. Tool Tw i s t N ew s l etter // Is s ue N o.1 // De c e mb e r 2 0 1 0
  14. 14. The world is a smaller place thanks to • Foster a culture of social the Internet, global trading and new responsibility. communication and technology advances • Celebrate successes. such as the iPad and applications. More • Share and communicate the value companies are becoming global by of corporate social responsibility to expanding overseas, and now manage a employees and the community. global workforce that has unique benefits, rules/laws, and different languages and currencies. With this global expansion comes a “responsibility.” implemenT anD encoUrage green pracTiceS for corporaTe When companies are global, an important challenge in garnering success is to respect Social reSponSibiliTy other cultures and workforce environments and start forming a global profile or social consciousness. Recognising these Implement green practices to assist in differences with a sound Corporate environmental waste reduction, while Social Responsibility (CSR) plan can promoting and encouraging stewardship simultaneously increase shareholder growth, better corporate ethics and value, boost employee engagement and long-lasting practices that promote both increase employer brand recognition. personal and corporate accountability. The value inherent in embracing green Human Resource Departments play a aspects of corporate responsibility is critical role in ensuring that the company clearly understood, given the direct impact adopts Corporate Social Responsibility that rising energy and utility costs has on programs. Furthermore, HR can employees’ pocketbooks. Conservation manage the CSR plan implementation has become an accepted means of making and monitor its adoption proactively, our planet healthier. Reducing each while documenting (and celebrating) its employee’s carbon footprint is a great success throughout the company. Human way of getting energy conservation and Resources technology can help with a recycling waste initiatives off the ground. Corporate Social Responsibility program, Here are suggestions to start: including reducing the company’s carbon footprint to benefit the planet. Start with • Recycle paper, cans and bottles these areas: in the office; recognize departmental • Implement and encourage green efforts. practices.To o l Tw i s t N e w sl e tte r // Issu e No.1 // Decem ber 2010
  15. 15. 14 • Collect food and donations for and employers at all levels, who competed victims of floods, hurricanes and other for advancement and recognition in natural disasters around the globe. harsh workplaces, were forced to accept corporate misconduct and waste as • Encourage reduced energy “business as usual.” consumption; subsidize transit passes, make it easy for employees to car pool, Social and community connections that are encourage staggered staffing to allow encouraged by employers give employees after rush hour transit, and permit permission to involve their companies telecommuting to the degree possible. in meaningful ways with the community. Employers can connect with their • Encourage shutting off lights, employees and the community through: computers and printers after work hours and on weekends for further • Company matches to employee energy reductions. charitable contributions; • Work with IT to switch to laptops • Community programs and volunteer over desktop computers. (Laptops days; consume up to 90% less power.) • Corporate sponsorship of community • Increase the use of teleconferencing, events; and rather than on-site meetings and trips. • Encouraging employees to • Promote brown-bagging in the participate in walkathons, food banks, office to help employees reduce fat and so forth. and calories to live healthier lives and reduce packaging waste, too. celebraTe corporaTe Social reSponSibiliTy foSTer a cUlTUre SUcceSSeS of corporaTe Social reSponSibiliTy Celebrating success is important to sustain the momentum of any CSRCreating a culture of change and program. Involving company leaders, andresponsibility starts with HR. Getting the praising the success of these initiatives,younger employees, who are already gives the program real meaning. In theenvironmentally conscious, excited about rapidly expanding global workplace, thefresh Corporate Social Responsibility celebration of these successes not onlyinitiatives is a great way to begin. A drives the implementation of Corporatecommitted set of employees who infuse Social Responsibility initiatives, but alsoenthusiasm for such programs would allows sound corporate HR practices toenable friendly competition and recognition enable them.programs. Additionally the publicity about theseOver the past few years, major news successes creates a mutual understandingorganizations have reported on large, of the cultures within each region that thetrusted companies that have failed company serves. The local populationemployees, shareholders and the public knows that, in addition to providing jobs,(i.e. Enron, Lehman, WaMu). These the company takes an active interest in,failures created a culture of mistrust in the and participates in, local issues.corporate world. All too often, employees Tool Tw i s t N ew s l etter // Is s ue N o.1 // De c e mb e r 2 0 1 0
