Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

10/26/2013

IDEAlliance (The International Digital Enterprise Alliance) Seeks Standardization for Mobile Magazine Publishing


IDEAllianceStandardization, or an open format, that allows publishing across all mobile formats with one application at the same time has been achieved (pretty much) for book publishing in the ePub specification.

But, one does not yet exist for the more difficult magazine publishing — more difficult due to a magazines demand for more imagery, graphics, layout, etc.

Why all this attention to mobile publishing? Simply because tablets, e-readers and iPads are replacing desktop computers as the consumer’s choice to access content.

The IDEAlliance is working with players throughout the supply chain to standardize tablet edition formats to simplify the process of tablet issue production by eliminating many of the competing formats and workflows.

The following details are from FOLIO magazine:

Cutting Through the Mire of Tablet Issue Production

“Each publisher has approached tablets at its own pace, with its own purpose. The result has left a scattered set of protocols across the industry.

The goal is an industry standard called OpenEFT — guidelines to direct the packaging, delivery and display of digital magazines for everyone in the ecosystem. OpenEFT’s final draft was unveiled late last month.

“We, as publishers, would like to be able to provide a designed-for-tablet, interactive edition to all the newsstands,” says Sean Keefe, executive director of publishing technology for Hearst Magazines. “But right now, not all of them take the same file formats.” 

The benefits for publishers are twofold. Tablet issue production would become a more efficient process, while the barriers to third-party innovation would be lowered.

Tablet issue production is currently convoluted. Hearst currently produces up to three formats (and several variants) of its magazines, depending on the brand and the newsstand they’re working with; Next Issue Media, a digital newsstand, is forced to adapt about six formats for its storefront. Many of those conversions are labor intensive and require quality assurance testing at multiple points.

Ideally, says Keith Barraclough, CTO and vice president of products for Next Edition, the exchange of files would be simplified, QA would only be needed once and the process would be automated.

“Whether OpenEFT can do all this as it goes through its standardization process and tools and manufacturers come along and adopt, that’s all a big ‘TBD’,” he says. “But hat’s the nirvana we’re looking for.”

An open specification already exists, called ePub, but it was built to handle books, not magazines.

“The orientation toward imagery, layout and the subtlety of the navigation of a magazine is something that’s evolved more,” Barraclough says.

While Dianne Kennedy, vice president of emerging technologies for IDEAlliance, says OpenEFT is closely modeled after ePub, she adds that the need for tablet-optimized ad units is another major reason the book-centric format needed to be tweaked for digital magazines.

Magazine staff have to manipulate the units from the agency, often without being exactly sure of how the final product was supposed to render. The costs and confusion make their use rare.

“Magazines, unlike books, rely a lot on the ad model,” Kennedy says. “There is no specification for the exchange and rendering of this interactive content, so the magazines have been limiting the number of interactive ads they will accept.”

Regardless of how or why they started with tablet editions, publishers will agree that improving production efficiency is beneficial.

Now, it’s up to them to adopt the standard.”

OpenEFT Design Principles

Here are a few of OpenEFT’s 13 design principles:

– Must be based on industry standards

– Must not cause major disruption to existing tablet publishing workflows

– Must support enhancement types that are common across 2013 tablet editions

– Must consider the advertizing workflow and integration of advertizing

– Should be designed so that highly-designed publications, other than magazines, can adopt this format

– Must design for the future by embracing emerging technologies

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08/29/2011

Apple iPad vs Samsung Galaxy – Who’s Infringing Who? – More Intrigue


Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Growing intrigue in the tablet computer world! The two best tablets on the market are jostling for position and sales … with each throwing accusations at the other RE copyright infringement.

Apple, scared stiff of the more advanced Android based OS of the Galaxy, started firing infringement violations at Samsung and now Samsung is shooting back with counter copyright infringement lawsuits against Apple.

Neat. I am looking forward to the resulting best, cutting edge solution for the consumer.

Latest developments by Luke Hopewell for ZDNet:

Samsung fires back in Apple Oz Galaxy suit

Update In the latest developments in the ongoing patent saga between Samsung and Apple, Samsung today revealed a plan to countersue Apple for patent infringement within its flagship iPad tablet while pledging to push back its official launch date to the end of next month.

Legal representatives from both parties met for a directions hearing in the NSW Federal Court today, where barrister David Catterns, acting for Samsung, revealed to the court a plan to countersue Apple once the case made it to trial.

