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Media Vanguard Awards

Media Vanguard Awards: Print to Digital

Time.com, The Week, Golf Digest Among the Winners

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For the 2011 Media Vanguard Awards introduction and directory of awards by division, click here.

Time 's wide-ranging, moving microsite
Time 's wide-ranging, moving microsite
PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST USE OF ORIGINAL VIDEO IN A SPECIAL EDITORIAL PACKAGE
Time 's Beyond 9/11 microsite
time.com/time/beyond911

Time .com's "Beyond 9/11" is , simply, a superbly executed oral-history project composed of interviews with 40 people whose lives intersected with 9/11 and its aftermath, from World Trade Center survivors to President George W. Bush. The ad-free microsite is structured around a grid of stark black-and-white portraits by Marco Grob; videos of the 40, also shot by Grob, offer gripping and often deeply touching testimonials of resilience.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST SINGLE-PURPOSE EDUCATIONAL APP
Martha Stewart Living's Egg Dyeing 101 app
Available on iTunes

Leave it to the team at Martha Stewart Living to blend perfectionism and adorableness in its Egg Dyeing 101 app for the iPhone and iPod Touch, one of its growing suite of single-purpose educational apps that are so well done they're worth paying for (in this case, just 99 cents). For harried parents, this kid-friendly app, sponsored by McCormick, helps drain the frustration out of holiday egg-dyeing with an elegant interface, simple instructions and how-to videos.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST SOCIAL-MEDIA STRATEGY
Entertainment Weekly across social media
ew.com/viewer; on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, GetGlue

Over the past year, Entertainment Weekly has built out one of the most sophisticated and well-rounded social-media strategies among not just magazines, but all media brands. Leveraging already-strong engagement with readers on its various Twitter feeds (which reach 1.7 million followers) and Facebook (where a "Fans Only" section offers access to giveaways and exclusive content), EW also started posting original content to two Tumblr blogs, partnered with entertainment check-in service GetGlue and launched vIEWer, a groundbreaking web-based co-viewing app for TV fans.

The Spin Play iPad app
The Spin Play iPad app

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST MUSIC INTEGRATION IN A TABLET EDITION
Spin Play iPad app
Available on iTunes

Digital natives like Pitchfork may have usurped much of magazines' old role in surfacing new artists, but Spin magazine says things don't have to stay that way with an app that claims its place in real-time music discovery. This isn't one of those iPad apps designed to shore up somebody's legacy format, although it does include some print content; Spin Play was created from the ground up with the iPad in mind, with each issue offering a curated collection of 60-plus streaming songs and 30-plus streaming videos.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST SPECIAL-INTEREST WEBSITE; BEST SPECIAL-INTEREST IPAD APP
Wired on the web; Wired on the iPad
wired.com; app available on iTunes

Conde Nast's Wired magazine wins two MVAs this year for its stellar iterations on two different platforms: on the web with the indispensable Wired.com, and on the iPad with its elegant, engrossing tablet edition. The website publishes roughly 40 new articles a day, powered by a collection of more than a dozen blogs, including Silicon Valley newsfeed Epicenter, pop-culture decoder Underwire and security report Threat Level. Conde reports that Wired.com now accounts for 40% of overall brand revenue and that the site's revenue is up 100% since 2009. Meanwhile, the Wired iPad app, which arrived strong out of the gate in 2010 with gorgeous monthly editions enhanced with all the extras you'd expect (videos, animations, pop-up annotations), took another leap forward in 2011 with free access for print subscribers and the option for non-print readers to subscribe to a year's worth of the monthly app editions for $19.99.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST LIVE MULTIMEDIA SPECIAL ISSUE
ESPN The Magazine & Pop-Up Magazine Live Issue
Held on May 11, 2011; www.popupmagazine.com

One of the year's most gripping and entertaining expressions of a magazine's sensibility was presented in event form: ESPN The Magazine's spring collaboration with Pop-Up Magazine -- a San Francisco collective that creates stage shows that are "edited" to unfold like a magazine -- for the "Live Issue" at Manhattan's Skirball Center. This sports-themed evening, which starred Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, Radiolab producer Pat Walters and more than a dozen other contributors, showed that multimedia doesn't have to beam from a gadget to be cutting-edge.

The Fortune 500+ web app
The Fortune 500+ web app
PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST SINGLE-PURPOSE BUSINESS APP
Fortune 500+ app
fortune500-app.com

The Fortune 500, the signature editorial franchise of Time Inc.'s Fortune magazine, goes from a static read to an in-depth interactive resource in this iPad-optimized web app introduced last May. It offers detailed information on 1,000 companies (including leadership directories, investor pages, real-time market cap, etc.) that you can slice and dice as you please with various filters including industry and location -- and, thanks to a partnership with LinkedIn, the degree of overlap with your social graph.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST NEWSPAPER WEBSITE; BEST NEWSPAPER APP SUITE; BEST WINDOW ON INNOVATION
The New York Times on the web; NYT apps; beta620
nytimes.com; apps available on iTunes and in the Android Market; beta620.com

The New York Times wins three MVAs this year for trying some risky new things despite its advanced age -- it turned 160 years old in September -- and institutional status. When the biggest of those risks, its new digital-subscription strategy, finally arrived in March, many people called it quixotic. Then 100,000 people bought digital subscriptions in the first three weeks alone, not counting home-delivery customers who activated their free access or people paying for e-reader editions. Overall site traffic has also held up, while the deliberately porous system has let the Times remain part of the digital and social conversation.

Part of the credit, of course, goes to the Times' suite of apps on the iPad and other devices, standard-bearers for clean design, comprehensive content and simple navigation. The full-paper apps include the site's blogs, videos and slideshows, as well as all the top news. But unfettered access now requires home delivery or one of the new digital subscriptions. Plenty of people have decided that 's a fair deal.

