The Future Of Publishing (2): One iPad to rule them all?

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As magazine publishers are looking for ways to survive the digital revolution, there is one knight in shining armor – the iPad. At VDZ’s Digital innovator summit, the “magical” device was mentioned every second panel. Booths at the exhibition area showed protoypes of iPad applications, and CMS vendors stated that they are planning iPad support sooner then later.

However, amazingly enough, most of the people I’ve talked with never saw the iPad or held it in their own hands. Most of their knowledge about the device derived from Apple’s announcement and blogs – not first hand impression.

Though seems strange at first, that a whole industry would be betting its future on a device that almost no one  used or seen, when looking t the deatails, the iPad is a publisher’s wet dream:

1.  A sexy device

2. That provide a rich media experience, way better than the black and white Kindle

3. With embedded DRM, billing, and distribution mechanism

Based on iPhone and iPod success, iPad has the potential to become the magazine industry’s savior. However, magazines could not rely on single device or concept to be the answer of  all their woes.

Want to know what P&G told publishers about their future? check out this post.

The Future Of Publishing (1): P&G Explains Publishers How To Survive The Digital Age

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Last week I was invited to speak at Digital Innovation Summit in Berlin, organized by VDZ, the German Magazine Publishing association. In this series of posts I’ll cover some of the topics discussed.

Susanne Kunz, media and communications director, Procter & Gamble, Germany, spoke at Digital innovators summit in Berlin last week, and had some very direct words to say to publishers. She stressed the fact that magazines are facing competition for ad money – and they aren’t necessarily delivering premium value.
First she explained that magazine publishers in Germany are missing the most important value they could provide – customer insight. Publishers are not investing enough in knowing their customers and provide valuable information to advertiser.
Second, she believed that companies and brands should be present on all platforms, cause their customers are on every platform too.
Third, she stressed the fact that with content becoming more and more open and free, magazines should focus on bringing truly unique content to customers.
And last but not least, she mentioned mobile as more than a content distribution platform – but also could be used for virtual goods and product delivery.

The session was meant to be a wake up call to publishers – it seems that at least in some cases it worked…

Apple, Adobe, HTML 5, Flash and Standards

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Ahava ('love' in Hebrew), Cor-ten steel sculpt...
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Apple doesn’t like Flash. We know that already. Steve Jobs recently called Adobe lazy, and we all know that iPhone and iPad doesn’t support Flash. But the story is a bit more complex than that.

Apple’s opposition to Adobe is linked to HTML 5 – an open standard that would enable developers to use open formats to deliver rich media experiences. As such, this format is a threat on Adobe. And as Apple Insider analyzed in a great post about Flash vs. Apple:

By not putting Flash on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, Apple is creating a significant installed base of affluent users who simply can’t be reached via proprietary binaries like Flash and Silverlight. That has successfully shifted attention both to Apple’s own App Store platform for mobile apps and to the open web, encouraging developers to embrace standards-based rich web apps and multimedia delivery based on open specifications.

Yesterday, I quoted this post on my Facebook profile, stating that Apple are promoting open web standards, by supporting HTML 5 over Flash. This created an interesting thread of responses, that you can see here.

I’d like to better explain why I still believe that Apple are supporting open standards in comparison to Adobe. More

Buzz, Blogsphere and Serial Killers

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not your everyday serial killer - dexter
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The blogsphere has more killers than American Maximux Secutiry prison.

Twitter would kill Facebook. Facebook would kill Google. Friendfeed would kill Twitter. And now, the latest addition to the new-product-that-only-geeks-use-and-bloggers-shout-that-it-would-kill-the-frigging-internet – Google Buzz. Last week the blogsphere was plastered with those statements, as if Facebook’s millions of users, Twitter’s proven power to create addiction with hyper connected individuals, and the need for many just to write emails, without sharing their photos all over the place, doesn’t exist.

It seems that there is a routine in our world:

1. A new hyper-connected-social-network-that-sends- your-pictures-and-status-all-over-the-place-but-is-not-exactly-Twitter-or-Facebook is launched

2. The echo chamber rejoices, and writing zillion posts, all quoting the same Techcrunch/GigaOm/Financial Times/Fox News article – competing with hysterical headlines.

2. Tons of users logging in. Scoble‘s among them.

3. The homepage is filled with Scoble’s remarks about how great the tool is, and changing the way we think about communication.

