The Digital Gloss Files

...with Margaret Tran

Harry Potter's Emma Watson appears crimson-lipped on the magazine's captivating July cover, sending fan-girls everywhere in a rush to mum's lipstick stash, but it was Harry Potter himself (aka Daniel Radcliffe) who presented American Vogue editor Anna Wintour with her Best Fashion Website trophy (for at this week's Webby Awards, a fitting partnership given Wintour's "Sometimes, geeks can be chic" quip (in keeping with the Awards' requisite five-word winners' speeches... except if you are Will Ferrel, of, in which case a haiku is permissible). See all the YouTubed action here.

Image via Lonny Magazine
Niche content and a powerful blogging community are proving winners in the growth of interiors magazines online. The move from a loyal blog following to emulating print magazines is a way for the founders such as Michelle Adams of shelter magazine Lonny to legitimise their presence in a media industry steeped in tradition. The mark of difference, however, is the stronghold of followers cultivated organically through sheer word of the mouth. Indeed, Lonny boasts almost 37,000 fans on the Facebook page alone.

Long reads are becoming more social - and sustainable thanks to Twitter's hashtag #longreads. The hashtag in question has also just reached its second anniversary.

WWD reports that a growing e-commerce sector is contributing to the increasingly blurred lines between editorial and the sales business. Former Gourmet editor and New York Times food critic – and now editor of online marketplace Gilt Taste – Ruth Reichl says, "Content and commerce, the mingling of it, really makes sense to me... You have a normal magazine and you create editorial, and then it gets surrounded by ads for a lot of things you don't like. Here we have to be involved in what we're selling as well." While it's certainly no secret that great copy does wonders to help points-of-sale, what shall become of the aspiring writers and editors who've been raised and taught through a diet of print media?

Is this where the future of writers lie? Sites like Groupon count their success towards clever wordsmiths and helping to create new areas for writing to flourish. Like many sites in the same field, there is a sense that visitors are coming to site purely for good deal and not so much as a 'guide to the city' as Groupon hopes to appear. Redefining the realm of writing is just one of its charms however, as it seems the idea of 'spam' and 'junk mail' (what all cheap, discounted deals unfortunately tend to fall under) is also part of this changing industry.

So what of "true" journalism? If no one wants to pay for news anymore, what is the value of journalism, asks Kathy Kiely of the National Journal. Monetising the news gathering process online continues to be a sticking point for many publishers with your average Joe (and Jane) preferring to get their news free. Not only that, but said Joe/Jane also prefers to pick and choose their news thanks to the intense range of content outlets available online.

While Zooey Deschanel has launched a website, Hello Giggles, with writer-slash-TV-producer Sophia Rossi and omnipresent blogger Molly McAleer. Pitched as the "ultimate entertainment destination for smart, independent and creative females," the site is the lovechild of Frankie magazine and toasty marshmallowy goodness. And the best part is? You can contribute! Oh, yes, six degrees of separation from the lovely Zooey – ever the motivator.

Image via Flipboard

Image via Jim Wilson @ NY Times
More and more businesses are turning to the iPad to enhance the shopping experience online, with hopes to bring in catalogue-based experience to a new medium.

Image via

Apple has unveiled Newsstand for its catalogue of magazines across iPhone and iPad devices. The folks at Stonewash have dissected exactly what this means for publications whose offerings are already available through the app store.

Springboarding off Apple's recent foray into cloud technology, Conde Nast has launched 'Idea Flight' for iPad. The app allows a group of up to 15 users to share documents, presentations, designs, videos and ideas via their iPads.

Ah, but wait! The biggest issues with iPad apps? According to Nielsen studies, ambiguous navigation and a lack of 'back' buttons. It seems many users take to apps in a similar way to how they use websites on the internet. Apps that valued appearance over functionality also proved a problem for users and "ultimately, the [study]ís authors concluded that not every company needs to have an iPad app, and that far too many companies are putting out suboptimal versions of their content, seemingly just to get in on the platform."
Still on iPad shenanigans, a group of students at Syracuse University have launched an iPad magazine, Salt. Or rather, an online magazine optimised exceptionally well for the iPad platform and bypassing the stringent rules of the Apple app store in the process. A worthwhile read.

Outsourcing site has launched a logo marketplace bringing together the site's freelance graphic designers to pitch for new business. "Over 600,000 of our 2.6 million freelancers are designers, more than any other freelance or design marketplace. You simply post a brief of what you want. Almost immediately, you will start getting submissions. When you’ve found the design you like, you award the winner and collect your files... We have more designers than anyone else, greater market depth and charge lower commissions resulting in higher payouts to designers. For only US$290 you can see hundreds of great designs."

According to the Launch Group and Habbo Hotel online national survey of over 2,000 teens aged 13-18, many members of Generation Z still prefer traditional media despite the demographic being raised on an intense diet of technology. B&T magazine has the full results.

Yours truly,
Margaret @ Girl With A Satchel