We have enhanced the searchability and findability of the Exact Editions service with a site release which is being rolled out today. The internal name for this enhancement is ‘universal preview’ and it brings magazines more into line with the way books are handled on the Exact Editions platform.

  1. Users can now search every issue of every title in the store. A search for Omdurman will bring up search results and fragments of pages. No full view pages. The first result of a search for Tony Blair is a page which is available in full view (its in a trial issue)
  2. Users can browse all the content, but only at thumbnail size. If any publisher chooses not to allow archival searching and thumbnail previews, this can be accommodated.
  3. Contents pages and front covers can be zoomed up to full size.
  4. The text of covers and contents pages will get pulled into search engines (Google and others).
  5. Existing “full” trial issues are undisturbed, and still feature on the magazine’s marketing page.
  6. The grid of all issue covers on the marketing pages are now live click-throughs to the thumbnail previews.

We expect that this change will improve the traffic to sample issues, to searches and subscriptions to magazines in the service. There is a cost attached to offering free searching and search results from all the archives (an order of magnitude increase in the content searched from typical queries) but the efficiency gains we have realized since moving to Amazon S3 more than offset the cost of the additional database activity. So this improved accessibility is a direct benefit of cloud computing.