Damn! The last two years have wrought tremendous advances in digital publishing. How about a model that “seamlessly integrates text, audio, video, and interactive elements into ebooks, digital magazines, and other publications, and then effortlessly publishes into an iPad or iPhone app, for Kindle and Nook e-readers, and for Web browsers (in HTML5).”
The ultimate creation platform for the digital, mobile age. I guess so!
And just who developed this digital content publishing model dripping with super powers? —– A company called Atavist, that’s who. And we will be jawing and giving out informative links about them and peripherals tonight.
Briefly, “Atavist is a media and software company at the forefront of digital, mobile publishing. Our mission is to enable the next generation of multimedia storytelling, reaching readers across mobile devices and the Web.”
Bill Mickey, Editor of FOLIO magazine, elicits great info in this interview with Atavist co-founder, Evan Ratliff:
Atavist Co-Founder Evan Ratliff On Digital Content Models
From long-form to subscriptions, there’s something for everyone.
One of the more dramatic turnarounds when considering online and digital content is long-form journalism. Once considered anathema to online publishing, not to mention mobile, only a couple years ago, it’s now considered an opportunity on multiple levels—from ebooks to tablets to interactive web features.
The Atavist, founded by Evan Ratliff, Jefferson Rabb and Nicholas Thompson, was launched in early 2011 to tap the burgeoning long-form digital content market for mobile and web publishing. Here, Ratliff [pictured], who will be a speaker at FOLIO: and min’s MediaMashup summit on April 16 at the Grand Hyatt in New York, shares some of his insights on digital content production, the emerging models and how traditional publishers can participate.
FOLIO: What are some of the trends you’re seeing in longer-form content production in digital formats—online and mobile/tablet?
Evan Ratliff: It’s remarkable how things have changed just over the past two or three years. When we started, the idea that people wanted to read longform online was assumed to be dubious, if not ludicrous. Really, someone is going to sit at a computer and read a 5,000 word story? Almost no major outlets were doing digitally-original longform work. But the trend in the opposite direction started with the Kindle, accelerated with the iPad, then really took off with read-it-later services like Instapaper, Pocket and best-of selections like Longform. Now that you could read something in your hands, it changed the perspective on whether anyone would read something longer than a couple paragraphs, digitally.
But that’s all old news, at this point. What’s happening now is what we’d hoped would happen when we started in 2009: People aren’t just publishing longform online, they are designing for it. Whether it’s us, or the Verge (really, Vox Media in general), or Pitchfork, there are now a growing number of publications really thinking about how to make longform reading a different kind of experience online. Even more encouraging, major media outlets like the New York Times are following in the wake of the smaller ones, utilizing a lot of those ideas and putting serious resources behind executing their versions of them.
FOLIO: What are some of the more interesting content models you’re seeing coming out of the Atavist platform (from you and/or your customers)? How exactly are the boundaries of multimedia storytelling being pushed?