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March 25 2013

18:49

“Post Classic”: The Washington Post integrates its print edition into a new iPad app

What if you had an old-school newspaper newsroom where the digital producers were at the core of the operation, and the task of putting together the print newspaper was the side job?

The Washington Post’s Cory Haik, executive producer for digital news, says that’s “exactly what we are trying to do,” with the new iPad app the paper launched Monday as a step in that “one web” direction. (Disclosure: I freelance regularly for Post.)

washington-post-ipad-front-page

But the Post is also trying to find ways to bring along less digitally oriented readers. The new app includes a print replica edition — so you can still read the daily paper in its entirety from A1 to the back page — but with the display of each story still optimized for the tablet, rather than frozen in awkwardly static PDFs or in ungainly digital presentations. (The replica includes puzzles, comics, and Sunday magazine, plus a 14-day archive so you can dig back into recently published material.) Plenty of newspapers offer a replica edition for the iPad, but most are separate from their “traditional” iPad apps. (Can we say “traditional iPad app” yet?)

“The app features the new ‘Post Classic,’ which yes, is an entire replica of the broadsheet newspaper,” Haik told me in an email. “This was something users had been asking for since our first version of the iPad. They wanted the complete Washington Post. The mobile teams worked hard to create something that delivered across the board. It’s more than a PDF reader — we thought a lot about the UX and flow from the ‘Post Classic’ version into our iPad reading experience.”

(Coke Classic jokes are left as an exercise for the reader.)

washington-post-ipad-replica

The app also represents a move to Newsstand for the Post, which means Apple will get a 30 percent cut of any subscription revenue generated using in-app purchases. (The app is free in the Apple Store for now, but the newspaper is rolling out a paywall this summer.) The Post’s decision to go that route had less to do with money, though, and more to do with giving readers what they want. Haik explains: “It’s part of Apple and delivering on the platform. We have to meet our users where they are.”

Not everyone is thrilled about the move. Commenters in the Post’s announcement about the app have already expressed annoyance that Android users are being left out. Here’s Haik: “As for other native tablet apps, those are surely conversations that are active. It was just time for an upgrade to our iPad product and Newsstand was a natural step for us.”

The meet-the-audience-where-it-is mentality is also what prompted the Post to bring its moderated commenting system, The Forum, from its politics iPad app to the new flagship app. “Our goal was to create a ‘lean-back’ and synthesized view for an iPad audience looking to digest the conversation without all the noise,” Haik said. In other words, it’s a way to foster engagement without subjecting Twitter-averse readers to the firehose of that platform.

“When we think about building out social, it’s important to think about users who are not on social as well,” Haik said in a later online chat. “And [The Forum] can be customized, but we tried to do the heavy lifting for folks.”

Other notable aspects you’ll find on the app: live video and live chats, photo galleries, sports scores, and the ability to read offline.

“We have an entire producer crew that is dedicated to desktop and mobile platforms — 24/7,” Haik said. “Right now there is a big focus on making sure the app is ready at night and then throughout the day.”

August 08 2012

14:00

How the Knight Lab's Babl App Helped Lollapaloozans Deal with Storms

This post was written by Jordan Young of the Knight News Innovation Lab.

IMG_2597.jpg

This past weekend marked the annual music carnival known as Lollapalooza" held in Chicago's Grant Park. As you'd expect, close to 100,000 people attending a large event can generate a lot of hot conversations on social media outlets.

The Knight News Innovation Lab recently released a mobile application, Babl, which gives users a unique way to share and discover news. This iPhone app offers a visual alternative to reading through a scrolling list of tweets. Babl users can create their own conversation topics by entering a title and keywords. The app uses the terms entered to create and display a collage of tweeters' photographs that can then be tapped to reveal their individual tweet.

behind the scenes

Prior to Lollapalooza, we set up a featured topic for the opening day of the fest allowing any user to sample the news, conversation and entertainment as it happened. We thought it might be fun to see the app in action during a lively event -- and apparently Mother Nature agreed by bringing severe thunderstorms to the Chicago area and forcing an evacuation of the park.

Thumbnail image for IMG_2620.jpg

Through Babl, we were able to participate in Twitter conversations about Lollapalooza throughout the weekend, starting on Friday as people filed into Grant Park to see their favorite artists and dance like neon-clad wild animals. On the afternoon of Day 2, tweets brought us the first news of the show being suspended due to an incoming tempest. Babl users were able to view reports like official news tweets, tweets from artists, and tweets from the herd of people as they were being evacuated into the streets of downtown and parking garage shelters -- most attendees opted for bars.

A few hours later, all the weather drama subsided and Babl displayed tweets of people re-entering the gates and enjoying the rest of the evening through Sunday's closing. Babl enabled us to easily view the local and global tweeters participating in a conversation topic, and gave us a rich media experience of an event in real time.

