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Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment Weekly’

Gooooaaaalll!!!!! The AP's World Cup App Scores for the News Business

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized, World on June 10, 2010 at 10:55 am
2010 FIFA World Cup logo

Image via Wikipedia

Okay… maybe there was an O or A too many in the headline but the Associated Press seems to be on to something with their just released app that’s focused on World Cup coverage.

With the international soccer/football (depending on where you’re reading this) about to get underway, the news collective — or as they put it: “the world’s leading source for news and information” — has put together a pretty impressive though fairly straight forward app allowing fans to follow along.

Available for Apple’s devices as well those from Nokia, Blackberry and, of course, those on the Android platform (notable: the Android version supports Flash; no word on the Superman or The Green Lantern. Sorry.) the App allows you to get your information in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Of course, the AP’s not the only organization with a World Cup App. There’s ESPN, Univision, The Telegraph and more.

And the World Cup App isn’t AP’s only app.

They have a general news one for the iPad (which, strangely, I don’t find to be quite as good as their one for the iPhone) and they have even made their venerable stylebook available as an app. Though at $28.99, it’s $3.99 more expensive than a subscription to the online version of the stylebook and I’m not sure what that’s about.

Anyway, the point is that the AP is definitely on to something with developing targeted apps that may not reach the top of the charts but will (hopefully) attract audiences.

And the AP’s not alone.

The New York Times has done it with apps for crosswords and real estate and has just released an iPad-specific guide to New York called The Scoop.

Entertainment Weekly turned their Must List into an app. Men’s Health developed one for working out. Lucky Magazine has a concierge app.

Even Highlights for Children has turned their Hidden Puzzles feature into an app.

It seems to be part of a growing trend of online consumption.

As I (and many, many others) have pointed out, when the iPad was released there was a lot of talk about whether or not it would save the magazine industry, the publishing industry, the Mets from self-destructing, world peace and so on.

And when there wasn’t immediate signs that all was once again right with the world (like it had ever really been that way), there was a bit of doom and gloom in the press.

“iPad still not proven as magazine industry’s savior as Apple announces two-millionth sale” was the headline on a Yahoo story on June 1.

That’s right. June 1. A whole two months after the device debuts and it has not yet saved the magazine, risen the dead or cured cancer.

It’s kind of like the old joke about the politician who walked on water and, afterward, people complained about how he couldn’t swim.

Think of it this way. Miracles — even small technological changes — don’t always happen overnight. I mean, television was a black and white medium for some 20 years before color programming came around.

A report earlier this week indicated that, in some cases, people are spending more time with the online versions of magazines than they had with the print versions.

Another report said that Wired Magazine may sell more digital copies this month than printed copies.

Change is coming. A bit here, a bit there, a whole lot over there. People are still finding their way, figuring out what works and what doesn’t; whether they can roll with the punches.

And we need to, somehow, be patient, understanding. Look for things that are good and encourage them, point out things that maybe don’t work so well and see if there’s room for improvement.

The AP had a good idea by making World Cup coverage an app.

Let’s see what’s next.

For Entertainment Weekly, Tag is It

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 10:27 am

Well, maybe.

The New Issue of EW has been "Tag"-ed

While there has been a lot of focus on magazines developing “app” versions of their magazines as they try to find new ways to reach readers — Time Magazine has done it, GQ has done it, just to name two of many —   some still believe that there’s something to be said for holding the thing in your hand and flipping through the pages.

At the same time, they recognize that maybe there’s some middle ground incorporating the print version of the magazine and the ability to go online for a little extra content.

So, welcome to Microsoft Tag.

In Microsoft hyperbole terms, Tag is “a breakthrough technology that transforms everyday things in the real world into live links to online information and entertainment.”

In normal speak, it’s a souped-up barcode that — after software is downloaded — allows for more much information and takes pretty much any reader with a camera-enhanced phone that can surf the web to make the journey from print to online.

While Tags have generally been used in advertising, Entertainment Weekly, which is out today with their summer movie preview, is taking a big step forward incorporating them into editorial content — allowing readers to jump from the page to trailers for 20 of the previewed films.

In addition to the trailers, readers will be able to visit “Tag”ed content from five advertisers.

While EW’s first effort with a new technology wasn’t as successful as they had hoped — according to Mediaweek, only about 5,000 people (out of EW’s 10 million-plus readers) made the digital jump when they worked with a different vendor — they think they’ve got the kinks worked out and more issues should be on their way.

Entertainment Weekly is saying that this first time anyone has used third party video content within edit though it is worth mentioning that Golf Digest used Tags in their November issue to allow readers to see extra content such as video of lessons being described.

So, what’s it all mean? Is having Tag technology going to save magazines? Who knows.

Here’s the thing… a couple of years ago, Gawker reported a rumor that EW was considering going online-only like the Christian Science Monitor. They actually didn’t appear to mean anything bad by it… they were saying the magazine’s ad pages were down (important to note they are back up; a spokesman says up from last year so far) and circulation while very good, was somewhat stagnant (which still seems to be the case), while their web traffic was just terrific.

I think what EW has done with this issue — and Golf Digest, previously — is recognize that it’s not an either/or situation. People like holding magazines, books, newspapers… they also like to go online.

So, while I am pretty much a Mac person, I have to give kudos to Microsoft for a technology that seems able to help bridge the gap between the two media.

Will more publications follow EW? Will EW follow itself and develop specialized content beyond links to ads and movie trailers?

Hopefully.

Abe Lincoln Vanquisher of the Confederacy, Killer of Vampires

In Entertainment, Strange on March 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm
Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of th...

Image via Wikipedia

He was the 16th President of the United States and it’s generally accepted more books have been written about him than any other president.

There’s even a book that has 101 things you probably didn’t know about Lincoln, presumably even if you had read most of the other books.

As it turns out, even if you had read all of those books, chances are you never would have learned about Lincoln’s true story — the story of his career as a vampire hunter.

But thanks to Seth Graeme-Smith, we now know the truth.

His new book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, was released on Tuesday and we can finally learn “the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.”

It should be noted here that Graeme-Smith’s previous novel was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which he “co-wrote” with Jane Austen.

And while there’s plenty of reason to be a bit skeptical of these literary mashups, as Entertainment Weekly pointed out, Graeme-Smith’s book deserves a lot of credit for the “satisfying desire it awakens to read the remix and the original side by side.”

And Entertainment Weekly’s not the only one to notice Graeme-Smith is on to something.

First, there was the news that Natalie Portman has optioned Zombies.

Then, for the Lincoln book, his publisher has come up with a pretty good trailer.

Which maybe inspired Tim Burton’s decision to option it.

Maybe not. Either way, I’m glad that Lincoln’s real story is finally being told.