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Old 06-30-2010, 03:17 PM   #1
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Magazine reading

I work for an international not-for-profit. One of my coworkers asked me today for insight into what magazine publishing software to investigate. We offer a monthly magazine for donors, and he has been urged by the finance dept to offer a digital edition in addition to the paper in the hope of saving postage costs.

We are mostly likely looking at a hosted software platform, as I don't think we have the bandwidth to host it for PDF download.

Other than Zinio, I can't say that I'm all that familiar with magazine reading online. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
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For production, I'm not sure.

For delivery, I would definitely set it up for RSS/Atom.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:24 PM   #3
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I work for an international not-for-profit. One of my coworkers asked me today for insight into what magazine publishing software to investigate. We offer a monthly magazine for donors, and he has been urged by the finance dept to offer a digital edition in addition to the paper in the hope of saving postage costs.

We are mostly likely looking at a hosted software platform, as I don't think we have the bandwidth to host it for PDF download.

Other than Zinio, I can't say that I'm all that familiar with magazine reading online. Any suggestions?
do you want examples of magazines we have gotten online?
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:30 AM   #4
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:56 AM   #5
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For delivery, I would definitely set it up for RSS/Atom.
Excellent idea, thanks! Primary "delivery" method will still probably be email with a link, but never hurts to be tech savvy for those who are...

Quote:
do you want examples of magazines we have gotten online?
Absolutely - I can probably dig around and figure out what solution they are using, but examples to show my colleagues will make it easier to explain what I'm envisioning.

Thank you - that one didn't show up in my Google searches.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:31 AM   #6
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You should investigate HTML5. Many of the features of HTML5 will be well-suited for digital magazines that can be presented in a web browser, without special reading apps or proprietary systems, and at various scales. Maybe a third party solution like Zinio, etc, may be simpler for you... but HTML5 will be more flexible, and your output more widespread.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:11 AM   #7
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Absolutely - I can probably dig around and figure out what solution they are using, but examples to show my colleagues will make it easier to explain what I'm envisioning.


.
the format I've been happiest with is how Analog does it
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:33 PM   #8
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You should investigate HTML5. Many of the features of HTML5 will be well-suited for digital magazines that can be presented in a web browser, without special reading apps or proprietary systems, and at various scales. Maybe a third party solution like Zinio, etc, may be simpler for you... but HTML5 will be more flexible, and your output more widespread.
I'll pass that along, but since we have 1 graphic designer, 1 editorial person and 1 web master (all of whom do more than the monthly magazine), I think we'll be purchasing a solution.
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Old 07-01-2010, 01:58 PM   #9
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Given that this is a non-profit with a small staff that probably wants to keep overheads as low as possible, why not simply produce a PDF?
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:16 PM   #10
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Given that this is a non-profit with a small staff that probably wants to keep overheads as low as possible, why not simply produce a PDF?
Other chapters are doing that - no one's using it. I've surveyed 18 chapters and less than 1% of their donors are using the PDFs, after extensive promotion. These are chapters with 10-20% rates of online donation, so it's obvious the PDF is not interesting to donors.

The only 2 chapters with decent online magazine usage (5%+) are doing it in-house, but they have "interactive" staffs of 6+ that do all their online activities.

So we're looking for on "off-the-shelf" solution

Right now we're looking at
PageFlip3D
Olive Software
Issues3D.com
Zinio
bluetoad.com

and another one whose name i forget. Something like mymagazine.com.

Bree
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:20 PM   #11
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Other chapters are doing that - no one's using it. I've surveyed 18 chapters and less than 1% of their donors are using the PDFs, after extensive promotion. These are chapters with 10-20% rates of online donation, so it's obvious the PDF is not interesting to donors.

The only 2 chapters with decent online magazine usage (5%+) are doing it in-house, but they have "interactive" staffs of 6+ that do all their online activities.
Maybe it is just that they aren't interested in any sort of digital magazine?
If producing it in house is still not getting much more than 5%, is it actually worth doing?
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:20 PM   #12
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Maybe it is just that they aren't interested in any sort of digital magazine?
If producing it in house is still not getting much more than 5%, is it actually worth doing?
If it isn't going to take too many resources or cost too much, yes. Even a 5% reduction in our international postage bill would be worth it.

Also, 8% of all donors have opted out of the paper magazine - many of them have asked for a digital version, so we'd be serving those donors better.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:59 AM   #13
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oh also http://www.libredigital.com the deliver/sell through http://www.newsstand.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main and apps as well.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:32 PM   #14
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:51 PM   #15
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oh also http://www.libredigital.com the deliver/sell through http://www.newsstand.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main and apps as well.
Thanks again!

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You already produce a paper magazine? Why not just blog the articles and provide a link?
We do have a blog currently, which is open to the public. The magazine doesn't lend itself to this format, as it needs to be:

1. Access for donors only (it's a member benefit, and based on surveys we've done, they really value that paper version)
2. Only a small portion is traditional articles and pictures- the majority of it is complex charts that are time-sensitive, so it doesn't lend itself well to a blog environment.

Thanks to everyone, my colleague has narrowed down to 3 possible candidates for the software and we're doing further investigating. We'll see where it goes from there.

Last edited by Jellby; 07-13-2010 at 04:44 AM. Reason: Fixed markup
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