Jordan Young has been part of the Knight News Innovation Lab since its launch in August of 2011. She is a freelance blogger, contributing writer for Illinois Meetings + Events Magazine, and aspiring publisher. You can reach her at knightlab@northwestern.edu and on Twitter: @knightnewslab.

KnightLogo.jpgEstablished in 2011 with a $4.2 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight News Innovation Lab is a joint initiative of Northwestern University's Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Medill School of Journalism. In partnerships built across the Chicagoland region -- from neighborhood bloggers to large media companies -- the Lab invents, improves and distributes technology that help build and sustain a better informed citizenry and a more innovative publishing environment.

December 18 2011

19:40

Facebook updated its iPhone app: delivers Timeline, Friend Lists and more

The Next Web :: Having finally rolled out Timeline access to its 800 million+ users in the browser and on Android devices, Facebook has today pushed live a new update for its iPhone application, delivering a slick new mobile Timeline view and various other improvements.

Continue to read Matt Brian, thenextweb.com

August 03 2011

04:56

Economist launches Android app, all-access subscriptions

Mashable :: The Economist rolled out both an Android tablet edition and all-access subscription options Tuesday. The newsweekly joins Sports Illustrated and Time in its multi-platform subscription offering, which enables readers to access all versions of The Economist, including its print, smartphone, tablet, audio and web editions, for a single rate. (Prices vary by region).

Continue to read Lauren Indvik, mashable.com

July 28 2011

08:49

You Have an App for That… Now What? What works and how to market your app

Jonathan Carson, CEO of Telecom at Nielsen, shared some market insights during Nielsen's Consumer 360 conference. Main questions: What apps work? How to market them?

nielsen wire :: Jonathan Carson noted that branded apps that “give back” are much more popular than other apps. Rewards apps are particularly popular.

nielsen's graphic indicate that (brand) apps have a discovery problem: 

Nielsen-app-what-works
Source: nielsen study QI-II, 2011, "Respondents who are aware of Brand Apps" 

When it comes to promoting and marketing an app, Carson underscored the importance of “word-of-mouth.” In fact, for branded apps, it is the most common form of “discovery.” For other kinds of apps, “searching the app store” is tops. Consumers also indicated that brand affinity and third party endorsements in the form of ratings and reviews were crucial in their decision to download a branded app. What else?

Continue to read blog.nielsen.com

July 24 2011

19:54

How mobile app Waze (Israel) is revolutionizing on the ground reporting and breaking news

Channnel 4 :: While Benjamin Cohen, Channel 4, was in Tel Aviv last week, Israel's Channel 2 News, one of the biggest national news programmes, soft-launched a system called Wazer2. It transforms Waze, a social satellite navigation system that has revolutionised the way that millions of Israelis drive everyday, into a huge recruiting system for citizen journalists, as Elad Simhaioff, the programme’s presenter explained “to be our eyes and ears”.  With Wazer2, the journalists in the newsroom can see where all of their (Waze) users are over the country and can spot the ones who are near to an incident of interest.

Watch the Channel 4 video on YouTube to see how it works:

Continue to read Benjamin Cohen, blogs.channel4.com

July 20 2011

14:06

Stop Human Trafficking in Russia: Video your App Idea and Enter the Challenge

NetHope, in partnership with USAID, GBI, and DNA, recently launched the Stop Human Trafficking App Challenge. This contest draws upon the thriving culture of innovation in Russia to respond to one of today’s most pressing development challenges – sex and labor trafficking. The contestants are invited to compete in a skills-based challenge to design and build innovative and functional mobile applications.

Target a Human Trafficking Issue

The application should be used to raise public awareness of trafficking, educate at-risk people, or provide services to victims and survivors. This contest is specifically designed for residents and organizations from Russia and Eastern European countries. To see the full list of countries and learn more about the eligibity criteria, visit the NetHope website. You can also follow the twitter hashtag for the challenge (#StopHTapp) to monitor challenge progress and engage in discussions around it.

Participate in the Challenge

The challenge participants are asked to

  1. Come up with a new mobile phone app idea
  2. Fill in the application brief
  3. Upload a two-minute video that demonstrates the functionality of the application

Work for Change and Win Big

One winning application will be implemented by an organization working to combat trafficking in Russia. There are also two cash awards for the winning apps. The grand prize equals US$15,000. The winner of the first prize will receive an amount equaling US$15,000. In addition, both winners will travel to the Annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York in September 2011.


We keep our fingers crossed for you!

January 20 2011

12:00

Organising your journalism: Springpad

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been playing with a new web service and mobile app called Springpad. LifeHacker describes it as a “super advanced personal assistant”. And I can see particular applications for journalists and editors. Here’s how it works:

Investigating on the move, and online

In Springpad you create a ‘notebook’ for each of your projects. You can then place Tasks, Notes, bookmarks and other objects in those notebooks.

