This was a nice catch by AppleInsider:
Since Bluetooth keyboards must broadcast their presence in order to be recognized, the devices must file with the FCC. This is where new devices often get discovered for the first time. One such device is a good looking iPad case with built in Bluetooth keyboard.
You can read more here.
Speaking of AppleInsider: the site often breaks interesting news about Apple and their mobile products, which is why I link to it. In comparison, MacRumors grabs news from elsewhere, then prevents others from adding to the information or linking to their own sites that contain any additional news.
I ran afoul of MacRumors a few months ago when I linked back to TNM a few times with reviews of media apps. One of the moderators over there then proceeded to ban me -- a first! I suppose this should be a badge of honor -- that guy was definitely evil, probably a newer member of the team because my own experience over there were mostly positive. In any case, my advice would be bookmark AppleInsider and leave MacRumors to the Tea Party crown running the place.
paidContent spoke to the
According to the story, Adam Hodgkin, the co-founder of Exact Editions, says that publishers should charge for digital subscriptions rather than go with an ad model.
“But it would be fair to say that our experience is that magazines that charge will make much more from selling digital subs than they will from running ads in the margin of ‘open’ pages. Like two or three orders of magnitude more," Hodgkin is quoted in the story.
Well, rarely have I heard a better argument against replica editions. What the CEO has said ehre is that these kinds of products do not engage the reader and therefore, can not drive response to advertising. Thank you.
But I don't think this is exactly what Hodgkin was saying. After all, what is the business model of these replica edition makers? Cheap and easy Flash (and increasingly HTML5) editions, sold to publishers who are not very enthusiastic about electronic publishing to begin with, don't believe in the long term success changes of e-publishing, and don't want their ad sales teams wasting time selling low cost ads.
Here is a little exercise for you to do: open up your iPad (if you don't own an iPad you can stop here -- but then again, why are you reading TNM?) and look at the advertising in the People magazine iPad app edition. Now I have to say that I do not read People, ever. But look at those ads, see the ways the reader can interact with them, respond to them. Now compare that to either a Google ad or an ad in a replica edition of a magazine. If you are lucky the replica edition ad will have a live link in it -- most do not -- that at least will put it on a level playing field with the Google ad.
But there is no real comparison. The iPad will be better both for branding and for direct response. I have no data to back up that claim, so you can disagree all you want. But once tablets get more traction we'll start seeing a ton of data on ad response levels -- maybe not from Apple, but certainly from the agencies buying space.
[Edited to properly identify Adam Hodgkin's relationship to Exact Editions.]
The problem of advertising within mobile media products for small consumer and B2B publishers is a serious issue. What pricing models really work when readership is initially zero and then grows over time.
But this issue is no different from what happened when the web first beckoned many publishers. It is almost gospel that it was a mistake to give away web ads early on as it lowered the value of Internet advertising long term.
But that is not the way I remember it -- I was there in the trenches. The way I remember it is that agencies demanded the advertising be part of print ad schedules as 'added-value". The choice, then was to go out and hard sell the web advertising, risking your print schedules, or else give in to the agencies.
So why did we end up giving in? Because in the end we knew that in order to actually sell the true value of the web we needed to know what that value was. And we didn't.
We didn't know because, of the most part, those put in charge of the web were there for reasons quite separate from their abilities to manage the web -- often politics, connections, nepotism, you name it.
Sadly, at many publishing companies the electronic publishing side of the business still lacks professionalism and an honest-to-goodness dedicated team. But past practice aside, publishers need to understand that building an advertising model for mobile and tablet products will require transparent reporting, level-headed expectations, and honesty.
That is why the whole question of tablets or mobile media "saving" newspapers or magazines is totally absurd. Right now we don't even know if many of these products can break even. Most of us involved believe that they can, in fact, be very profitable. But one needs to build the models first and then implement them in a professional manner. Taking the easy way out, say through creating replica editions is no way to test out the platforms.