  16. 16. 15 Three Key areaS of corporaTe Social reSponSibiliTy Focusing on three key areas for Corporate Social Responsibility can help create a cohesive map for the present and future: • Community Relations, • Training and Development, and • A Cohesive Corporate Social Responsibility Platform Encouraging Community Relations through your HR team includes implementing reward programs, charitable contributions and encouraging community involvement and practices. Examples of these programs include sending emails and company newsletters to staff members that highlight employees and managers involved in community relations or creating monthly reward programs to recognize efforts by individuals within the company. Training and Development programs that explain the connection between the company’s core products or services and the society at large, their value to the local community and ways in which employees can get involved in appropriate CSR projects would sustain and direct these initiatives.To o l Tw i s t N e w sl e tte r // Issu e No.1 // Decem ber 2010
  17. 17. 16 My iPad Magazine Stand Author: Khoi Vinh competition, particularly about how user behavior will evolve as these devices become more integrated into daily life. So while I may use some definitive language in this admittedly very long blog post, I freely grant that the future is a mystery to me as much as anyone. Actually, in conversations with people I know at various publications, I’ve been quitephoto credits to Because I recently left a job surprised by stories of at one of the most prominent advertiser interest in these apps. publications in the world, people Anecdotally, publishers report often ask me about my opinions heavy demand for advertising on the cavalcade of publications space, and in some cases apps rushing to the iPad — those have sold out of their ad inventory apps designed and developed through the end of the year or by newspapers and magazines even further. principally to deliver their print content — and the chances I see That’s an encouraging indicator, for their success. So here it is. but I think it may be more a sign of a bubble than the creation of a To start, I think it’s too early to real market for publishers’ apps. say anything definitive about According to Advertising Age, whether these apps will become the initial enthusiasm for many lasting delivery mechanisms for of these apps has dwindled down print content and brands. There’s to as little as one percent of print still a lot that we don’t know circulation in the cases of some about the iPad and its forthcoming magazines. Tool Tw i s t N ew s l etter // Is s ue N o.1 // De c e mb e r 2 0 1 0
  18. 18. 17 READING HABITS few years, and so there will be a much Granted, this situation could change richer market for a more diverse crop of significantly when the iPad and tablet content. But even with an Apple-operated market expands further — it’s logical to newsstand, I’m just not sure I believe assume that the customers who eventually these people will turn to publishers’ apps commit to tablets after this first year will to occupy their tablet time. It’s certainly bring a greater diversity of interests than possible that a small number of these apps the generally technology-centric early will succeed, but if publishers continue to adopters. If we see a continuing influx pursue the print-centric strategies they’re of customers in that former category, it focused on today, I’m willing to bet that might brighten the prospects for, say, most of them will fail. Vanity Fair’s iPad app. That, combined with the possibility of Apple adding a Let’s set aside the issue of news apps for digital newsstand to the App Store to help the time being, because they are really a customers browse periodical content in a beast of a different sort, and with their centralized place (hunting for publications own unique challenges. There is a real use amid software brands is suboptimal, to case for news apps (regardless of whether say the least) could further brighten their not not any players are executing well in prospects. this space). Magazine apps, on the other hand, are a different story. Maybe. I just don’t see it, though. For sure, I’m confident that many, many more people will be buying tablets within the next photo credits to http://mediamemo. o l Tw i s t N e w sl e tte r // Issu e No.1 // Decem ber 2010
