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Flipboard: a help or hindrance to publishers?

17 May, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

In the past month, almost 1 million new magazines have appeared on Apple’s iPad. Rather than heralding a long-awaited comeback from traditional publishers, nearly all of these collections of articles, photos and social-media updates are the handiwork of ‘armchair editors’, using a new tool from the social magazine app, Flipboard.



Reaching digital natives with native advertising

12 Apr, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

In last week’s blog I looked at the innovative ways that publisher’s are monetising their products in the face of a shifting digital landscape. One of the most ground-breaking moves has come from Forbes Media, who opened up their content creation platform, not only to external authors but also to marketers and brands.

This idea of interweaving promotional content with both editorial and user-generated content (UGC) is central to a much larger concept gaining traction in the online advertising community; native advertising.

But what is it? One of the biggest advocates of native advertising is Dan Greenberg, CEO of Sharethrough (the agency that runs Forbes Media’s ‘Sponsored Stories’). When asked for a definition, Greenberg offers the following:

It refers to digital ad formats that integrate more seamlessly (yet transparently) into website aesthetics, user experiences and/or editorial in ways that offer more value to both advertisers and readers. Put simply, native ads follow the format, style and voice of whatever platform they appear on.

For a more in depth discussion of Forbes’ collaboration with Sharethrough, take a look at the video below:


“He who refuses to learn deserves extinction” – Guardian Changing Media Summit 2013

5 Apr, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

There were a number of key themes at this year’s Guardian Changing Media Summit — an annual conference which brings together a mixture of CEO and director level executives responsible for commercial, creative and digital strategies.

Most significantly, it was clear that publishers are beginning to see more opportunities than threats from digital technologies and much time was spent discussing the innovative monetisation of digital products.

Death of Journalism


The Future of Digital (according to Google)

1 Mar, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Richard Robinson, Director at Google, kicked off this year’s Technology for Marketing and Advertising event with a keynote presentation on the ‘Future of Digital’.

Project Glass

He reeled off some impressive statistics relating to three main areas of development:


  • There are currently 2.4 billion users of the Internet worldwide. This figure was 1.8 billion 18 months ago and is expected to reach 5 billion by the end of the decade. He described this growth as the ‘democratisation of technology’. more…

Vine: the next generation of animated GIF?

8 Feb, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

At the end of January, Twitter announced a new mobile service called Vine, which allows users to create and share looping videos.

“Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity,” the company said in an official blog post. “Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create.”


BrowZine: new iPad app taking academic libraries by storm

1 Feb, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

There seems to be a trend emerging amongst US academic libraries. The University of Florida is just one of many institutions trying out a new iPad app, free to students, that could make academic research a far less cumbersome experience.

Browsable Newsstand of Library's Journals | BrowZine iPad App ScreenshotSaved Journal Articles | BrowZine iPad App Screenshot


Article-level metrics: which service to choose?

26 Oct, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Article-level metrics (or ALMs) were a hot topic at this week’s HighWire publisher meeting in Washington. (Highwire hosts both the BMJ and its stable of 42 specialist journals). From SAGE to eLife, publishers seem sold on the benefits of displaying additional context to articles, thereby enabling readers to assess their impact. These statistics range from traditional indicators, such as usage statistics and citations, to alternative values (or altmetrics) like mentions on Twitter and in the mainstream media.

So, what services are available to bring this information together in one simple interface? There are quite a few contenders in this area, including Plum Analytics, PLoS Article-Level Metrics application, Science Card, CitedIn and ReaderMeter. One system in particular has received a good deal of attention in the past few weeks; ImpactStory, a relaunched version of total-impact. It’s a free, open-source webapp that’s been built with financial help from the Sloan Foundation (and others) “to help researchers uncover data-driven stories about their broader impacts”.


Mendeley: reducing the lag in research impact analysis

9 Aug, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Mendeley, the free reference manager and academic social network, has released an Institutional Edition for research and impact analysis and signed up a number of leading academic establishments along the way.

Announced on Monday, Mendeley Institutional Edition (MIE) is a module developed to give librarians and heads of library insight into the way researchers work and use their library collection at document level. By offering the MIE to their end users, institutions can seemingly stimulate their productivity and gain real-time feedback on the usage of library content.


Will medical apps be to healthcare what ATMs are to banking?

2 Aug, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

The mass adoption of smartphones among physicians has not only triggered an explosion of medical apps targeted at healthcare providers, it has also encouraged an emerging trend of health and wellness apps aimed at empowering patients. In fact, there are thought to be 40,000 medical applications available for download on tablets and smartphones, with the market still in its infancy.

Medical apps enable users to monitor health and encourage patient wellness on a moment-to-moment basis, instead of only during occasional visits to the doctor’s surgery. Some even replace devices used in hospitals and doctor’s offices, such as glucometers and high-quality microscopes used by dermatologists to examine skin irregularities.


Inkling Habitat: reinventing the print press?

16 Mar, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Online publishing startup Inkling (who featured at this week’s HighWire Press Conference in Palo Alto, CA) has created a new tool that it says will appeal to professional, large-scale publishers. The software, known as Habitat, will use XML and HTML5 that can be read on a variety of platforms, including an upcoming Inkling web reader. In theory, it sounds pretty similar to Apple’s iBooks Author, but Habitat is specifically designed for large teams of collaborators with sharing and collaboration tools.

If anyone has insight into Apple’s educational efforts, it would be Inkling Co-founder and CEO, Matthew MacInnis, who was responsible for Apple’s expansion into educational markets in Asia and later a senior manager of all Apple’s international education efforts. MacInnis told us that the Inkling team set out to build a publishing platform that would redefine digital media, starting with reinventing the textbook. But in doing so, they’ve discovered that to reinvent books, they’ve had to go back to ground zero and re-imagine the entire printing process itself. more…

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