Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paid app for CN Traveler shows the confusion of its publisher; part repurposed content, part custom publishing

If it is true that Condé Nast has decided to slow its media app development, then looking at the new app released under the Condé Nast Traveler name I would say it is a very good decision indeed.
2011 Gold List: Condé Nast Traveler is an app seems to have been created by the marketing department at the publishing giant, rather than a serious attempt to provide its readers a real travel service.

The app's purpose is to provide users with a look at some of the world's best hotels and resorts. It opens up with a promising look: an animated globe that serves as a way of looking at properties by region – and while the app works in both landscape and portrait, it is much easier to use in landscape.

So far so good. But it doesn't take long to realize that the information provided here is the bare minimum. Worse, the app really relies on searches through Bing to bring in more information rather than the boat loads of information I'm sure the magazine has at its disposal.
Priced at 99 cents, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this app won't be generating millions of dollars for Condé Nast. So is this really a custom publishing piece for Microsoft? Maybe, but you would think that it would better serve this purpose if it was free.

I can't imagine that if the editors think this is a serious tool for searching for and deciding on high priced hotels and resorts that their readers would mind paying more than a buck for such a tool – but if they did, they would certainly want more information, pictures, etc.

No, this is simply one of those products released in the early days of tablet publishing that reveals the confusion that must be the norm right now at some publishing houses.