Monday, January 21, 2013

Morning Brief: MLK Day and Inauguration Day 2 today; IHT and Blogsy app updates; S.F. Chronicle's '49ers Insider' digital magazine makes it to the Super Bowl

Sunday was Inauguration Day in the U.S., the Constitutionally mandated day the President is to be sworn in. But tradition holds that because the 20th fell on a Sunday, the actual public celebration of the Inauguration would be delayed until Monday. So today the President will reenact his swearing in on the steps of the Capitol.

Adding to the uniqueness, and oddness, of the day, today is Martin Luther King Day, a Federal holiday that is not universally observed by businesses as a paid day off, will only about a third of businesses giving their employees a paid day off to observe the holiday (a day where banks are closed and there is no postal service).

Is Apple one of those companies that continues to work the holiday? Hard to tell, but several app updates were released today so it appears so.

The New York Times Co.'s iPad app for the International Herald Tribune was updated today – mostly bug fixes – as was the app for Blogsy, the blogging app for the iPad. Blogsy has added support for Dutch, as well as some fixes for features tied to Tumblr.

While Americans may, or may not, celebrate either the Inaugural or MLK Day – those who don't probably sharing a lot in common, and are generally to be avoided – one non-holiday that is celebrated like a holiday is coming up: Super Bowl Sunday.
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Yesterday the two teams that will play in the Super Bowl were determined and one of them has turned out to be the San Francisco 49ers. If recall, back in September TNM looked at three new tablet magazines focused on local NFL teams: BearDownload from the Chicago Tribune, Bears Extra from the Chicago Sun-Times, and 49ers Insider from the San Francisco Chronicle. All three digital magazines use the Mag+ platform, though the three business models were somewhat different.

Well, da Bears, as they are known in these parts, failed to make the playoffs this year so regular issues have ceased. The Tribune ended using the iPad app as of the last game of the season. But the Sun-Times has kept their digital magazine alive by publishing two issues since the last game in order to talk about the firing of the old coach, and then the naming of the new one.

The Hearst paper's app in S.F., of course, has continue right on publishing two issues a week – even during the week when the 49ers did not have a playoff game. Now there is two weeks before the Super Bowl and no doubt readers will continue to see two new issues released a week.

Was the experiment worth while? We'll probably know what the paper thinks soon as spring training will begin in a few weeks for the baseball season. As the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2012 it would be logical for sports department at the Chronicle to want to duplicate the 49ers digital magazine for the local, and very popular baseball team – unless they feel it is not worth the effort.