  19. 19. 18OKAY HERE IT IS print edition and, as a content experience,My opinion about iPad-based magazines was an impediment to my normal contentis that they run counter to how people consumption habits. I couldn’t email,use tablets today and, unless something blog, tweet or quote from the app, to saychanges, will remain at odds with the way nothing of linking away to other sourcespeople will use tablets as the medium — for magazine apps like these, the worldmatures. They’re bloated, user-unfriendly outside is just a rumor to be denied. Andand map to a tired pattern of mass when I plugged my iPad back into mymedia brands trying vainly to establish Mac, the enormous digital heft of thesebeachheads on new platforms without magazines brought the synching processreally understanding the platforms at all. to a crawl.The fact of the matter is that the mode My understanding is that a lot of these appsof reading that a magazine represents are being actively encouraged and evenis a mode that people are decreasingly partially funded by the folks at Adobe, whointerested in, that is making less and less are pushing a tablet publishing solutionsense as we forge further into this century, that, unsurprisingly, builds off of theand that makes almost no sense on a tablet. software franchise that they won over theAs usual, these publishers require users to print publishing world with. In fact, Condedive into environments that only negligibly Nast has turned over technical operationsacknowledge the world outside of their for all of their apps to Adobe, which says abrand, if at all — a problem that’s abetted lot about how they’re thinking about theirand exacerbated by the full-screen, single- tablet strategy.window posture of all iPad software. Ina media world that looks increasingly The Adobe promise, as I understand it,like the busy downtown heart of a city — is that publications can design for onewith innumerable activities, events and medium and, with minimal effort, havealternative sources of distraction around their work product viably running on tabletsyou — these apps demand that you confine and other media. It says: what works inyourself to a remote, suburban cul-de-sac. print, with some slight modifications and some new software purchases, will workTHICK ISSUES in new media. It’s a promise that we’veTake the recent release of the iPad app heard again and again from many differentversion of The New Yorker. Please. I software vendors with the rise of everydownloaded an issue a few weeks ago and new publishing platform, but it has nevergreatly enjoyed every single word of every come to pass. And it never will.article that I read (whatever the productexperience, the journalism remains a notch In my personal opinion, Adobe is doing aabove). But I hated everything else about tremendous disservice to the publishingit: it took way too long to download, cost industry by encouraging these ineptlyme US$4.99 over and above the annual literal translations of print publicationssubscription fee that I already pay for the Tool Tw i s t N ew s l etter // Is s ue N o.1 // De c e mb e r 2 0 1 0
  20. 20. 19 into iPad apps. They’ve fostered a tablets represent. Perhaps like many of preoccupation with the sort of monolithic, us, they need to fail their way to success. overbearing apps represented by The That’s a legitimate strategy, and if they’re New Yorker, Wired and Popular Science. nimble enough to recover from these wild Meanwhile, what publishers should miscalculations before it’s too late, then I really be focusing on is clever, nimble, applaud them for it. entertaining apps like EW’s Must List or Gourmet Live. Neither of those are More likely, they will waste too many cycles perfect, but both actively understand that on this chimerical vision of resuscitating they must translate their print editions into lost glories. And as they do, the concept a utilitarian complement to their users’ of a magazine will be replaced in the mind content consumption habits. — and attention span — of consumers by something along the lines of Flipboard. IF NOT THIS, THEN WHAT? If you ask me, the trajectory of content Of course, small, nimble apps won’t consumption favors apps like these that necessarily solve the long-term revenue are more of a window to the world at large problems of major magazines. So is there than a cul-de-sac of denial. Social media, a bigger solution for magazines, one that if it’s not already obvious to everyone, is will bring in significant revenue along the going to continue to change everything lines of what they saw in the pre-digital — including publishing. And it’s a no- world? brainer to me that content consumption is going to be intimately if not inextricably This is an incredibly difficult question and linked with your social graph. Combine I’ve stopped trying to pretend I have any Flipboard or whatever comes along and response to it other than “I don’t know,” improves upon it with the real innovation or, in less sanguine moments, “Probably in recommendation technology that we’ll not.” There are no easy answers for content almost undoubtedly see in the next few publishers right now, which is why in years, and I can’t see how the 20th Century some ways they can hardly be blamed for concept of a magazine can survive, even if their iPad enthusiasm — at the very least, it does look great on a tablet. they aren’t ignoring the sea change thatTo o l Tw i s t N e w sl e tte r // Issu e No.1 // Decem ber 2010