It’s been over a year since the Postmedia Digital Innovation Team was formed. It’s no secret that I’ve been very negligent with this blog, so I have a lot of catching up to do, reporting on such things as our work with The Windsor Star, some really cool updates to our Timbits framework, and our new project code-named Polyjuice. First and foremost however, I need to say goodbye to yet another team member and introduce some new faces.
The Digital Innovation Team is only about 10 months into its mandate, and I’m sorry to inform you that we’ve lost a great team member along the way. This past Friday was Steve Veerman’s last day with us, and I wanted to take a moment to publicly thank him for all of his contributions.
Since the introduction of the Apple App Store in 2008, there has been a huge boom in native mobile application development, and with the rise of Android, Apple is no longer alone. The numbers are staggering. 18 billion downloads from the iOS store, 10 billion for Android. Over this past holiday season alone, in one week the two big players saw a total of 1.2 billion downloads combined. As far as revenue numbers are concerned, it’s a gold rush out there!
Are native applications, as the numbers suggest, truly the way to go? Or should we be taking another look at browser-based applications? With new devices continually being introduced, competing platforms, and a shortage of available skill-sets, what really is the best strategy for getting your message across to the mobile consumer? Continue reading
Recently, a number of people have written about the decline of the newspaper industry that has occurred over the past decade. This great fall, sometimes referred to by others as “the original sin” has been debated at great lengths. Although a somewhat crowded arena, I too want to throw my two cents into the mix. While others discuss the limitations of print and their inability to change or still others lament over needlessly giving away all their content online, I would argue that the real fall happened much earlier. The real fall didn’t take place within the editorial side of the business, but rather within advertising.
First of all, let’s point out the obvious. The dawn of the internet age is at the heart of it all. On that point, i don’t believe you’ll find any disagreement. The internet presented a disruptive change to how readers consume information. However any disruption within the news side of the business was preluded far in advance by changes in another: classifieds.
In 1995, I became an employee of Southam Inc, Canada’s largest publisher of daily newspapers. At the time, newspapers were at the peak of their performance. Having a printing press was a license to print money. The internet was far from mainstream. In fact, it was mostly the past time of scientists, researchers, and geeks like myself. Sixteen years later, everything has changed. The internet is now the defacto source for information of all sorts, including news. Meanwhile, newspaper readership and revenue is continually on a steep decline. What the hell happened? Continue reading
I want to take a quick minute to introduce another prototype we’ve been working on, Project Agora. We’ve taken a small break from Proteus to put together a quick proof of concept Facebook application for canada.com. Agora, which in Greek literally means “the gathering place” is meant to promote the sharing of content and ideas.
The application itself is fairly basic to start, and will seem somewhat familiar to those who have seen similar apps from The Washington Post or The Guardian. We do hope to try out some additional and radically unique features down the road once we get the initial prototype up and running. In particular, we’d like to see this live up to its name and really become a central point for the discussion of important topics as they relate to today’s important news events.