For a journalist, the notebook format lends itself well to projects or investigations that you’re working on, especially as ideas occur to you on the move. As new tasks occur to you (‘I must interview that guy’, or ‘follow up that lead’) you add them to the relevant notebook (i.e. project or investigation) from the mobile app – or the website.

If you’re browsing the web and find a useful resource, you can use the Springpad bookmarklet to bookmark it, tag it, and add it to the relevant notebook(s).

And any emails or documents you receive that relate to the project you can forward to your Springpad account.

What’s particularly useful is the way you can choose to make public entire notebooks or individual items within them. So if you want others to be able to access your work, you can do so easily.

There are also a range of other features – such as events, contacts, barcode recognition, search, and a Chrome bookmarklet – some of which are covered in this video:

How I use it

Springpad seems to me a particularly individually-oriented tool rather than something that could be used for coordinating large groups (where Basecamp, for example, is better). None of its constituent elements – tagging, to-do lists, notes, etc. – are unusual, but it’s the combination, and the mobile application, that works particularly well.

If you have a number of projects on the go at any one time you tend to have to a) constantly remember what needs to be done on each of them; b) when; c) with whom; and d) keep track of documents relating to it. The management of these is often spread across To Do lists, a calendar, contacts book, and filing or bookmarks.

What Springpad effectively does is bring those together to one place on your mobile: the app (although at the moment there’s no real reason to use it for contacts). This means you can make notes when they occur to you, and in one place. The fact that this is both synced with the website and available on the app when offline gives it certain advantages over other approaches.

That said, I’ve adopted a few strategies that make it more useful:

  • Assign a date to every Task – even if it’s in 3 months’ time. This turns it into a calendar, and you can see how many things you need to get done on any given day, and shuffle accordingly.
  • Tasks should be disaggregated – i.e. producing an investigation will involve interviews, research, follow ups, and so on. Each of these is a separate task.
  • Start the day by looking at your tasks for that day – complete a couple of small ones and then focus on a bigger one.
  • If new ideas related to a Task occur to you, add them to that task as a note (these are different to standalone Notes). This is particularly useful for tasks that are weeks in the future: by the time they come around you can have a number of useful notes attached to it.
  • Use tags to differentiate between sub-projects within a notebook.
  • Install the bookmarklet on your phone’s browser so you can bookmark project-related webpages on the go.
  • Add the email address to your contacts so you can email key documents and correspondence to your account (sadly at the moment you still need to then open the app or website to tag and file them, but I’m told they are working on you being able to email-and-file at once).

Not a replacement for Delicious

You can import all of your Delicious bookmarks into Springpad, but I’ve chosen not to, partly because the site lacks much of the functionality that I’m looking for in a Delicious replacement, but also because I see it as performing a different task: I use Delicious as a catch-all, public filing system for anything that is or might be relevant to what I do and have done. Springpad is about managing what I’m doing right now, which means being more selective about the bookmarks that I save in it. Flooding it with almost 10,000 bookmarks would probably reduce its usefulness.

For the same reason I don’t see it as particularly comparable to Evernote. Dan Gold has an extensive guide explaining why he switched from Evernote to Springpad, and simplicity again plays a large role. It’s also worth reading to see how Dan uses the tool.

Perhaps the best description of the tool is as a powerful To Do list – allowing you to split projects apart while also keeping those parts linked to other items through notes, tags and categories.

Early days – room for improvement

The tool is a bit rough around the edges at the moment. Navigation of the app could be a lot quicker: to get from a list of all Tasks to those within one notebook takes 3 clicks at the moment – that’s too many.

Privacy could be more granular, allowing password-protection for instance. And the options to add contacts and events seem to be hidden away under ‘Add by type’ (in fact, the only way to add an event at the moment appears to be to sync with your Google account and then use a calendar app to add a new event through your Google calendar, or to go to an existing event in your app and create a new one from there).

The bookmarklet is slow to work, and alerts only come via RSS feed (you could use Feedburner to turn these into email alerts by the way).

That said, this is the first project management that I’ve actually found effective in getting stuff out of my head and onto virtual paper. Long may that continue.

October 29 2010

13:13

Net2 Recommends - October's Interesting Posts From Around The Web

The NetSquared team reads and shares lots of different blog posts, articles, reports, and surveys within our team. We have a lot of fun sharing within the team and it occurred to us that we should start sharing them with you, too! Net2 Recommends is a monthly series of news and blog posts from around the web that we found interesting or inspiring, mind-bending or opinion-changing, fun or just plain weird.

read more

August 26 2010

10:32

Nieman Journalism lab launches iPhone, iPad app

The Nieman Journalism Lab has launched its own app, available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

The app offers the latest stories and videos from the site itself, as well as pulling in updates from its Twitter feed, updated link lists from Hourly Press and other third-party content recommended by the lab.

The app is free to download from the iTunes store.Similar Posts:



January 24 2010

13:17
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