“Our cross claim will include a cross claim of infringement for a number of our patents that have been infringed by their [Apple’s] iPad,” Catterns told Justice Annabelle Bennett today, adding in a statement that its counter-claim would also encompass the Apple iPhone.

Apple Australia originally sued Samsung after it felt that the gadget maker was infringing on its patents in its upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Samsung contested the allegation, saying that Apple Australia was basing its claims on the US version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The two parties at the time agreed to an undertaking that would see Samsung hold its shipment of the Australian version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 until Apple had the chance to study three of the units, seven days before the proposed release of the device to market.

Apple Australia told the court that it had received the units last Thursday, and had until this Thursday to complete its investigation. Representatives acting for Apple Australia told the court that they had found two patents that Samsung had allegedly violated, in the investigation process, that support the Apple case. Apple Australia has also added another patent to the laundry list of existing alleged infringements.

The interlocutory relief originally agreed to in the legal stoush expires on Thursday, with the court hearing that unless Apple can acquire further relief in the case, Samsung could easily launch its tablet on Friday.

Catterns, acting for Samsung, told the court that the company had intended to release the device on the week of 12 September, most likely on the Thursday or Friday, but, due to uncertainty in the legal proceedings, Samsung agreed to push the release of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 until the week of 30 September to allow for legal action to proceed. Samsung also agreed that it would give Apple Australia 48 hours’ notice before releasing the device to market.

Catterns added that any further interlocutory relief in the form of an injunction would be inappropriate and biased against Samsung, adding that Apple has failed to submit any real evidence to the court support its case.

Read and learn more

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04/14/2011

Publishing Nuggets


Have I got some publishing nuggets for you!

Lots of insightful publishing and publishing-related tidbits roaming around the internet today! Some I think you will find interesting and learn a good deal from:

IAB Reports 2010 Internet Ad Revenues Up Almost 15 Percent

2010 fourth quarter revenue increases 19 Percent over 2009 Q4.

I wanted to introduce the IAB (the Interactive Advertising Bureau) to you all in this one.

Grading the Tina Brown Newsweek

Packaging, graphics are much improved, but can she walk the “Newsbeast” line?

 

Sports Illustrated Launches App for Motorola Xoom

App is part of Time Inc.’s “All Access” digital subscription plan.

 

Could Google’s earnings feed doubt across the tech world?

Google’s earnings fell short of what analysts were expecting Thursday, sending shares in the tech giant sinking to a six-month low in after-hours trading.

 

AcademicPub Launches New Custom Publishing Option for Higher Education Community

Faculty Members and Their Students to Benefit from Copyright-Cleared Course Materials Delivered in Real Time and Sourced from Great Diversity of Content Sources

 

OnSwipe Brings Tablet Publishing To The Browser (TCTV Demo)

Or they can keep on publishing on the Web and display their websites differently to people who visit them via tablet browsers. OnSwipe is a new digital publishing tools company that wants to make mobile browsing as swipe-friendly as a tablet app.

Great reading and learning nuggets!

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03/23/2011

Tablet Computer World to Explode to 200 Million/Yr Sales by 2014!


More Tablet Computers Coming!

Good news for writers and publishers…but a vastly more crowded dance floor for the Apple iPad.

Why is this good news for writers and publishers?

Simply because of the HUGE rebirth in the popularity of reading that the tablets (as well as the singular e-readers such as Kindle) have generated.

AND, the resulting demand for constant new content.

PLUS, the ease and speed of access to books and all other written media COUPLED with the ever-increasing streamlining of the actual publishing process.  

I have some numbers tonight that will rock your socks! A study conducted by PRTM (PRTM = Pittiglio, Rabin, Todd & McGrath, by the way) claims that there are 104 tablets currently for sale or in development. With 17 million tablets sold in 2010, PRTM forecasted 200 million tablets to be sold annually for 2014!

How bout them figures? 

Stefanie Botelho writes these details in FOLIO magazine: 

Tablet Market Expands With New Competitors

Samsung and RIM will release tablets within the next four months.

RIM and Samsung have announced release dates for their versions of the tablet computer, with the RIM Blackberry Playbook on sale on April 19th and the new Wi-Fi version of the Samsung Galaxy tablet line launching June 8th.

