[Hammock’s Current Idea Email was released yesterday.
Idea: Know the Important Difference Between “Digitized” Publications & “Digital” Publications
At Hammock, we have published both print and digital publications for over two decades. There are many things print publications can convey and accomplish that will never be achieved on a screen. Likewise, there are many things about a digital publication experienced on the screen of an iPad or Kindle that are rapidly gaining popularity among readers.
So, we believe in the power of both print publications and digital publications. But, we strongly suggest that if you want readers to find your publication compelling on a screen, know that you can no longer merely replicate the format of the print version and post it on the Web.
We even use two different terms to describe publications that are delivered to readers via the Internet. The first is a “digitized publication” which refers to a publication that is designed originally for print. The print layout is then converted into a digital format that resides on the Web in a way that attempts to replicate a print magazine in a virtual fashion — they are the publications you see that look like PDFs with the added feature of allowing you to pretend you are flipping page.
The second term is a “digital publication” which refers to a publication that is designed specifically to be read on a screen. A digital publication has no need to replicate metaphors or conventions that are tied to print. For example, if there is no paper, a web “page” can scroll infinitely, so there is no reason to create virtual page flipping. It can be annotated with contextual information related to the content presented, and video and audio can be included. But most importantly, it can be presented in a format that doesn’t require such conventions as “the narrow column” that are a part of magazines.
Five years of reading on Kindles and using iPads have made your readers expect something far different than print publications that are merely “digitized.” Every experience and interaction they are having with digital publications designed specifically for screen devices is training them to avoid digitized publications that merely replicate print.
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