Aligning app with print with web

We learn a lot from support. Yesterday we had this message:

Really great job with the ipad edition!
I’m an old fan of the mag -since 1997- and is just marvelous to have it in this digital format. I have the XXXXXXX group at last.fm and a group at facebook with some people -if you like to have the admin pass to this communities please tell me, i think you’ll do a better job to mantain it.

I’m a webdeveloper with 10 years in the field, i think the web presence could be more aligned with the print version -taking advantage of the digital interaction- and the overall image of the magazine. If you could be open to accept some suggestions i’ll be happy to send you some of my ideas…

We certainly welcome David’s ideas and appreciate his appreciation. The thought that really caught my attention is that the ‘web presence could be more aligned with the print version -taking advantage of the digital interaction- and the overall image of the magazine.’ Because this appears to be pointing to a deep strength of magazine publishing in a digital age. With clever design, good interfaces and solid platforms, it is possible for a magazine to be the same magazine (recognizably the same to its loyal readership) in the very different manifestations that it has in the app format on the iPad, in the rather different guise it may have as an iPhone app, or as an Android app (different again for phone or tablet), on the web, and of course in print. Through all these manifestations it seems that there is a key value to keeping the magazine aligned with the print edition/version. The magazine as an app is different from the print edition (so it is wrong to view it as a mere replica) but it is stronger if it is recognisably the same magazine, albeit an edition with greater interactivity, searchability and findability. Keeping the web presence aligned with the print edition and the app version(s) is a core value.

There is a natural temptation to look at digital technology as replacing analog modes. This is happening, but as the physicality of the print object is becoming obsolete it also seems as though we are finding ways in of reinventing and repositioning analog devices (books, magazines) as virtual objects in a digital framework. This is why books and magazines and newspapers are likely to survive as reading objects in a world of apps and digital reading systems.

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