Consumer Reports gets it right (*finally)

* at least on the smartphone platform ConsumerReports.org is the classic example of a once-primarily print publisher having content valuable and unique enough that it can charge for it online. The site for years has had a subscription model, with a monthly or annual fee to access its product reviews. I subscribed for a while,…

iPhone app business models improving

Recently, I’ve been noticing new iPhone apps coming to market that are adopting interesting business models. Generally, they can be categorized as using the “freemium” (or semi-freemium) model; i.e., they give away some valuable content and entice you to upgrade for more and better features. 1. This American Life iPhone app. … This app costs…

Report from my latest gig: Digital Media Test Kitchen

While I’ve mentioned it a time or two on Twitter, I haven’t written much about the Digital Media Test Kitchen, which the University of Colorado School of Journalism & Mass Communication and I are building. Recently, I got the go-ahead to open up the website and blog for the Test Kitchen and start to spread…

Converting a book reader to a nook reader

My wife, Suzanne, has long had to put up with a husband who’s a new-gadget hound. I’m an early adopter but not a super-early adopter. We’ve had a TiVo DVR for years, but I wasn’t among the very first to purchase one. I waited for the iPhone 3G to come out before catching iPhone fever….

Hey, news sites: Think like retailers!

Today I received an e-mail promotion from an electronics e-retailer that I’d purchased from before. The after-holidays sales promotion looked interesting, so I clicked the ad to go to the site. I spent very little time there, didn’t see any deals I couldn’t live without, and clicked away. About an hour later, in comes another…

Guardian phone app: It’ll cost you

The Guardian has introduced a new iPhone app, and its model is one I’ve endorsed in the past: iPhone app provides a much better experience than the mobile website Mobile version of Guardian website remains free iPhone app costs to download ($3.99 US, £2.39 UK) iPhone app content is free (beyond buying the app), but…

The Nook: A smart bricks-&-mortar digital strategy

A new, and very large, Barnes & Noble bookstore opened here in Boulder, Colorado, recently, replacing a smaller store half a block away. I’ve wondered since construction started how the giant bookstore chain could justify a larger store when more and more we’ll be seeing people buying and reading books on digital tablets like Amazon’s…

Newspapers’ digital content is worth zero: Discuss

My latest Editor & Publisher column was posted today. I think you’ll find it provocative. Your News Content Is Worth Zero to Digital Consumers Admittedly, the headline overstates things a bit (hey, just trying to get you to pay attention!), but my main point is that whether online or on mobile devices, news publishers need…

Jimmy the Bartender has an iPhone app; where’s Dear Abby’s?

A while back I noted that a new iPhone app from Men’s Health magazine broke some new ground by selling add-on content within the app itself, beyond the initial price ($1.99). Now the magazine is trying again, this time by taking one of its regular features, the “Jimmy the Bartender” advice column, and turning it…

The modern coupon (simple version)

I can’t imagine this is new, but it’s the first time I’ve gone to a restaurant and received a coupon at the table prompting me to use my cell phone to get a free item. Last night when my family and I went to Beau Jo’s Pizza in Boulder, we each got the coupon above….

Big Kindle, little phone: Which will it be?

So on Wednesday, Amazon will be introducing a larger Kindle e-reading device. I’ll be away from the Internet on my mountain bike in southwestern Colorado so will probably miss the announcement. But I can’t help but ponder the significance of the advancement of the portable e-reader. While I do believe that Kindles (medium and large)…