And then there's the interesting experiment over at beta620, a public beta-testing site where web surfers can try out new products that might eventually find places on nytimes.com. It's not a big traffic play, but it's a both a chance for the Times to get feedback on works-in-progress -- basically unimaginable coming from a big institution in the pre-digital era -- and a way to signal to developers and potential partners that the Times is open for innovation.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST INTEGRATION OF E-COMMERCE FOR READER SERVICE IN A TABLET EDITION
Golf Digest tablet edition
golfdigest.com/magazine/digital-subscription

When Conde Nast's Golf Digest started publishing tablet editions this spring, it turbocharged one of its core missions -- providing service to the reader in the form of authoritative equipment guides -- though the seamless integration of e-commerce. That initiative is best epitomized by The Hot List Special Issue, whose tablet version breathes new life into the magazine's annual gear guide with high-res rotating shots of equipment, product-demo videos and an integrated shopping basket tied into Golf Digest Rewards, which lets readers score discounts and cash rebates from merchants.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST MAGAZINE WEBSITE; BEST FASHION APP; BEST VIRAL-MEDIA APP
New York magazine on the web; The Cut on the Runway app; Vulture Clickables app
nymag.com; apps available on iTunes

This year New York magazine wins three MVAs: one for its website and two for its apps. Long one of the gold standards of magazine websites, nymag.com has been focusing on turning its five core blogs -- The Cut, Daily Intel, Grub Street , The Sports Section, and especially the relaunched Vulture pop-culture blog -- into powerful media brands of their own. And so far that ambition has been translating beautifully in the app space, particularly with the January launch of the lavish The Cut on the Runway iPad fashion app (which includes nymag.com's Lookfinder tool for searching more than 100,000 runway looks by clothing type, color, trend, designer, season and model) and the September launch of the Vulture Clickables app, which turns one of the most popular features on nymag.com -- a curated list of the web's best viral videos, songs, trailers and clips, as chosen by Vulture editors -- into a perfect, minimalistic iPhone feed.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST AGGREGATOR
The Week on the web
theweek.com

Instead of just grabbing and rewriting (i.e., stealing) the reporting of other news organizations as some aggregators are known to do, TheWeek.com -- the constantly updated website for The Week magazine -- takes a holistic, analytical approach to the news cycle, offering brief glimpses of the current buzz while encouraging click-throughs to the original source (e.g., "Groupon's "gangbusters' IPO: 4 takeaways," which quoted no more than a line or two from six sources ranging from Technology Review to The New Yorker). This is aggregation done right.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST USE OF BARCODES FOR READER ENGAGEMENT
The Great TOH giveaway
thisoldhousesweeps.com/win

For its August barcode issue, This Old House peppered its pages with 31 separate Microsoft Tags linking to a series of giveaways of prizes readers could use in their own remodeling projects. Working with advertising partners, the magazine secured goods worth a total of $178,000, from faucets to flooring. The result: 239,191 scans and 11,971,431 checked prize boxes from 156,760 unique entrants -- not to mention advertisers thrilled to have an opt-in database of 156,760 people for their own recommunication efforts.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST GENERAL-INTEREST MAGAZINE IPAD APP; BEST CULTURE AND LISTINGS APP
The New Yorker iPad app; The New Yorker Goings On app
Both available on iTunes; Goings On also available in the Android Market

The New Yorker's iPad app seamlessly translates the sophisticated, whimsical look and feel of its print edition, and then enhances the experience with just the right amount of multimedia, including slide shows of all the current issue's cartoons, selected audio files of writers reading their work, plus film and music clips. The result: An average 154,532 readers on the iPad -- many of whom access the app as part of their print subscription, but also thousands who buy individual iPad issues for $4.99 each and another 33,502 who subscribe to just the iPad edition for $59.99 a year.

The New Yorker wins a second MVA this year for its excellent Goings On mobile app -- free thanks to the support of sole sponsor MasterCard -- which turns the magazine's listings and capsule culture reviews into a browsable, filterable database that syncs with interactive maps and allows users to share content via email, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Bonus audio tours (e.g., art critic Peter Schjeldahl walks you through the Frick Collection) and the "My New York" section serve up the personal favorites of the magazine's writers.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST READER-SERVICE WEBSITE
Men's Health on the web
menshealth.com

Print content from Rodale monthly Men's Health is only a starting point for menshealth.com. A clean, simple interface unifies in-depth content channels ranging from the new Men's Health News feed to the Style section to the How to Do Everything Better microsite. This is a lifestyle/wellness resource that manages to be incredibly comprehensive without ever feeling overwhelming or the least bit intimidating.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST SPORTS APP
Sports Illustrated tablet app
Available on iTunes and in the Android Market

This fall Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated relaunched its tablet app -- which was already stocked with tons of original video and audio, exclusive photo galleries and interactive hot spots -- with groundbreaking "real-time" enhancements, including breaking-news feeds and the Twitter Social Pulse, which jacks readers into the global sports conversation. (SI also pioneered at Time Inc. with its cross-platform "All Access" subscription plan.) Now there is simply no more dynamic, comprehensive whole-magazine app on the market.

PRINT-TO-DIGITAL/BEST WEB VERTICAL LAUNCH
The Atlantic Cities
theatlanticcities.com

An editorial brand extension of venerable magazine The Atlantic and a sister site of TheAtlantic.com, TheAtlanticCities.com only launched this fall but has already established itself as an essential urban-affairs resource, covering issues surrounding employment, housing, design, infrastructure, culture and politics. The provocative mix of voices here -- from Richard Florida, the influential urban-studies theorist, to Allison Arieff, the former editor in chief of Dwell -- demonstrates once again The Atlantic's status as one of the great American journalistic talent magnets.

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