Recently, MIT (News - Alert) SMR released a Web app specifically geared for tablets that looks to make publishing across multiple platforms a lot easier for small publications to handle. The app itself makes the SMR content a lot simpler to get hands on, but it also serves as a potential means to make multi-platform operations much simpler for other publishers as well.
The new MIT SMR app, developed by a coalition of MIT SMR and Modern Tribe, took several of its cues from the increasing use of WordPress as CMS, which in turn gave smaller teams an easy way to access a simple publishing tool that removed the need for multiple platforms. This lead to the MIT SMR app, which not only offers up both new and archived MIT SMR content alike, but also offers the ability to work on all types of tablet devices without the need for extra downloads and updates, a slider menu that allows content to easily be moved through with just a gesture, a design specifically set up for better readability, and not only support for the Retina display, but also a downright encouragement to use it with the addition of lots of extra photography in the mix.
The content available in the MIT SMR app is available on something of a tiered release system, with some of it available to everybody, another chunk available to registrants, and a final bit available strictly for subscribers. Sean M. Brown, director of digital media for MIT SMR, explained the app as “a remarkable, unique, best-in-class tablet reading experience using the kind of open technology approach that MIT is known for.”
This serves as an excellent example of not only a means to do a job, but also of a wider development in publishing in general. Not only is more content coming available online, much like MIT SMR's content, but the differences in what can access online content are becoming more pronounced. Content that displayed just fine on a computer monitor or a laptop screen doesn't always adapt well to a smartphone or a tablet, so ensuring that content displays well across all devices that can access it helps ensure that the content will prove useful to the largest numbers of people. The more people find the content useful, the more people will come back for it.
The MIT SMR app should serve as a solid example of content provision across a wide variety of devices, and will likely give other small publishers some solid ideas of their own to modify their content delivery systems for the wide array of mobile devices currently available.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli