The Digital Gloss Files

...with Margaret Tran

Amidst the industry's excitable convulsions over iPad possibilities, the quiet achieving Nook Color e-reader from Barnes & Noble is patiently solving many magazine woes. Magazine sales on this device have matched up to, and in some cases, exceeded iPad sales. B&N have reported that "since November... 1.5 million magazine subscriptions and copies of single issues had been sold on the Nook." Not to mention, electronic versions of magazines are more cost-effective to create for the Nook than the iPad but, of course, this comes down to the fact that the iPad offers a multimedia experience whereas the Nook is primarily an e-reader. Another thing considered has been that women are more inclined to buy books and, by extension, devices designed to support books.

B&N have also just released its new model called The All New Nook. Retailing for just US$139, it comes with a reported battery life of two months. Oh yes, two whole, delicious months, but only if you keep the Wi-Fi off. Intriguingly, the Kindle has now been marked down to $139 on the Amazon US site. Nothing like a little healthy competition, it seems. Alas, B&N have not yet extended their e-reader to the international market. Can it only be a matter of time?

Video uploaded by nookBN @ YouTube

Michael Wolff at AdWeek unleashes on pitfalls of tablet publishing, saying "The Daily is the result of a hopeless misreading of the form." He also had this damning thing to say on the current industry:
"There is a loud, jarring, jumpy, desperate, look-at-me sense of tablet publishing; it tries too hard. It is not just that tablet design invites people to look over your shoulder and enter your space, but it makes the reader self-conscious too. So much design, so little function. So much brand, so little purpose."
So what is the future of iPad publishing? According to Paid Content UK, it lies in independent publishing.

New fashion magazine Post has launched with exclusive availability on the iPad. Founder Remi Paringaux, 27, an art director who previously worked for traditional magazines (as in on paper) like Dazed & Confused and Vogue Japan, had this to say of his former publishers: "What I find terrible is that these companies have actually curbed progress by not allowing their digital teams to grow." Intriguingly (if not annoyingly), initial encounters with Post found the first issue took almost nearly 20 min to download using super-fast US internet.

But who needs apps? Digital start-up OnSwipe makes your website feel like an app. Noice, noice.

So what is the effect of digital on magazines? Subscribers for life, says Arthur Sulzberger of The New York Times. That might be true of the US market, but as many might understand, the Australian market works almost oppositely.

Heidi Klum has launched her new lifestyle site with AOL.It feels a little Goopy if you ask me.

What happens when brands become publishers?This is the future of media as social media author, Mitch Joel notes, saying "it could be brands hiring their own journalists and putting out their own publications, filled not with canned marketing messages but actual content."

For the first time,online advertising revenues outstripped print revenues for Future Publishing.Could this be a sign of things to come?

Locally, News Magazines has challenged user generated content outside the digital space by selecting 50 readers to direct content for the latest issue of Australian Good Taste. What's interesting about this is that magazines like that's life!*, Better Homes and Gardens and New Idea already use reader content within this competitive food publishing market, doing so for many years and most recently, with their online counterparts. But alas, different markets might speak otherwise.

Also happening locally, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)has electedNielsen to provide the industry-preferred standard for online measurements on audiences.

Nominations for the Online Journalism Awards 2011 are now open.

Wired's Editor-at-Large Ben Hammersley will take part in the 2011Global Media Ideas conference as part of the Vivid Sydney 2011 events. Also joining him areTim Chang, who was recently named on the 2011 Forbes Midas List of TopVenture Capitalists, andOrvar S‰fstrˆm, Scandinaviaís number one game and film commentator.

And in case you missed it, here's how to set up a Facebook page for your business.

Margaret @ Girl With A Satchel

*Disclaimer: Margaret is a former employee of Pacific Magazines, which publishes that's life!, Better Homes and Gardens and New Idea.