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#wef12: Six lessons in tablet storytelling

September 4th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Mobile, Multimedia, Newspapers
Copyright: C. Regina on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by C.Regina on Flickr. Some rights reserved

At last year’s World Editors Forum in Vienna we reported on the 10 great tips shared by Mario Garcia, founder of Garcia Media, on creating news apps.

At this year’s event in Kiev Garcia is back, and he shared with delegates some of the lessons learned in the past couple of years when it comes to storytelling on tablet devices.

In summary, here are just six of the takeaways to be gained from his presentation:

  • The editor today needs to undertand the sociology of how readers use tablet platforms and remember the multimedia approach

Garcia urged editors to not think it is all about the newspaper. “No one expects to have the breaking news there,” he said.

In the eyes of consumer, digital is current, print is old, not abandoned, but old.

… Still newspapers write headlines as if they’re the only forms of communication these days.

He added that news outlets need to show they are a multimedia house. Therefore “no marketing campaign should be based on one of the platforms”.

  • Be visual and make something happen

A main point made by Garcia was about the importance of the visual element on tablet devices, where users “don’t just want a photo”, he said. “They want something to happen”.

He suggested that every four or five screens users should be offered “a moment where the finger touches the screen and something happens”.

Whatever it is, in the tablet you can not be linear.

… If all you do is turn the pages, readers will not be happy.

Garcia also referred to a Poynter study due to be published in the next few weeks, which found the majority of people preferred the “flipboard” visual style, with photo galleries and videos.

  • The story is what counts

While lessons have been learned about tablet storytelling, content remains king.

Garcia offered a new definiton of news, as “anything you know now that you did not know 15 minutes ago, or 15 seconds ago”.

And this piece of news is “what counts”, not the platform it is distributed on.

  • Understand the pattern of consumption during the day

Garcia said research shows most people use tablets after 6pm in the evening, while the average person reading on the tablet at night has the television on at the same time.

  • Users are willing to pay on tablets

The research also found that those who use tablets are more willing to pay for content than online users.

With that in mind, he highlighted the potential for news outlets – bearing in mind the 85 million iPads in the market today, which he said may reach “more than 165 million soon”.

  • Print has not been abandoned

And despite all this, “there is a place for print as a lean-back platform,” Garcia stressed. “Print is eternal, but only if it adapts”.

And “paper has the power of disconnect”, with print readers able to “totally unplug and read.”

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Future Publishing launches iPad-only title as second screen to computer

April 3rd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Magazines

Future Publishing has announced the launch of an iPad-only magazine to act as a second screen to the computer.

The term second screen generally relates to the use of a tablet or mobile in addition to a TV or other device.

Future’s new title, called How to Draw & Paint, is the latest in a line of Future publications to be launched without a print edition.

Previously released iPad-only titles include Teach Yourself Photoshop and the interactive editions of T3, Tap and Guitarist Deluxe.

The app magazine, which serves as a tutorial for those “using Photoshop for digital art”, utilises the interactivity of the tablet.

In a release, Tom Dennis, digital product editor for Future’s creative group, said:

We’ve taken a new approach to delivering tutorial content on iPad based on how digital artists use their tablets alongside their main computer.

Future has more than 70 titles in Apple’s Newsstand. The publisher said the release of the Newsstand portal in October resulted in six million app downloads in the first six weeks.

In November Mike Goldsmith, editor-in-chief of iPad and tablet editions at Future, told Journalism.co.uk in a podcast that Newsstand was “revolutionising the publishing industry”

How to Draw & Paint is available from on the App Store via a 90-day subscription priced £4.99.

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Economist launches World in 2012 iPad app

November 24th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Magazines, Mobile

The Economist has today announced the release of an iPad version of “The World in 2012 from the Economist: Editor’s Highlights”, based on the annual magazine which features predictions, graphs and charts for the coming year.

In a release, the Economist said the app, which is sponsored by BMW, features “select articles from this year’s edition, videos from around the world and specially curated snapshots of people, events, landmarks and data are all included in the first-ever World in…highlights application.”

The featured articles focus on a variety of topics ranging from the areas of technology still up for grabs, the power of sharing and the change in China’s leadership.  The videos include an extract of an interview with Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, as well as interviews with people from New York, Beijing and London on the coming year.  The application also contains a feature on 12 people to watch in 2012, a month-by-month selection of events in 2012, a snapshot of 12 titbits to look out for in the year ahead and a collection of charts, graphs and data.

