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Why Apple Should Thank The Kindle & Nook

So, I just had a chance to try the Nook for the first time at Barnes & Noble, and I have previously used The Kindle, as well as Kindle for the iPhone. Actually, since Kindle came out with their App I have begun reading quite a bit more, since my books are so much more accessible. Well, anyway back to my point at hand the Nook – how haphazard and confusing. Do I press the arrows on the side or use the graphical icons on the touch screen, but I can’t touch the e-ink screen, right? Wow just poor UI development & implementation. But despite the design flaws – as early adopters; what have Amazon & Barnes & Noble done well? They have educated and primed the reading public for what e-books could be, offered us a taste of how accessible and easy it could be to have our favorite newspapers delivered electronically, or to immediatly download a best-seller. Well, if past experiances are anything to go on, then Apple owes the two retailers a huge Thank You. Why? Because they have done a tremendous job in letting the public know what the e-book is and how it works. And while Apple will have forgone any sort of first-mover advantage, when their iBooks store debuts in a few short days, the hard work will have been done and we’ll know what to expect. Further, we can bank on the fact that Apple will bring their signature touch to UI to books, which will ensure an ease of use for just about anyone. Coupled with the versatility of the iPad,...

The iPadization of Content is Upon Us

Both leading up to, and of course, after Apple’s January 27th iPad announcement the interwebs were, and have been, a buzz about the tablet device that will now debut in less than a week.  It’s certainly been an interesting development to observe, and follow, as the implications could potentially run far and wide – both for the computing industry, as well as those in the content creation business. Personally, I think the iPad taps into the power of the iPhone platform but serves it up in an even more tangible size and for that matter a size that will likely in time become more palatable to a wider breath of audiences.  The iPad unlike the iPhone will have no expensive cellular contract or service usage agreements, it will simply work on any WiFi connection, or those users that wish can opt in to a month-to-month data service with AT&T.  In terms of the interaction, since the web’s introduction it has been a point & click type of world, but the iPad will change that it, and it will morph into a hands-on environment.  We’ll be able to look past the device and become fully consumed with our music, movies, and of course text-based content – or more poignantly those delineations are going to continue to become harder to make.  We’ll see magazines with embeded Podcasts, and electronic books that offer videos about their subject matter, and newspapers that will strike us more as the local television channel than the traditional paper. In the process, this iPad-ization of content is going to further drive consumption, alter the media landscape, and...

The Newspaper Writing is On the Wall…

Today, after 150 years of news coverage the Rocky Mountain News went to the press for the last time.  With the Rocky’s presses coming to a halt, it only highlights the larger issue of the newspaper business and brings to the forefront of our dialogue on the modern media landscape where print media outlets are headed in the future. Rich Boehne, President and CEO of e.w. Scripps, the parent company of The Rocky Mountain News captures the essence of the situation in his address to the staff of the paper, “…its certainly nothing you did, you all did everything right, but while you were out doing your part, the business model and the economy changed and the Rocky became a victim of that.” In an unstable economy, coupled with a population that has increasingly become used to obtaining its news and information for free from the internet, it’s a poignant question to ponder: what business model can work for print outlets in this day and age?  Is it something along the lines of the model of cable channels, as Mark Cuban suggested earlier this week, or is it gated walls, which will only allow paid subscribers access to content – a strategy which has been tested by outlets such as the Wall Street Journal.  For the moment, if its not too late already it seems as if more and more outlets are going to turn toward online subscriptions, which is now reportedly being explored by Newsday and The San Francisco Chronicle.  If the industry turns toward that model, the question remains with so much content online is it possible...

How Long Do We Give Newsday?

It looks like Cablevision is about to buy Long Island’s own Newsday.  The combined company could be pretty interesting and create some unique opportunities to integrate and promote Newsday, Cablevision’s News 12 Network, and of course the organization’s ownership of the New York Knicks and the Rangers.  Additionally, the purchase of Newsday has the potential to create a new avenue for Cablevision to leverage its relationships with advertisers and reach audiences in the New York metro area. Yes, there is the possibility that there could be a lot of positives with this deal.  But let’s be honest here, how long do we really give Newsday?  I mean is it really feasible that the company that ran The Wiz into the ground, or that allowed the Knicks to end a decade run of sold-out games at MSG, to successfully manage a thriving and well regarded property like Newsday? Unfortunately, the best intentions laid aside (and I am not sure what those intentions may have been) ultimately I think it will be a tough sell to most that this move was necessarily the best for either organization. Here’s what others are saying on the topic: Pro: http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzpub0513,0,1270183.story Con:...