Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, October 11, 2021

To commemorate its 75th Anniversary issue last month, Fortune rolled out a Flash-powered digital edition of the magazine which emulates the flip-through experience of the print copy.

Digital editions of periodicals are constant tug-o-war items in the business. The pro: They recreate layout and order of print edition, including (this is crucial) the page-optimized advertising displays, and they count as paid circulation. The con: They’re not particularly Web-friendly, especially for archival and cross-linking purposes.

I’m a bit torn on the issue. I’m a Web-head, personally and professionally, so I’m not crazy about a format that’s closed and hard to propigate. On the other hand, there’s something to be said for the elegance of presenation in a digital edition; it certainly requires less work because there’s little or no reformatting involved. And the advantage for advertisers is nothing to sneeze at.

Examining it a bit deeper, there are different ways to pull off a digital format. Fortune’s example, powered by Olive Software, seems a bit bloated with the Flash implemenation. By contrast, Reader’s Digest recent 1,000th issue digital edition utilizes JavaScript to accomplish the same effect. Given the choice, I’d take the latter, since it’s less resource-greedy and more universal.

Both those implementations are browser-based, which in my book, is the preferred interface for this sort of product. It’s worlds better than a platform like Zinio, which requires the installation of an executable program onto your system. With so much malware out there, I think it’s foolish to require users to have to install anything like this in order to access content. For my money, if it’s not browser-based, it’s not worth using.

But again, to come full-circle, I have my doubts about the long-term efficacy of this format — at least, as long as the Web is structured the way it currently is (which is nothing to presume, even over the next five years). I’m not even sure about the market for it. From what I’ve seen, the selling of digital subsciptions is awkward because it’s hard to distinguish it from a publication’s website (salespeople are never particularly good at explaining such subtleties), and so it’s hard to get the customer to sign on for something presumed to be free.

Maybe digital editions are best reserved for speciality issues, like Fortune’s 75th Anniversary or Reader’s Digest’s 1,000th issue. Those occasions call for extra-mile presentations. Web-based content can handle the regular publication schedule.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/11/2021 11:13:25 PM
Category: Internet, Publishing
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power of three
If the league is serious about sticking to the strict penalty-calling — and I’m not completely convinced that it will — the Lightning is compensating by forming a third power play unit to handle the extra man-advantage work.

Coach Tortorella is concerned about fatigue setting in on the traditional two PP units. But unfortunate circumstance plays a role, too:

“I’ve (also) toyed in my mind having three power-play units because simply the other guys aren’t working,” Tortorella said. “Eventually we’ll have to look at three units not just (because) of the amount of time you’re on (the power play), but it’s a good push for the other two units. If they’re not doing their job, get the other unit in there.”

So for Tampa Bay, the early lack of power play success is as much a factor for going with a triple-threat approach as is the dynamics of the rebooted National Hockey League.

Still, it’s an interesting, and unforeseen, development. NHL teams have gotten by with just two standard PP units for decades. If man-advantage scenarios constitute a larger percentage of gametime than in the past, it makes sense to make roster adjustments to address that.

I wonder if this would call for the formation of a third penalty kill unit as well. The penalized side would get just as fatigued, and require fresh legs as often.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/11/2021 09:49:18 PM
Category: Hockey
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enter the coffee
Periodic visits to Tom McMahon will tell you that the man has a thing for coffee mugs.

But I never noticed just how severe this fixation is. The proof? Tom has not one, but two categories devoted to mugs! Talk about overkill.

I’m not about to start up even one Mugs category hereabouts. But if I were, I’d inaugurate it in style, with the Moss Ming Dragon Mug, retailing for $263 plus shipping & handling. Hand-painted porcelain, gold highlights, available in four different colors (but really, why would you not go with green?).

Tell you what: I’d be extra-extra careful while sipping my morning tea with this thing. I do think the visage of that fierce dragon would enhance my caffeine boost, though, so maybe it’d be worth the investment.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/11/2021 09:22:05 PM
Category: General
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