Monday, January 11, 2010

From Print to Phone to Web. And a Sale?

Print may be a flat medium, but that has not stopped magazine publishers from trying to add dimension to their pages. For at least a decade, they have been experimenting with bar codes and icons that could take readers to Web sites, trying to add a bit of Internetlike interactivity to their pages.


But the average consumer did not own a bar-code reader — until now. With the sudden ubiquity of smartphones, which have apps that can read bar codes, and cameraphones, which can easily snap pictures of icons, magazines like Esquire and InStyle are adding interactive graphics to their articles, while Entertainment Weekly and Star are including them in ads.


Meanwhile, publishers using text-messaging programs to try to enliven their pages are packing information into the messages and using reader responses to calibrate their coverage.

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