A new standard for online news?

So I’ve been living with The Guardian’s Digital Edition for a few weeks and I’m even more convinced. It really is the first good analogue for a real newspaper I’ve come across. I would seriously consider dropping the printed paper for this. I’m inspired because I’d sort of concluded that this would never happen. The best thing about it is that I can almost literally flick through it, reproducing exactly my (probably highly inefficient) daily newspaper habits if I want to, but also making the paper markedly more accessible by giving me the equivalent of the biggest kitchen table in the world to spread the papers out on (plus a pretty good search function).

Of course, whether The Guardian could actually make money from a digital edition is still up in the air but I reckon there must be some mileage in selling this as a service to other publishers. In fact, if I could add a bunch of other publications to my giant kitchen table and flick through them in the same way I would probably sign up on the spot. A new pop-up menu in the left-hand nav could bring up digital editions of all my favourites – especially the ones that currently have dreadful or non-existent web sites. In fact, I think even quite competent online periodicals like The Economist or The New Statesman or New Scientist could benefit from the Guardian’s approach. They’d all be improved by a dose of the giant kitchen table treatment. The Guardian might find that they’re sitting on an emerging standard for the presentation of printed publications online. Wouldn’t that be cool?

1 comment

  1. Hmm, no – doesn’t really work for me. The thing about skimming newspapers, is that I skim the headline and the first paragraph or pullquotes. I can’t see those on the small PDF and so don’t bother looking at it after the first page or two – only the headlines on the right. I got through about 10 pages before not being interested anymore…

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