Posted by: Sarah Lee | December 3, 2009

Apple’s Tablet – a media revolution

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I’m very excited. I’ve just watched the video above of Sports Illustrated’s vision for publishing their magazine on Apple’s much talked about Tablet.

The Tablet is the rumoured-to-be new netbook with touchscreen capabilities that Apple is said to be launching next year (more on the possible spec here). Until now I hadn’t realised the incredible potential it could have for fans of all things techie, and the publishing industry.

The video comes at an interesting time. Yesterday News International won the first of perhaps many battles with Google in its efforts to make people pay to view content on its websites. I found myself defending the company’s actions to a friend who sees it as a way for Rupert Murdoch to screw the masses.

As a journalist producing quality work for publication I’ve found myself agreeing with News International’s strategy. Introducing pay-walls may prove tricky, but there is no good reason why online content should be free. No other industry regularly gives away its work like the media.

It may be a challenge to get this off the ground, we’re all so used to getting our online media fix for nothing, but just five years ago print/broadcast media could support free internet content – fewer people had migrated online so newspaper and magazine sales were much higher and companies, happy that they’d be reaching huge numbers of readers/viewers, were paying much more for advertising. But this is no longer the case.

So media companies are trying different strategies. But this is the exciting bit – the video above shows how brilliant this could be. Print publications could become even more interactive, with readers acting as editor – moving contents around to suit us.

The Tablet looks to be a sexy piece of kit and one that could revolutionise the media. In travel this could mean behind the scenes videocasts of journos and photographers in location; integrated pictures and live video-blogging of the Rio Carnival, of rarely witnessed natural wonders (think of the Aurora Borealis coming to life on your touchscreen), or interviews with local characters that bring a place to life. All at your fingertips on a very portable 10.7″ Tablet.

There’s loads of potential for publishing on a Tablet. How would you most like to see publications using them for travel content?

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