Both companies are looking to grab a hold of a piece of the iPad-dominated tablet market. Apple’s second version of the iPad was unveiled in San Francisco on March 2nd, and shipped March 11th. Reportedly, Apple sold 14.8 million iPads in 2010.

The RIM PlayBook will feature a 7 inch screen, Flash compatible video and front and rear cameras. The 16GB version will be available for $499, a 32GB for $599 and a 64GB with a price tag of $699.

The PlayBook will have Wi-Fi capabilities, but they cannot utilize 3G without being connected through a Blackberry phone.

Read and learn more

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01/07/2010

Help (understood or not) is on the Way for Print Media


Publishers need to become more committed to understanding the three-dimensional debth of multi-media products and the concepts of light, sound and motion to enhance “printed word” content.

Jim Gaines, editor-in-chief of multimedia magazine FLYPmedia, former managing editor at: People, Time and Life magazines AND corporate editor of Time Inc., discusses this impact topic in the December, 2009 edition of FOLIO magazine:

So far, publishers have demonstrated more fervor than conviction in their attempts to embrace digital innovation. With a few important exceptions—notably The Atlantic—general-interest magazine sites have given themselves over to opinion and aggregation, chasing the headless eyeball and revenue from desolate banner ads while leaving behind all trace of the narrative and design richness of the parent publications.

There is a desperate, shotgun quality to print-digital marriages, as well—like Entertainment Weekly’s “video in print” ad for CBS in September, GQ’s iPhone app in October and Esquire’s experiment with “augmented reality” on the December cover. Popular Science got there first in July, by, as they say, holding up the magazine cover to a computer’s webcam so readers can see “a 3-D landscape dotted with wind turbines popping off the page; by blowing into your computer’s microphone, you can even make the turbines spin faster.”

And as the song goes, you would cry too if it happened to you.

Help is On the Way

Happily, help is on the way, though at first glance, it has a decidedly menacing aspect. Like a hologram, it takes a little squinting to see it for what it is.

The much-rumored whatchamacallit from Apple (iTablet, iPad, whatever) will be just the ancestor of a new world of digital devices whose capabilities are going to lift the greatest burden of publishing (the cost of paper, ink and distribution) bringing HD video, animation, eloquent info graphics and the engaging arts of video gaming to the task of journalism and most other purposes of non-fiction story-telling, including education.

Just as transformative, the iWhatever and its descendants will liberate users from the lean-forward nature of the desktop experience by putting the screen in our hands. The Internet will still be the best way to find what you’re looking for fast, but it will be a great deal more than that, as well. Thanks to broadband penetration, print has lost its monopoly on ubiquity.

When I was the editor of People, I used to say magazines were safe until fiber optics made it to the bathroom. That was a long time ago. What I could not imagine then was how much more robust story-telling could be when liberated from paper and ink, or how you could ever feel like curling up with a computer.

Perhaps most importantly, multimedia story-telling will endow “print” journalism with the brand-enhancing asset that has kept advertisers investing in broadcast and cable: the engaging energy of light, sound and motion. Industry analysts have yet to make the leap from Web as a distribution channel to revolutionary medium.

“The strategies that make media companies successful will require new capabilities,” according to one recent study, which enumerated them: “tracking and research to gain deeper insights into audience interests, informatics to manage and direct Web traffic, database management, custom content and applications development, and the ability to manage a network of partnerships.”

Well, yes. But the way to enhance those relationships is not through database management, but by building trust and engagement—by telling great stories in a way that makes people want to read and experience them.

The Next “Magazine”

This will not be easy. ASME will need to get over itself and stop treating advertisers like enemy occupiers. ABC rules and circulation practices will need to change so that print brands can re-imagine themselves without losing credit for the loyal adherents who follow them there. Publishing giants will have to act like startups, inviting story-tellers from the worlds of film and gaming to join writers and designers with a serious claim on resources and the mandate to fail until they succeed in perfecting the crafts and arts of multimedia story-telling.

When that happens, some enlightened American company—publisher, ASME, maybe even an advertiser!—knowing that its brand equity is intimately tied to the values it promotes, will put its name (and money) behind the next great American “magazine.”

That could very well be a broadband multimedia experience whose mission is the same one that has always informed America’s publishing at its best—to share experience, in a spirit of generosity, to bear faithful witness, to bring coherence and light to the gravest problems and greatest purposes of American life.

Or, as Henry Luce once put it: “To see life. To see the world. To eyewitness great events ….”

Now that’s an app.

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