What will the iPad mean to bloggers?

Have you been following  iPad in the news? It's not really a frenzy…of course there are the fanboys, but when you ask people on the street, there's a lukewarm sentiment perhaps even hostility toward the iPad. Perhaps we're just comparing it to the waves the iPod and iPhone created with their launch, but don't mistake the quiet for a failure. The iPad looks like it might just turn out to be one of the ‘game changers' after all.

Even if the iPad flops, something is changing with media, and that's the piece that held print publications from moving over to web, it's that argument that ‘you can't cuddle with on the sofa with your laptop.' (I do) or ‘you can't take it to bed with you' (I do that too). What's different however, is that with the iPad we'll have more application based publications with interactive features rather than websites. It's almost the same media, but not quite. Over the weekend Interview Magazine became the first to launch a fashion magazine as an iPad application:

From here, it looks a lot like they just made PDFs with video embedding, where it would be difficult to distribute something like this before, as an application, it's much easier. PDF has been the way to publish eBooks and magazines in the past to maintian design integrity, however, it's main pitfall is that it's easy to duplicate and easy to lose track of. With the application format, it won't take long before they start designing layouts friendlier to the format, but this really looks like the beginning of a new era for online media.

Brave New World

I'm not the only one who's thinking this, Condé Nast launched five of their magazines in iPad format over the weekend as well, including Glamour and GQ…

“This seems not only like an exciting moment in publishing but the first bright, backlit day of a new era, so GQ is proud to be right there at the launch of it,” said Jim Nelson, editor-in-chief of GQ.

Vogue hasn't announced when it will launch their version, but they have loads of iPhone apps already in existence, same with Elle.com, Nylon, apps look like the way for magazines and brands to control interactive content. Which is all fantastic, considering the established media has not really traveled the same road as bloggers, it only makes sense they enter the interactive world differently.

Then there's the whole issue of selling content through the Apple Store and their terms and conditions. This really changes Apple's position in the media landscape, because not only are they creating the tools, they're the gatekeepers to the media we consume. They haven't done anything too crazy, not like Kindle deleting sold copies of 1984. But I wouldn't be surprised.

What does this mean for independent publishers? Bloggers?

But what does application-based content mean to bloggers? I was just thinking about this the other day, when thinking about how the medium has a huge impact on the content. You really can't write a ten-page article in a blog post, heck when I was on blogspot, with a 480px column width, I was lucky to squeak out 200 words without overwhelming my readers. The design of blogs are extremely simple, you can't just place a video in a composition as seamlessly displayed in the Interview demo. Each post generally has the same column width, photo placement and the interaction on the reader's side is generally the same, scroll, click, scroll click. What happens when you add different gestures into your reading experience? Things change, it's subtle, but it changes.

Being an independent blogger probably means you don't have your own tech team to program an application, so perhaps in the next few months we'll see plug-ins to make our blogs iPad friendly, and hopefully we'll see competitor gadgets coming sooner rather than later. Perhaps this is too your queue to create a magazine or an eBook for your blog in an iPad format.

Have you got your iPad? Are you waiting? Or already working on launching your own fashion applications?

UPDATE: there's an interesting article about Digital Magazines on The Fashion Techie

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23 Responses

  1. Midtown Girl

    Imo, readers are interested in quick & engaging content, otherwise they wouldn’t get to read all the blogs they love, everyday. So I think installing an iPad plugin (whenever they come out with one) is a great idea.This first generation doesn’t have a print option tho..isn’t that strange? And on the news they said 700,000 were sold throughout the wknd…unreal.

    ps – I just tried to install the WPtouch plugin on MG. Only thing is I have a blackberry (until Verizon gets iPhones). If you can, let me know if MG comes out on ur iphone, doll 😉 XOXO

  2. MissMegan

    What a great article! Very thought provoking 🙂

    I’m excited to look at one in person before I make my decision, I’m a huge Mac freak!!
    .-= MissMegan´s last blog ..Run This Town =-.

  3. Mary

    It’s not an option for me as I’m poor. However I couldn’t work on it because touchscreens annoy me. Heck I use a mouse w/ my laptop so you can see where I’m coming from. It would be cool to have one to read others’ blogs but it’s a bit bulky.
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Happy Easter! =-.