Daniel Franklin, editor of The World in 2012 said in the release:

This digital introduction makes it clear to new readers why the publication has become so popular over the past quarter century.

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Guardian iPad app downloaded nearly 150,000 times in first week

October 21st, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Traffic

The Guardian’s new iPad app has been downloaded 145,880 times since it was launched last Thursday (13 October), with more than a third of those from outside the UK.

The app is free for the first three months due to a sponsorship deal with Channel 4, after which it will cost £9.99 per month.

The Guardian also today revealed that just over a million Facebook users have installed the Guardian’s Facebook app, which was released exactly a month ago.

Since its launch at the beginning of the year, the Guardian’s iPhone app has been downloaded over half a million times; its Android app, which was launched last month, has been downloaded over a quarter of a million times.

Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media, said in a statement:

Since launching last week, the new Guardian iPad edition has already been downloaded over 145,000 times. This number of downloads in a week is a fantastic achievement, and shows the appetite among our readers to access our content in new, digital ways. This is our most successful app launch to date, and an important milestone as we continue to evolve into a digital-first news organisation.

Statistics breakdown

iPad app downloads
Total: 145,880
UK: 85,018
US: 29,082
Res of the wold: 31,780

Guardian iPhone app
Since launching in January this year, the app has been downloaded over 570,000 times, with nearly 100,000 users going on to take out subscriptions.

Guardian Android app
This launched last month, on 7 September, and since then the app – which is free and ad-funded – has been downloaded over 250,000 times.

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#wef11: Ten lessons on news app creation from Mario Garcia

October 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism, Mobile

Today’s session on tablet applications at the World Editors Forum featured a fantastic presentation by Mario Garcia, CEO and founder of Garcia Media, who ran through 10 incredibly useful lessons to learn when creating news apps.

They are repeated below as he listed them (and are also posted on his blog):

1. Tell stories across platforms. “We must think in terms of a media quartet”.
2. What the tablet is. “A tablet goes beyond, to create an immersive experience, not a newspaper, not an online edition, not television, yet has the abilty to fulfil the role of all these platforms together”.
3. The lean-back platform. “You have got an audience that’s relaxed, but not that relaxed. At any point they want to know what’s happening now”.
4. What the tablet is not. “It is not a replication of the print/online experience”
5. Covering three tracks. “Users want their newspaper tablet apps to have the three main tracks of curated edition, news updates and e-readers”.
6. The tablet and design. “You have to make it sophisticatedly simple”.
7. Create those pop-up moments. “This is not a newspaper. When you design for tablet you design for the eye, finger and the brain and all have to be entertained simultaneously.”
8. Pay attention to the essentials. “Start with a good sense of navigation, make sure the user knows how to go from point A to point C or Z and make sure you give people ability to share.”
9. Make it functional. “Remember what people are using it for. They come to read, they come to read long, they come to read short. Need to train people in art to write mini story.”
10. You must consider a curated edition. Have an editor to curate the edition.

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Eight lessons for publishers from comScore’s new report on mobile

October 13th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile

Mobile devices account for nearly 7 per cent of web browsing in the US, according to a new report by comScore.

In the UK it has been predicted that mobile browsing will overtake desktop browsing in 2013.

Although the comScore study is based on US device use, it has lessons for UK publishers as they consider mobile-friendly websites, smartphone and tablet apps and the potential revenue from relatively new products such as iPad magazines.

Here are eight key facts for publishers from the latest comScore study on internet use on mobile devices:

1. Mobile devices account for 7 per cent of US web traffic

Around half of the US population uses the internet on a mobile device, which has increased by almost 20 per cent in the past year.

2. Two thirds of browsing on mobile devices takes place on phones; one third on tablets

Two thirds of the 6.8 per cent of mobile web traffic took place on phones during August; one third of that figure took place on tablets.

3. iPads account for nearly 98 per cent of US tablet market

iPads dominate among tablets in the US, accounting for 97.2 per cent of all web tablet traffic.

4. iPad web browsing has overtaken iPhone browsing

iPads have begun to overtake iPhones in being used for web browsing. iPad browsing accounts for 46.8 per cent of iOS internet use, 42.6 per cent takes place on iPhones.

