Telling your readers where to go. Literally.

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

The decisions that newspapers make around “serving” their readers just astound me sometimes. Dave Winer on accessing the New York Post via his iPad:

Today I was told by the Post that I couldn’t read the article on the web at all. If I wanted to read the Post on my iPad I would have to download the app.

Okay this is bad. This is breaking the web. If no one used the iPad it wouldn’t matter. But lots of people use it.

I wonder how Apple feels about this? I can’t imagine they like it. I can see the ads now. “Get an Android tablet to read the web.”

This shows, to me, an utter lack of respect for the reader. It’s a dictatorial move, forcing people to access their content only in the NYP-approved manner. And that seems like a very quick way to destroy any remaining relationship with the reader. Block me from seeing content solely based on the device I’m using? That’s none of your damn business. And that’s what you’ll be getting from me: none of my damn business.

Oh, and Winer highlights a related issue that’s bugged me, too:

Another thing I find really annoying is that shows me something vastly different when I look at one of their sites when I come on an iPad. It’s the stupid trend du jour. Everyone thinks that everyone reading on the iPad wants Flipboard. If I wanted it, I would read the web using Flipboard.

The iPad’s web browser is ideal for viewing standard, regular web pages. You DO NOT need a special mobile version of a web page for an iPad.

As an aside, Winer has a moving piece up about his Dad, which is appropriate for Father’s Day. I’ve published my own meditations elseblog.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.