The Digital Gloss Files

...with Margaret Tran

Image courtesy of Mobile Mag
With the launch of the new iPad 2, a new study has found that magazines' iPad editions "struggle to keep readers' attention". In addition to the combined impact of the app and device's abilities to divert attention from the editorial content, intriguingly enough, participants of the study also found it difficult to differentiate between the ad and the editorial content of the magazine - and these were participants coming from an educated demographic. Indeed, it seems a new approach to the device platform might be worth investing in.

Speaking of, here are 5 things publishers should know about the iPad2 launch.

Publishers are also encouraged to invest in the content, not the platform as tablet devices continue to take the consumer world by storm. It would be important to note that while Apple dominates the tablet market due to the fact that there was little competition apart from the iPad for users to play with.

Two full-time staffers have jumped ship from iPad-only newspaper The Daily in the very short space of a week. Both editors have gone on to GQ and Huffington Post respectively.

The app is very functional, I'll give it that.
Video via WatchTheDaily

Australian shield law now covers all mediums, not just traditional platforms, The Australian reports. It has now been changed to allows journalists' confidential sources to be legally protected with the government making changes to the law to ensure its technological neutrality.

The Audit Bureaux of Australia has warned online content publishers on using tactics to inflate their audience figures. Auto-refreshing browsers and double-tracking tags are among a number of ways data can be exaggerated for advertisers. Mumbrella has also provided a handy list of 'safe' sites for would-be media buyers.

A recent US survey has shown that teenagers don't want to be 'friends' with brands on Facebook. Only 6 percent of 12-17-year-olds who use the internet have a desire to be 'friends' with a brand on Facebook, despite the fact that half of this demographic use the site. About 12 percent of 18-24 age group were in favour of being 'friends' with brands on Facebook.

X|Media|Lab has encouraged creatives to get their juices flowing for development grants of up to $20,000 for digital media projects. Sixteen project teams will receive one-on-one mentoring, consultation, feedback and advice as part of the Lab.

With search being all the rage, the question arises - is search engine optimisation (SEO) killing the quality of the internet? Talking to TechCrunch, programmer Joel Spolsky discussed how spam sites and content farms (basically sites with a whole bunch of thesaurus-picked key words littered across the page) are reducing the quality of information on the internet in that "they took our content, put Google ads on it, and made it worse because not in situ... they used SEO techniques to rank higher."

Still on the apparent banalities of SEO this week, Wall Street Journal veteran Richard Tofel looks forward to the end of SEO and what it can mean for news. He posits that readers tend to search for what they already know and that the influence of advertising in skewing search process. Indeed, one would "remember, it's called 'search ENGINE optimization,' not 'search optimization'" with Tofel pitching that:
SEO has been, more than anything, about growing pageviews and unique visitors รณ any pageviews, and any unique visitors, the more the merrier. It is a force, therefore, for lowest-common-denominator publishing.
Facebook Australia is anticipated to break $50 million in ad revenue in 2012. It gained 183% in ad revenue in February alone, says SMI. (via AdNews)

Google has tripled its display ad business, reports AdNews.

The New York Times tells us what we've all known about the iPad - the appeal is all but a matter of emotions. See exhibit A: hordes of Apple evangelists.

Fancy yourself a budding journalist? How about working on those curation skills, as Mashable reports that being a great curator is just as important as honing those future journalism skills.

Is Facebook becoming the all-knowing internet editor? The release of their new analytics system, Facebook Insights for Websites, allows publishers to target content directly to Facebook users - based on what they're "Like"-ing, sharing and commenting on at any given time.

You can now rent movies on Facebook as Warner Brothers signs on with the internet giant to distribute their repetoire of films to their 500-million-and-counting users.

The relevance of anonymous comments is called into question as Slate magazine pushes the case to get rid of anonymous comments. Apart from the potentially quelling a diversity in discussion, removing anonymous comments may also discourage would-be commentators to partake to begin with.

And finally, in the realm of offbeat digital news:

Lawyers are being replaced by cheaper software to win court cases, reports the New York Times. Too good to be true, if not impossible to believe? 245 comments and counting might speak otherwise - and the 'discovery' tool doesn't functions on keywords as one might think.

Further displaying the potential for human interests to be whittle down to pure algorithms, there is now a tool for recommending books better than your Tuesday night book club might.

Margaret Tran is an digital producer and freelance writer often found eyeball-deep in the goodness of the internet and all things digital. She recently departed the glittering ranks of the digital crew at Pacific Magazines, where she had the privilege of working with that's life!, InStyle, K-Zone, Total Girl and Girlfriend magazine. Nowadays, she can be found freelancing, eating lots and swimming through her mutating piles of magazines in her home study.

Margaret @ Girl With a Satchel