5. People are increasingly using WiFi for mobile phone web browsing

The study found that more than one third of mobile phone web browsing took place via WiFi in August. Conversely, people are increasingly using tablets, which traditionally required a WiFi connection to access the internet, to connect via mobile broadband. In August, nearly 10 per cent of traffic from tablets occurred via a mobile network connection.

6. Nearly 60% of tablet owners use the devices to consume news

Three out of five tablet owners consume news on their tablets.

7. A quarter of those who read news on a tablet do so daily

One in four tablet users consume news on a tablet do so on a near-daily basis

8. iPhones and iPads dominate, nearly one third of mobile web users have an Android device and just 5 per cent use a BlackBerry

Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad accounted for nearly 60 per cent of the mobile web browsing; Google Android just over 30 per cent, BlackBerry RIM just 5 per cent, and other platforms nearly 5 per cent.

In a release, Mark Donovan, senior vice president of mobile at comScore said the findings show an “explosion in digital media consumption”, labelling those in the use of connective devices as “digital omnivores”, consumers who access content through several touchpoints during the course of their daily digital lives.

He said:

In order to meet the needs of these consumers, advertisers and publishers must learn to navigate this new landscape so they develop cross-platform strategies to effectively engage their audiences.

There are 10 facts on the UK mobile market published in June here.

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Guardian to launch ‘reflective’ iPad app at £9.99 per month

After taking its time in development the Guardian has finally announced an iPad app, which is coming “any day now” apparently. According to editor Alan Rusbridger, the app will not focus on breaking news but be a “more reflective” read.

We’re not going to be scrambling to update it every minute or every hour. We will do that on the browser, the browser is a place to go for liveblogging and to go searching for material, but this is going to be a different kind of read, it’s going to be more reflective.

It seems like the thinking behind the app will take it away from the web browser experience and closer to what Guardian has in mind for its print edition. Although producing a static, print-like app may seem a little strange for a “digital-first” news organisation (especially one that creates a promo video for its app criticising the idea of “recreating the newspaper on the iPad”), it’s a move that makes sense in many ways. It looks at the tablet as more of a lean-back device for evenings, which research by Bit.ly and others has shown is a popular time for iPad use, something to supplement breaking news on Guardian.co.uk and via the iPhone app.

The app will be free for the first three months after launch thanks to a sponsorship deal with Channel 4, after which it will cost £9.99 per month. Six- and seven-day print subscribers will get access to the app bundled with their deal, although the app won’t include content from the Observer.

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Bloomberg: News Corp’s The Daily averaging 120,000 readers a week

September 29th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers, Online Journalism

Bloomberg reported late on Wednesday (28 September) that News Corporation’s iPad-only newspaper the Daily has been averaging around 120,000 readers a week, said to be “less than a quarter of the number the company said it needs to make money”.

The figures came from advertising executive working with the publication.

News Corp., whose Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch personally introduced the publication about eight months ago, may have even fewer paying subscribers since people can read the Daily free for two weeks. The 120,000 figure is for so-called unique weekly visitors, which includes people who pay and those who don’t, said John Nitti, executive vice president of Publicis Groupe SA (PUB)’s media-buying division Zenith Optimedia.

Bloomberg adds that Murdoch had said in February the publication, which was launched in February, would need 500,000 subscribers “to break even”.

Read the Bloomberg report here.

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Five tips from a radio journalist who reports solely from an iPhone and iPad

September 28th, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Handy tools and technology, Mobile

For the past 18 months Neal Augenstein, a reporter with Washington DC’s all news radio station WTOP, has carried out all his field reporting from his iPhone and iPad.

Like many radio reporters Augenstein is also shooting and editing video, taking photos and tweeting from the scene of news stories he covers. All the audio, video, audio, photos and scripts he produces are created and edited on his two devices.

A year and a half in, we spoke to him to find out how he is finding the experience. He said he finds the iPhone more valuable than the iPad and tends to produce his live and pre-recorded audio reports on his phone, but writes scripts on his tablet.

Asked how it has changed his job, Augenstein told Journalism.co.uk:

It’s certainly made things a lot easier for me in terms of being able to put my laptop away and all the heavy equipment such as the cables, microphones, recorders, all the cameras that I was using.

There are some challenges to that, for instance, how do you put an iPhone on a podium for a news conference?

