Thursday, November 4, 2010

Make your own online newspaper with

A great new way of displaying content from twitter is . “organizes links shared on Twitter into an easy to read newspaper-style format. Newspapers can be created for any Twitter user, list or #tag.” It’s a brilliant way of viewing twitter on your desktop in an attractively formatted way.

Newspaper on libraries and learning

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

App review: Zinio magazine app

An app I've been playing with lately is zinio magazines. This company has been around since 2001 distributing digital versions of magazines through their website. Publishers set their own prices, which can be more, less but of titles I've seen, most often the same, as their print counterparts.

Reading magazines on your laptop or desktop is not too painfully distant from reading them in print, as shown by the popularity of online journal databases, which in the academic world, have changed the way libraries manage their serial collections. Like academic journals, magazines can be dipped in and out of and their short articles make them fairly user friendly to view online, unlike their big brothers ebooks. Trying to digest a whole book while chained to a desk is a trying task.

However, with the iPad, to a lesser extent the iPod, zinio has really come into its own with the delivery of full colour versions of hundreds of popular general interest magazines. When downloading the app for the first time a user is given 6 free older issues of various magazines to browse. I got rid of a few and now have built a library of 6 magazines that I have, or will, read.

Now for some screenshots:

Zinio welcome screen

NewScientist cover
Bright and glossy just like the real thing!

Table of contents
The blue underlines below story titles indicate hyperlinks. This makes jumping to any articles as easy as touching the title.

These are readable without zooming, but can easily be zoomed in to if necessary.

The last word
What is especially brilliant is that all links in a magazine are hyperlinked. Meaning if you see an advertisement, be it for a product or job, which says go to is link ,for more information, a touch will bring up this page for even more information. So much more natural and easier then trying to remember "I must visit that website when I get back to a computer" after quietly enjoying a magazine in a comfy chair.
In the below articles case you can click on he email for last word and the mail app opens so you can submit your own wacky question.

Summing up

I think this zinio is on to a winner. The latest magazines, delivered straight to your device without out any expensive postage fees, with hyperlinks, full colour pictures and full stories, organized as the magazine editors intended - an advantage over electronic databases, which are simply a list of the articles in an issue, no visual clues are given as to what importance one story may have over another,or how they relate to each other.

Zinio does provide a handful of text books as well, and this is something I will be keeping an eye on.

I hope more publishers provide their content to zinio to grow its library. Academic journals are lacking, but in time, readers will be demanding content is delivered this way.