March 4th, 2009
Recently, we’ve been focusing on marketing the idio platform as a versatile and customisable publishing system. We think our model creates a range of exciting possibilities for online publishers to deliver content in an entirely new way. If you’d like to read more about the technology’s potential, head on over to our new platform showcase site, or check out the blog, where we’ll be writing a lot about the digital magazine industry.
January 29th, 2009
Thanks to TechCrunch for highlighting this classic video:
“Even though the electronic newspaper isn’t as spiffy-looking as the ads imply, people using this system are excited about its potential.”
It’s incredible to think that newspapers have been experimenting with online editions for 28 years, and yet many are still about to die from resistance to change.
January 20th, 2009
Back in October, we asked you what you wanted in a mobile version of idiomag. We got some great results, and these have guided our development over the last few months. We released a test version of the site to a small group over Christmas, and today the public version of the mobile site has gone live. You can view it from your mobile handset at: http://m.idiomag.com
It’s fast, simple, and compatible with all the major handsets. So, do log on to check out your latest music news, reviews, and recommendations. And of course, do let us know your feedback. We will be improving the site several more times over the next couple of months, so your thoughts are very valuable!
It’s worth also noting that the mobile channel is now also built into the personalized publishing which is available under commercial license to publishers and brands.
December 16th, 2008
Over the last year, we’ve had many requests for an API to allow partner sites and independent developers to use idiomag’s data in other applications. We have been working hard with key partners over the last few months, but as of today we are excited to open up access to everyone. Details below…
The main functionality is around idiomag’s aggregated content. Partners can access:
- Feeds of articles, photos, videos and images, selected by genre, artist, or idiomag username
- Tens of thousands of articles, including news, reviews, and interviews (headline & abstract)
- Filtered videos, images and mp3s for tens of thousands of artists
In addition, partners can use idiomag’s collaborative filtering and “discovery” music recommendation engine, based on single or multiple artist inputs, and via profile import from a range of sites such as Last.fm, Pandora, iLike, and imeem.
This API demonstrates a leading implementation of APML, providing access to users’ music interest profiles, for both input and output of the recommendation technology. The API will provide feeds in multiple formats, and has been designed to be as usable as possible. For example, why not access your won personalised XSPF video feeds, which can be played directly in VLC!
Have a read of the documentation and start using the API here. We look forward to seeing what you come up with!
November 11th, 2008
Quick update: we have just enabled full-text RSS feeds for all user magazines. This means that if you use an RSS reader, like Google Reader, then you will be able to read the full text of the articles selected just for you through that reader.
You can grab your RSS feed from your “Profile” section on idiomag.
November 5th, 2008
So our new splash page has gone live at idiomag. We’ve moved to a much more open approach, which allows visitors to immediately jump into reading about the most popular artists right now. The articles and artists featured on the homepage are all chosen based on idiomag’s assessment of the current hottest artists.
October 20th, 2008
Last week we ran a survey to find out whether you would use idiomag on your mobile handset, and what suggestions and comments you have about this. It was great to get so many responses, and to hear how interested you are in mobile!
As a summary of the results…
The vast majority of people were interested in the fundamentals - getting news, reviews and recommendations based on your favourite artists. I guess that’s obvious.
It was great to hear the huge range of mobile sites/apps that you already use! Here is a wordcloud of your favourite mobile sites (graphic created using wordle).
Based on your feedback, we will certainly be focusing on providing a mobile website with speed and simplicity - to allow you fast and easy access to the latest news and reviews about the artists you love, as well recommendations.
It’s interesting to see that there is a strong Apple following at idiomag… Here is a wordcloud of the phones you use.
Given that a lot of you already use smart phones, we will work to provide flexibility so that those of you who want to, can enjoy a multimedia experience.
We are also interested in the possibilities of integrating with other services, and in the future, possibly with location-based information (such as gigs), to link idiomag into the wider mobile community. Watch this space…
Anyway, thats enough from me. Thanks again for another awesome survey response - and for your messages of support. It always makes us smile when so many of you contribute ideas and thoughts.
October 10th, 2008
Just a quick update…
After the last release, we did a survey to find out what you thought. Based on that we made the following changes:
1. We have removed the article abstracts. Many people said they found them useful, but it was generally agreed that they cluttered the articles.
2. The music player now only plays music specific to each article, as many respondents found that playing music from the whole magazine was confusing. However have no fear, if you still wish to listen to the whole playlist in one go, this is available when you’re on the Dashboard
3. We have been working to solve the video errors: Youtube have introduced geographical restrictions on many music videos, which was causing errors for some of our global users. We’ve reorganised to make sure our videos are available to as many people as possible, and if it isn’t available - it will skip on to the next one!
4. We did a big clean-up of articles, and particularly the spacing within articles to help improve readability. We collect articles from so many different sources that this is a tricky problem, and we’ll be continuing to work on this.
5. We improved the balance of the personalization system, so that for people with wide music interests, your magazine doesn’t focus too much on one area.
6. We introduced a “Sharing Bar” to the article page, so with one click you can post any article to Digg, Facebook, Twitter etc, email it to your friend, or even embed it as a widget on your own page.
Hope that helps improve your idiomag experience. This is only the start, don’t worry if you’re comment wasn’t responded to in the improvements above, we’ll be sorting it soon!
October 2nd, 2008
Over the last week or so, we have released a whole load of improvements which have been in development for months. Most of the improvements were suggested or requested by you, and all of them were only built after a testing group of users gave them the thumbs up. I’d like to compare this release to a mullet. Smart at the front, but a real party happening at the back.
Smart at the front:
So, most obviously we have a completely new version of the interface. We’ve transformed every article into a single page spread, with funky new styling and video playlists. The cover page has also been transformed into a “dashboard” so you can get an immediate fix of the articles and videos selected just for you.
To make navigation easier, we’ve added new ways of finding content. Now, as well as idiomag choosing articles based on your taste, you can search through our complete index of articles. In addition, each article has links to external information and other related artists – so you can now explore to your heart’s content!
So we hope you agree that all makes things more usable and engaging.
Party at the back:
Although we love the sexy new interface, the real fun has happened on the back-end. With this release, we have quadrupled our content volume, to around 11,000 articles a month. This includes a whole range of great blogs, and larger partners like Rollingstone.com. So this means you should now get more of the stuff you really like.
And we haven’t just stopped at content quantity, we have (and are continuing to) implement measures to ensure content is ranked by quality, so that we can give you the best we have at any given time. To this end, we have worked hard on our article processing system, to better categorize the articles, especially ones about small independent artists.
Let us know what you think
September 12th, 2008
Record labels and performance-rights groups have spent the last few years going bezerk about “lost revenue” due to illicit sharing and performance of copyrighted works. They’ve been blaming everyone from P2P networks to Girl Scouts for the steady decline in their profits (which probably has more to do with the ever-growing market for music downloads á la iTunes). It’s funny, then, amidst all these panicking businesspeople, that BMI, one of the USA’s largest performance-rights organisations, has announced a record turnover for the 2008 financial year.
Their press release says they made $901 million this year, and will dispense $786 million in royalties to copyright holders. Imagine that, a global recession looming and your business’ profits only increase 7.2% this year! Time to tighten the belts, maybe?