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Content on the go: Supporting mobile delivery

FORWARD THINKING

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The rapid rise of demand for content delivery across multiple platforms means that publishers are working to develop one competency although they already see the need for the next iteration. “I don't know many media companies that have it down,” Horowitz said. Philip Ramsey, technical design manager at Bloomberg BNA, has led the development of mobile apps that support complex research sites. His focus has been on providing access to content both on- and offline, to saved searches and to other personalized elements while minimizing the impact that an app has on the end user's data plan. “When you think mobile, you have to think light,” he said. “The biggest demand is trying to minimize data constraints.” But now, he said, he is also thinking about the editorial process for the next iteration of apps. Right now, editors are tinkering with headlines and formatting articles for better presentation within the interface, he said. But Ramsey wants to allow editors to customize the layout of the interface, for example, when big stories break. He wants them to be able to control the push cycle. “That would be the next step,” he said. Michael Powell, corporate creative director at BNP Media, is shifting cloud-based service providers for the production of the company's apps. He said he hopes the transition will speed the launch of mobile content, including directories, for 55 brands. The company currently has two apps and will need to rebuild those as it moves forward with the new provider. BNP uses a centralized CMS, and editors tag content for mobile delivery, Powell said. They focus on readability—tailoring content for an on-the-go audience—and will be looking to deliver content in different formats to phones and tablets under the assumption that those users have different consumption habits. “All of this is our goal,” Powell said. “We're at the beginning stages.”
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