  4. WendyB

    I can’t wait to hear what all the problems are. I’m giving first generation Apple products a wide berth. I should give later generations a wide berth too considering my level of satisfaction with them.
    .-= WendyB´s last blog ..Easter Egg Eyebrows =-.

  5. julia

    Great post, perfect timing! I’ve been kind of sitting back, observing the iPad phenomenon, waiting to figure out if and when I should partake in some capacity. I think it’s interesting to consider how this will have impacted or media understanding and usage, say five years from now.
    .-= julia´s last blog ..Avon Does Fabulous Jewelry?!? Who Knew! =-.

  6. sirdorian

    i got the iPad the other day and we also will give away the ipad on our website. it´s definitely a change and I also think that it could be a media revolution in this decade.

    as for stylishkidsinriot.com, and especially for the new site, it was important to combine a good slick design with hopefully good content;) i´m not the one who decide that, but the reader do.

    we are also working on an iPad and iPhone app but this could be take a few months til it´s finished. however, I love to publish stuff on Issuu.com like this or this.

    it´s not always possible to have an effort like this, but for interviews etc it´s a good way to publish them.
    .-= sirdorian´s last blog ..Facebook Promotion Tipps f. Blogger & Small Brands =-.

  7. Yanique

    I plan on purchasing an iPad in a few months. I want to be sure all the kinks and bugs are worked out first. Personally I love having the ability to work wherever I am if inspiration should strike. I’m a bit of a gadget geek though…lol. I own 2 netbooks, a windows laptop, a Mac, and blackberry. I was going to buy the iphone, but will hold off and simply get the iPad. Great article!

    Yanique’s last blog…Jason Wu

  8. DailyDivaDish

    I do think the iPad technology will change the online media landscape – so I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit recently. As several others have mentioned, I don’t think I’ll go with a first-generation model…but anticipate eventually getting one.
    XO Piper
    .-= DailyDivaDish´s last blog ..Shoes like Candy =-.

  9. Maria Volk

    We got our iPad a couple of days ago and so far I LOVE it. I’m definitely already thinking about figuring out how to turn my blog into an application. If people get as hooked as I am to it, I can see the iPad becoming a huge platform for self-made magazines. Nice post.

    xoxo Maria
    .-= Maria Volk´s last blog ..Candy Striper: Get these cute striped nails! =-.

  10. Rollergirl

    How does it work with these magazine apps? Do you get the whole issue of Interview? How much does it cost? I don’t get how that bit works. I’m intrigued but yeah, I’ll wait til they iron all the kinks out first.
    .-= Rollergirl´s last blog ..A day at Dr Martens =-.

  11. the-LifeStyleBlog

    I love it and i can’t wait to get one because, i am into a lot a ebooks and digital mags. BUT, i am also patiently waiting for the second generation Ipad.

  12. Denise @ Swelle

    I am quite happy to sit back and watch what happens then jump on when I know what’s what. But this article and the comments have intrigued me. There hasn’t been much of an evolution since I began blogging two + years ago so I’m thinking it’s about time, considering the relative speed of things and the power that blogs now have in terms of influence. It certainly would be nice, as you mention Jennine, to have flexibility replace our rigid layouts. I’m curious to see if Typepad is working on on something yet, I use their platform.
    .-= Denise @ Swelle´s last blog ..Designer Series, Knitwear: The Florence Swatches =-.

  13. MizzJ

    These are very exciting, and scary times for the publishing world! Haha it would be rather funny if bloggers who replaced magazines, were then replaced by magazines for the iPad! Guess the lesson here is to keep in touch with technology before it outpaces you – hopefully they come up with easy platforms soon!
    .-= MizzJ´s last blog ..Naeem Khan Fall 2010 RTW =-.

  14. Mikelle S

    Yesterday I went on a mission and decided to get the DL on all the latest handheld technologies and I came across a few things.

    Uhm names that came up included the iPad, the JooJoo, the Courier, and the Slate. Only the iPad and the JooJoo are out now and the iPad is by far the better of the two but in my opinion it’s better to wait until the second generation comes out. JooJoo was also the first product of a new start up so I give Fusion Garage kudos for even putting a product into the market place.

    Anyways, I’m going to wait until the second generation comes out so hopefully bugs will be fixed, things will be added(LIKE A CAMERA!! the Slate(from HP) is supposed to have two and the Courier one), and the price comes down a tad. Also once more sites become iPad friendly and blogs have their own plug ins, I’ll probably make the switch completely.