e2publish. A tablet magazine 2.0 solution?
Just as I’ve released the first public beta of e2publish, I’ve seen a lot of articles about tablet magazines. Clearly, two companies are fuelling the excitement. Apple haven’t said they will release a tablet device – but everyone anticipates and expects this to happen next year. Including Time inc. who have demonstrated a “tabletized” Sports Illustrated magazine, clearly targeted at an iTablet type of device.
The videos on the various web articles have inspired some ideas about enhancements I could wire into e2publish. Having got as far as the first public prototype – I’m speculating a lot about the possibilities and applications anyway. Although video and rich-media have always been on the roadmap.
The Sports Illustrated concept demo is an AIR application created by The Wonderfactory. Wonderfactory’s AIR app, and my e2publish AIR app are clearly designed for very different, but related purposes.
The Wonderfactory have demonstrated the potential of a polished eye-candy-focussed magazine client/consumer-side player. It is intended that the service will enable electronic publications to be disseminated from the (single) publishing house to the (many) readers.
A one to many relation.
The e2publish prototype demonstrates the potential of a functional/code-focussed magazine author/producer-side authoring tool. It is intended that the service will enable electronic publications to be disseminated from the (many) enthusiasts (not professional publishing personnel) to the (many) readers.
A many to many relation.
This is why I’m calling the e2publish project a potential tablet magazine 2.0 solution. Just as “Web 2.0” allowed non-technical users to write to the internet as well as read from it – I see e2publish, and the web service that I’m planning, will allow non-technical users to collaborate on the creation of electronic magazines. Not just read them.
The next version of e2publish is likely to incorporate document sharing, spell-checking, and more emphasis on how to stylise the look of your document.
I’ve also been thinking about how a formatted document can be deployed to different devices. Different screen sizes. Desktop, Tablet or Mobile. In my proposal for e2info (a Mobile hypercard/powerpoint type application), I mentioned the challenge to enable a page to be re-organised and presented in a different way depending on the screen size. I didn’t get any OpenScreen funding – but that hasn’t stopped me thinking about the algorithm to accomplish this.
I discussed the restrictions of Adobe’s Font Licensing rules in a previous blog discussion. Due to these restrictions, I removed some of the features in the e2publish prototype that allow advanced manipulation of text appearance. I really hope that Adobe can work out a way to monetise the online use of its fonts, and introduce a less-restrictive licensing agreement. If I wanted to create an eye-catching, stylised and individual tablet magazine format – I’d definitely want to consider the use of special fonts to achieve this.