We've been producing news content daily for a few months now. We recently launched a weather section that has turned out to be quite successful, at least so far. There's plenty more content we could be putting out... Now, the question is, what's the best way to get all this content to the general public?
As I've mentioned before, I firmly believe the web is the future... But what kind of web? Of course, a lot of online news operations focus on traditional web sites, and like many of these operations, our web site is still our main method of distribution. However, I think there are a lot of other options for distribution out there.... For instance, the growing mobile market.
Local Edition has had an iPhone app for quite a while (I wrote it early last year), and we plan to launch an iPad app very soon. Like many news apps, ours is largely a way to read content from our web site, though it does offer a "Contribute" tab allowing users to submit story ideas and photos or video. (it also allows article sharing via Facebook, twitter and email). As I see more and more people accessing the web from iPhones and other mobile devices, I have to wonder just how much having something like an iPhone or Android app can benefit a small operation. Do users consume enough content on the go to make an app a useful tool? Does anyone else here HAVE an app, and if so, what are your observations? (and if you don't have an app but would like one, feel free to get In touch, I may be able to help....)
I don't think an app is a viable platform on its own (at least not for a small local operation), but when it's used to compliment a web site, I think there's a lot of potential.
Anyway, this is all just a random bit of food for thought.... And speaking of food, the waitress just brought my dinner out. Time to put the iPad away and eat! ;-)
Until next time...