Och. Had to post a review on iTunes tonight to balance out all the crybabies.
I am so happy to see that Men’s Health and Runner’s World are not laying on a bunch of overblown interactive gewgaws and are instead focusing on enhancing their content in subtle, platform appropriate ways.
I really appreciate the direction the magazine is taking on this platform. I will say that the price is right over the line on what I’d comfortably pay on a monthly basis. I do understand that the iPad and other devices for rich content delivery represent a whole new game for content publishers. Yes, we’re in a transitional phase in the industry and it may take a little while for a viable, sustainable revenue model that enables Rodale to continue to produce fantastic content to shake out. It’s no different than what the video and music industries have been struggling with.
For now, if 4.99 an issue is really what it takes then I say keep up the great work, but if you could swing something closer to 3 or maybe give the print subscribers a break to ease our transition, that would be helpful. Maybe drop the price on back issues to .99?
This morning, I’m on a train to Milwaukee and catching up on Tweets and Blogs and a whole mess of interesting development arcana. Just yesterday, I was feeling frustrated by a short week with a bunch of travel for work thrown in. In particular, I was once again feeling pangs of guilt over not keeping my promise to myself to keep this blog going and my writing skills practiced.
As I was looking for the holes in my universe that are keeping me from reading more, writing more, learning more and generally just getting shit done, it’s hard to find anything that I would be willing to trade up on.
Over the last two years, I’ve been commuting on two wheels. The 2-stroke fumes and satisfying buzz of my Stella’s engine have become a daily ritual that is occasionally tedious, sometimes frightening, but mostly pretty damn cool. I’ve found close to the perfect route to and from the office, and have got to a point where I’m comfortable riding rain or shine. The only real downside of all this is that I’m now short an hour and a half of reading or more each day. The benefits of spending 8 hours a week on the CTA trains and buses are probably pretty obvious to anyone who lives in Chicago.
For a ravenous, speedy reader like myself, that 8 hours easily represents a pile of blog articles and O’reilly book or two and probably at least one 800 page science fiction novel.
On the train today, I’ve already ready a couple great articles from the Ajaxian Twitter feed and the NPR API documentation @xak posted a link to this morning. This gets me thinking that I’ve got to find a better balance. Work is for the most part non-negotiable, Wife and daughter time are definitely non-negotiable. Gym time is flexible, but tough enough to stay consistent on as it is. That pretty much leaves the commute. Ugh. I think next week, I’ll start an experimental 2 day a week train commute and see just how much I can get done, and how miserable the train experience makes me.
Those of you who are in my Facebook circle that have missed my CTA bitching status updates can look forward to a return to form on my part.
One of the more complex issues we’ve begun to run into with the flurry of requests for iPad and mobile web apps we’ve seen over the past few months is planning for connectivity loss and offline usage. The complexity isn’t a matter of the technology available to us being complicated. Rather, it’s that we find ourselves adding one more planning and development consideration to our production mix. As with any emerging technology, we’ve found ourselves focusing a lot of effort on simply building a vernacular to enable conversations about mobile with clients who don’t always have technology representation at the table.
I suppose it’s a measure of our success that we’ve gotten beyond conversations about the basic differences, strengths and weaknesses of web apps and native app and have now moved on to talking about such meaty topics as CMS publishing protocols and synching tasks.
The Ajaxian twitter feed had a link to a really nice overview of the offline technologies available to us today. http://www.html5rocks.com/tutorials/offline/whats-offline/#introduction
I imagine we’ll be seeing mobile driving a lot more discussion of new technology over the next year. Things like geolocation, checkins, camera APIs, voice-enabled and microformats, microformats, microformats are going to be defaults in everything we build.
It seems like it has only been a year or so since we started trading page-based architectures for accordions and slideshows and overlays and other richer more application-like functionality. I am amazed at how quickly we’ve sped by these new UI considerations and moved right toward a whole new pile of technology to try to grok and bring into the fold.
I’m really excited about offline and our ability to deal with local storage of binary components in particular. Browser caching has never been quite what it should be and we now have a lot more control over storing images, JS and CSS files on the client. I believe that performance is going to be a key differentiator between Web Standards evangelists like VSA and firms that are content to continue to slop together nonsense.