Thursday, January 13, 2011

Random thought: Will the iPad, and all those tablets to come, become the new afternoon newspaper?

Thanks to a story written by the NYT's Stuart Elliott today announcing personnel changes at Condé Nast (link in the Short Takes section at right) I stumbled up this story by David Carr that I somehow missed.

Carr wrote in response to a blog post on the Read It Later website which asked "Is Mobile Affecting When We Read?" Carr's story pointed to the company's data that showed when those using Read It Later were actually reading the content.

Computer users generally accessed the content around the same time the encountered it -- there was not a dramatic time shift. iPad users, however, were dramatically time shifting the content towards the end of the day.

What better proof of what many of have suspected from the beginning: the iPad would be a leisure device when comes to consumer media content.

Carr's take was -- or at least his editor's headline was -- "Is the iPad a Time Machine for Reading?". The way I would put it is this way: "Is the iPad the modern equivalent of the afternoon newspaper?"

If you are not familiar with Read It Later or Marco Arment's Instapaper here are the links for the products inside the iTunes App Store. If you have no iOS devices, you can still use their software on your computer by accessing it on their websites.

By the way, while I missed David Carr's piece when it first appeared, I didn't actually miss the blog post on Read It Later -- I just hadn't read it yet, it was saved for reading later using Instapaper!

Also: congratulations to Poynter's Damon Kiesow on finding a hidden photo that possibly reveals the look of the soon-to-be launched tablet newspaper, The Daily. If you missed it, Kiesow dug through the source code of the website and found what is probably a house ad showing a couple sample issues.