Media Magazine

One User. One Story. Two Platforms.

Posted on the 17 July 2013 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: Here I was switching platforms in the middle of an interesting story, and doing it almost without realizing it.


I remember last April when Time Warner Medialab released the results of a series of studies of multitasking behaviors. It showed us that keeping people’s attention is not easy (we knew that already). More surprising, however, was the study’s finding: Time Inc. found that during nonworking hours, digital natives are switching platforms every other minute.

I now use those results in everyone of my workshops, but it was only this weekend that I found myself, sort of unconsciously, switching platforms, and all during the reading of one single story.

Let me set the scene:

I was on board Lufthansa 572 from Frankfurt to Johannesburg aboard an Airbus 380, a jumbo with every possible comfort (but no wireless connection on this particular Lufthansa aircraft—YET).  So I had downloaded my entire edition of The New York Times on the iPad to read during the almost 11 hour flight.

On the way to my seat, I picked up a copy of the print edition of the International Herald Tribune and began to read it as soon as I got to my seat, before take off.  I was reading a rather lengthy (and interesting) review of two new books about Hollywood icons Orson Welles and Ava Gardner in the Books section.

Once the plane took off, the lights were dimmed, and truly, the text type in the IHT is rather small for people of a certain age.  But, without thinking much, I turned to my iPad, now that we were at cruising altitude, and picked up the review there, in larger type, with a lighted screen, and finished the story there.

I realized that the switch from one platform to the other was automatic, fast and almost as an unconscious effort. 

Then I realized how great it is that we can do this and adapt the platform to the moment’s needs.

One story, two platforms, one (almost) happy user.

Only thing missing?

There was no difference in the visuals of the print and the iPad versions of this story. I wish I had seen a short clip of Welles’ and Gardner’s movies (Citizen Kane” and “The Barefoot Contessa), or even hear their voices.

I am certain that, as the Times makes leadership changes to highlight its digital talents and capabilities, this will be one of the editors’ top priorities. Can’t wait.

Of related interest:

The two books reviewed in the story:

My Lunches With Orson and Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations

More about the Time Warner study:

What Does That Second Screen Mean for Viewers and Advertisers? Audio is the secret

Leadership changes at The New York Times:

Study finds elders pick web over newspaper, too

TheMarioBlog post # 1294


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