Another hurdle he has had to overcome is how to cope with the iPhone being susceptible to wind noise.

So what are his tips on apps and techniques for this form of reporting?

1. 1st Video – Augenstein uses this video recording and editing app for both his video and audio work. It allows multitrack editing and sharing but those familiar with PC or Mac audio and video editing will need to learn a few new swipes and pinches. Here is Journalism.co.uk’s guide on how to shoot and edit video using this app.

2. Ustream – He uses Ustream for livestreaming video, often in breaking news situations. Other app options for free livestreaming include Bambuser and Qik.

3. Skype is used by Augenstein for live reporting, rather than a phone line. He says he finds Skype “a robust way to communicate for a live report”.

One of our goals is the elimination of cell phone-quality recordings from our broadcasts.

Another recommendation from Augenstein was to take the audio from a live video stream, although you cannot have a two-way interview, between the reporter and studio presenter (although you could perhaps do this if you had two phones, one to livestream from and one to listen to the presenter, or if you have a radio to hear the station output, providing there was no delay in transmission).

4. Camera Plus – The WTOP reporter uses this app, also available for Android and BlackBerry, to tweak and edit photos.

5. Spend wisely. Augenstein uses the iPhone’s built in microphone.

There are ways you can plug in other microphones but my goal is trying to minimise the amount of accessories that I need.

As for setting up shots, Augenstein has got a Gorilla iPhone tripod, but opts for handheld shooting for video.

As a radio station our video does tend to be rather rudimentary. Getting a steady shot is important but our web videos are generally not produced, voicetracked packages. What we’re trying to do is work on the synergy between the on air product and the website and the social. If the radio report has sound bites of a person speaking, the website and the video is supposed to complement rather than duplicate what is in the report.

He has looked into the services provided by two companies, Tieline and Comrex, which allow you to broadcast live from a phone. Both options require relatively expensive kit to allow the audio to input via a channel on the radio mixing desk.

I have found, unfortunately, to this point that getting a good connection is difficult. Wifi is always a better-sounding connection than 3G or 4G and in breaking news situations you often don’t have optimal situations.

Since he locked away his cables, cameras and microphones in February 2010, Augenstein has seen his report turn around time decrease.

What used to take 30 minutes to create a fully-produced report I can now do in 10 minutes.

The sound quality is probably is only 92 per cent as good as broadcast-quality equipment, that’s the number I’ve been estimating, but as it can be tweaked and goes through processing at the radio station, people really can’t tell the difference.

And the most beneficial part of his 18-month iPhone and iPad trial?

It’s a chance to re-think the newsgathering process, which to me is the most exciting part about it.

  • Sign up to attend Journalism.co.uk’s one-day training course in using a mobile for reporting, which is being held in London on 4 November 2011.
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Mashable: Why CNN has acquired iPad magazine Zite

August 31st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

Mashable has Q&A with CNN’s general manager of digital, KC Estenson, and CEO of Zite Mark Johnson explaining why the broadcaster has acquired the personalised iPad magazine.

Zite, like Flipboard, is an iPad app that allows users to aggregate news articles from feeds including Twitter and Google Reader to create a fully personalised magazine of the content of interest.

CNN announced on it’s blog yesterday that Zite will remain fully independent, a fact Estenson confirms in Mashable’s interview saying Zite will be free to pursue partnerships with other news organisations.

The interview starts by asking “why Zite?”.

Estenson: We saw in Zite a best-in-class product. It’s deeply loved by the people who have it, and we thought it would be a nice addition to our digital portfolio. Secondly, there’s great technology behind it. We’re seeing a lot of interest in this space now, but these guys have been working on this for six years.

Johnson: The iPad is really well suited to reading. I think what’s interesting about Zite is that it brings you really interesting information you might not have otherwise read. It’s not just repackaging information.

We’re seeing Flipboard move into TV and film, while Pulse is getting into bookmarklets and extensions. Where is Zite going next?

Johnson: We still see a huge market in giving you the information most relevant to you. We’re focusing on content right now, news-type content. We really want to focus on giving people a great personalised iPad magazine.

The interview goes on to ask:

Can we expect CNN’s content to feature more prominently on Zite in the future?

Johnson: Absolutely not. Our personalisation algorithms look for most interesting content on the web, whether that comes from CNN or elsewhere. Our algorithms are completely agnostic.

The full Q&A is at this link

 

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