Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Digital Developers Imitating Traditional Publishers

Have you noticed that all the new, digital e-readers’ format and style templates are designed to look like their print predecessors and even have digital pages that turn like a physical book, etc.?

Well, that is imitation of the old publishing designs and is a form of flattery…Is it not?

Robert Andrews of thinks so and points out some other interesting facts in the following article:

It was pop-culture philosopher Marshall McLuhan who wrote: “All media come in pairs, with one acting as the ‘content’ of the other.”

That assertion is true once again, now that a range of developers is pushing out digital products that depend on paying homage to physical-media forebears…

On the web, where countless embarrassing “newspaper” blog templates have been available for years, sites like The Twitter Times and redeploy the aesthetic and lexicon of printed news – but not necessarily the content. Instead, they try to make “a daily newspaper” from stories linked to by fellow Twitter users.

It’s on e-readers where this format flattery is most pronounced, and where independent developers are incongruously following conventional publishers in the rebooted electronic “magazine” or “newspaper” goldrush…

The Early Edition RSS reader app for iPad reconstitutes what is usually a lifeless, date-ordered list of stories in something reminiscent of a morning rag, with front-page lead stories, distinct section layout and turnable pages. Rival app NewsRack, on iPhone, even displays feeds as though on a wireframe sidewalk stand.

The buzz about socially-organized e-magazines, like the Twitter examples above, grew to a short-lived fever pitch last month when Flipboard debuted its app for showing friends’ linked content in something like a page-turning fashion.

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