Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guest Post -- Mobile Mags Era: Zite by Artyom Diogtev, Head of Social Media

For the last couple of years few sources to fuel my hobby, which is science and technology, were GEO and National Geographic magazines. I remember getting them monthly and reading every interesting piece I could find, but as time went by I found it was more and more difficult to find something that could grab my attention and inspire me to actually read it. Both magazines got the extremely spread magazine-publishing-"disease" - ads; at one point I couldn't answer definitively - was I reading articles with ads or ads with articles.

Now since iPad was released last spring I've been thinking about replacing a regular print magazine with its electronic equivalent. I know some people say that sense of touching a real paper and even an ink smell makes a difference and leads them to suggest that reading printed magazine versus electronic one will be always superior but definitely that is not the case for me. A content always comes first for me and at the end of the day that is what is important - what information you're reading but not on what media.

There is another argument to support electronic magazine concept and iPad as a reading device - it's time. At this point I realize that even if I could continue reading printed magazine like I used to read National Geographic or GEO I don't find it's a good idea to wait for a magazine publisher to print next magazine issue with information I have no idea about in advance. Having a pretty much limited amount of spare time for reading I find the idea of being able to create my own magazine on the fly and reading flash information is not just fascinating but really the only convenient way of consuming new information.

Well, of course I checked National Geographic iPad app as soon as it was released and I still have couple issues on my iPad. What can I say - it's beautiful, it has a nice layout and I should give a credit to the app developers. I even read one issue BUT... honestly I see it as a beautiful photo album rather than a magazine with appreciable amount of information to digest. And here is another thing - it is a single source of information and hence I don't feel it provides different angles presenting information. The way how I was getting information from different sources was a duo - Twitter + Google Reader. For some time I really loved Twitter's short format of presenting fresh information and Reader's flexibility but as time went on I found myself using both less and less as my major tools to dig for interesting information.  Something was wrong. Couple months ago I found excellent iPad app for managing and reading - Mobile RSS HD but again even though it has very thoughtful design, almost perfect in both portrait and landscape mode, right now it is not my primary source to find and read stuff to fill up my mind.

Finally, I found Zite iPad app absolutely by chance, I was checking the App Store Top apps listing and saw the app and decided to give it a try. Well - I'm still giving it a try and certainly will, even though I realize that at some point the app developer will be charging a fee to get the app latest update. In my view it is the best solution for having a magazine reading experience and yet getting information from as many different sources as you want, change your magazine set of topics anytime you want and what is most important - to share articles you like via email, Twitter of Facebook. What else can you dream of?! As opposed to any Mobile RSS HD and for this matter any other RSS reader, iPad app Zite composes each article in a form of a physical world article in a magazine. Even though iPad 2 hasn't gotten Retina Display many analysts believe next year it will and if you add even faster processor and video card and further becoming lighter and thinner you can imagine that at one point iPad will match a physical magazine reading experience. I bet it won't take more than 3 years.

Source:  http://www.insidermobile.com/article/3534/mobile-mags-era-zite

Artyom Diogtev - Head of Social Media
in ComboApp http://marketing.comboapp.com

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