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From the Listerver: Digital Publications - 5/18/2010 -

Your colleagues discuss good examples of digital publications.

Q. When you think about digital publications, what do you consider some of the best examples of fully interactive digital publications? What magazines/newsletters/newspaperscome to mind, or which are the "best in class” examples with lots of bells and whistles?

Speed and readability are the things that I worry about. I don'thave the time to wait around for the digital publication to download. Additionally, I am not going to sit around and play with a lot

of buttons to read a page. Frankly, that rules out just about all of the ones I've seen—it's much easier to just pick up the print copy. Therefore, I order both the print and electronic versions of the publications that I like right now. I do like the fact that I can go right to an advertiser's or an author's website or email by clicking on a link.

Fred Haag, Vice President of Publications and Communications, American Medical Group Association

A. While doing research on creating a digital magazine last year, I came across the California Restaurant Association's (CRA) digital magazine. I find it to be phenomenal on many levels. The design is spectacular, as is the layout and ease of use. If you have a decent screen size, you don't have to scroll in and out at all -- you can simply read it.

I know that some CRA advertisers use the bells and whistles that you mention, but I'm not sure if those are included in the sample below. You could probably find other issues on the association's website. www.therestaurantstandard.com/therestaurantstandard/20100405#pg1.

Tracey Timpanaro, Publisher, American Public Communications Council Inc.

A. I don't like having to use Google Gear to download a copy for offline reading because I have to get my IT administrator to change my system's default permissions to download software -- even widgets. Not a good use of my time. Why not allow downloads as PDF files without the intermediate layer?

I have a nice screen size, but still had to magnify the text to read every word – no big deal for me. I could scan quickly and zoom in on the passages I wanted to read carefully.

Constance Hardesty, Editor in Chief, American Animal Hospital Association

A. PDF download is always an option, but Google Gears allows for limited pass-along since it creates an offline version (in the same browser format as the online version), which is resident to the particular machine it is downloaded to and cannot be sent as a file. The download method is up to the publisher based on their security needs.

Kim Kett, Director, Business Development, Texterity


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