Blending the power of mobile web with the traditions of print content makes for a brilliant future

Posted by Knowlton Thomas

While print's ubiquity is evidently fading, that doesn't mean the medium lacks for positive aspects. And even though it's the web that is effectively disarming print's usefulness, that doesn't mean the web can't learn a few things from print.

In many ways, the web is the medium of print brought into the internet. And 20 years into the web's existence, it's still taking form and function cues from its dying father. Perhaps more than ever.

Speaking of cues, Flipboard's Mike McCue sees this vision and believes in its future. And speaking of speaking, he spoke on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt recently, explaining that he feels like tablets are creating a new kind of content consumption, a new experience that people have been waiting for: the seamless blend of print and web.

It wasn't really possible before tablets, but the iPad really did change everything.

Using data tracked via Flipboard users—the service is a mobile app that aggregates multi-platform content into a visually stunning, print-like digital magazine—Mike says tablets are being used in the late evenings, on the weekends, and during breakfast. The behaviour mimics that of books and newspapers, clearly demonstrating that even though newspaper is dead in body, it is well and alive in soul and spirit. People still want the news, still want to hold a content-delivering item in their hands… they just want the experience to be infinitely better. And mobile devices are finally beginning to accomodate this once unknown need.

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and exploring weird side streets. more



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