4. All the cool kids logging in and saying – hey it is like Twitter. Err Facebook. Err something. But with pictures. Myself included.

5. Slowly people see that it is another network they need to maintain, another profile, and another level of noise.

6. Porn starts, Viagra merchants, and so called “power networkers” that are spending most of their days in friending total strangers, are taking control of the platform and start spamming everyone. And Kevin Smith.

7. Privacy/usability/stability are not what they seem, and users are starting to realize that it might not be the best thing since sliced bread

8. Scoble leaves the platform, saying it is useless.

9. A new hyper-connected-social-network-that-sends- your-pictures-and-status-all-over-the-place-but-is-not-exactly-Twitter-or-Facebook is launched

Yes, Buzz is awesome, but I left it after couple of days. I am still on Twitter and Facebook, cause they provide me enough value – and my friends are there.

Let’s stop diminishing user base, and actual usability of platforms, and wait a second before we hail a new online platform as the new king. Life is way more complicated than a headline in a  blog post.

What's HD-DSLR and Why Does It Matter

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Canon EOS 7D with EF 28mm f/2.

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Canon EOS  7D, Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon D90 – if these models sound like a foreign language it means you weren’t paying attention. These are models of hybrid video and DSLR cameras called HD-DSLR. And they are changing the industry as we know it. Canon 5D Mark II, full frame high end Canon DSLR Camera, had one small feature, that looked like an after thought – the ability to shoot full HD videos. Like many other ground breaking products, this feature was severly crippled. In the first version of these cameras, the video mode was fully automated – which means that the photographer couldn’t control ISO and frame rate among other paramters – making it very limited for serious video shooters. But Canon released a new firmware with the ability to fully control all video parameters besides frame rate. And this is nothing less then revolutionary.

Why? More

New Year, New Design

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So 2009 ended, and we’ve thought it’s about time to do some facelift to this blog. What’s your opinion? Better or worse than the previous one?
Would love to hear your comments

The Film List – Dark Ones

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Films are an important part of my life. I am sucker for suspension of disblief, sotrytelling, and that unique feeling when the lights go out and the screen starts flickering. That’s why I see at least a film a week (though lately there weren’t so many good ones)

I was asked by my students to prepare a list of recommended films. So this is the first batch of films that I love. In this batch I concentrated on the ones with somewhat darker themes, the next batches will include additional angles… More

Social TV Panel at 140Conf

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I had the honor to participate in TLV 140 Conference, organized by Jeff Pulver. I was a part of a panel about Social TV with Dror Gil and Itay Samir

Here is the video archive of the panel (a bit choppy, but audio is great). Thanks Jeff for inviting us to speak and listen.

*SSP – Pravda Media Delivers iPhone App for Israel's Biggest News Company

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 28:  A man holds...
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I am very excited today. Channel 2 News, Israel’s biggest news company, just launched its iPhone application, developed by Pravda Media.
The application allows viewers to watch videos, text news items, and weather reports. It also allows users to send images directly to Channel 2 News Desk, and report scoops and exclusive images.
We’ve been working with Channel 2 News company, especially with Liran Dan, head of interactive, and Tom Sharon, iPhone project manager,  on various digital projects, among them the integration of Twitter with TV shows and in their general workflow.
We believe that media companies, as well as marketers, should reach their customers on every platform, network, mean and channel. We help our customers to achieve this goal with building the needed tools, strategies, and technologies.
It was extremely exciting to work on this application. And it is only the first version. We are planning to release exciting new features soon.
(*SSP – shameless self promotion)

In Demi Moore's Living Room, Talking about Women

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Demi Moore, known as @mskutcher in the twittersphere just launched a cool web video project:

Basically, Demi was asking what guys want and girls want in their partner.

What is really awesome in this one is the fact that Demi Moore, a Holywood top actress, is just shooting away a webcam video to youtube, without fancy lighting, top camera, or even script (noticed how many times she asked guys to keep it clean)? You actually see the study room of the Kutcher family in the background.
Her ex, Bruce Willis,  who obviously have a worse webcam, posted this one:

Yes, it is a part of promotion to her new perfume, called WANTED. But it is done in such an adorable way. Authenticity in its best.

Wish we’d see more of the real life of those who we see on the screen.