The Daily Is a Dinosaur


Mark Potts slams Rupert Murdoch's heavily hyped new iPadpaper, The Daily:

It's like a CD-Rom, but it UPDATES ITSELF EVERY MORNING! Also, there's no keyboard.

There are virtually no links in The Daily. Its interaction with social tools like Twitter and Facebook is perfunctory, at best. There are symbols hinting at Facebook, Twitter or e-mail sharing, but when you tap them a warning pops up that says, "This article is only available in The Daily app." Gee, helpful. Comments seem to be attached to pages, not individual stories. The interface is pleasant, but a little clunky and stiff. And don't even think about aggregating content from The Daily. It's largely verboten….

Maybe most incredibly, The Daily truly is…daily. It gets published in the morning, and that's basically it. While the world is riveted today by the violence in Cairo, the premier issue of The Daily leads with an outdated story about yesterday's peaceful million-man march in Tahrir Square. This is intentional, apparently. While The Daily's app supports more frequent updates, PaidContent quotes The Daily's editor, Jesse Angelo, as saying, "I don't want another site that's constantly updating." (Okaaay. Good luck with that.)

Despite its vaguely slick veneer, The Daily is yet another symptom of a running problem with traditional news people trying to bring traditional news products into the digital age: They just don't seem to understand the current state of the technology and the way audiences use it. They seem to think multimedia glitz is all that's needed, even though, in digital news, we've been there, done that.

Whenever I see the latest whizbang attempt to create a news app for the iPad, I wonder whether the creators were paying any attention to what was happening in the early '90s, when the first multimedia CD-ROM news prototypes and products were showing up. CNN, for instance, had a terrific CD-ROM news prototype in 1992 that was every bit as good as the overhyped Sports Illustrated tablet prototype that surfaced in late 2009. Newsweek published a quarterly CD-ROM product in the early '90s whose presentation and features weren't very far removed from what The Daily is doing. The delivery method is different—tablets vs. clunky desktop PCs—but the products are remarkably similar. It's as if multimedia news presentation concepts have been frozen in amber for 15-plus years—and completely ignorant of the revolution in interactivity and social connectivity. The digital world has moved on; news providers apparently haven't.

NEXT: Yes, but How Big Is the National Debt in Football Terms?

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  1. Wait, people didn’t want to receive their news on a CD-ROM? Even though it was on a quarterly basis?

  2. I’m not getting a tablet until they surpass laptops in processing power.

  3. I think the actual fuckup here is that the audience for a walled-off slow-mo non-interactive whatzis and the audience for things sold as “Rupert Murdoch’s” don’t overlap much.

    Times Weekender types would totally fall for this kind of crap?especially if it cost way more.

    What you’re selling if you’re in the iPad news app biz is an icon that’s recognizable at a glance as a status marker/mating signal. You can fill the thing with whatever old shit’s lying around if you get that part right.

    1. I only know two people who have iPads and they both got them for free (one from work to test, one from work as a gift). I have yet to be acquainted with someone who would actually spend the money for one of those things.

      1. I hate the iPad — a computer without a keyboard is about as appealing to me as a car without a wheel. But at least there’s a market for it. I’m not sure there’s a market for an iPad-specific, link-averse publication that updates just once a day.

        1. My iPad is pretty much a paperweight, a glorified iPhone. A Kindle is much more practical.

          1. If the iPad had a phone app, it would be much more useful.

        2. In your car analogy, which wheel would be missing? There are at least 5 wheels and I’m thinking that the functionality between the 5 is somewhat different. The removal of an individual wheel is sure to have varying degrees of limitation of functionality per the wheel removed.

          1. I assume you’re kidding, but just in case I really was unclear: I meant the steering wheel.

              1. HOLY SHIT that is funny.

                I love TG

              2. I remember those. Wouldn’t want to drive one of them either. But if I had to choose between a Reliant Robin and a car with a “touch interface,” I’d take the Robin.

        3. I’m not sure what I think of pad computers, but they are selling. A lot people are switching from laptops to pads. Makes most sense if you are primarily a consumer of media.

        4. an ipad has a keyboard.

            1. We are ALL iPad.

      2. I have something similar to an iPad, except it has a physical keyboard, optical drive (read/write), three USB inputs, a 14.4″ screen, 150 GB more memory, more RAM, Flash support, a navigable file structure, etc.

        In all seriousness, my dad has one and loves it, but I guess it’s for people like him who don’t really want to dig too deep into what a computer’s capable of. I’m okay with that. But I think the real future is in merging the nice features (i.e. touchscreen, weight) with a full-blown laptop.

        1. Exactly. I know several people with ipads…. they’re all over the age of 50. I’m sure there are plenty of tech testers who have them, but they are business write-offs to them so they don’t count. Basically it’s an ipod for people who can’t see small print anymore.

  4. No doubt about it dude, we are talking total stone age for sure!

  5. While The Daily’s app supports more frequent updates, PaidContent quotes The Daily’s editor, Jesse Angelo, as saying, “I don’t want another site that’s constantly updating.” (Okaaay. Good luck with that.)

    Well at least they can change their mind about that totally stupid plan.

  6. “I don’t want another site that’s constantly updating.” (Okaaay. Good luck with that.)

    Well, I always wanted to know what happened right after the Big Bang-they may as well start art the beginning.

    1. And when I say “Big Bang”, I’m talking about what happened at my apartment last night with my dealer and his friends! Pictures on my blog!

      1. You are nothing but predictable

        1. Fuck of helle- Im sikc of your shit. stop spooffing me.

          1. Bitch go ahead but be creative; I think you should be banned for stupidity

  7. There are virtually no links in The Daily. … “This article is only available in The Daily app.” … The interface is pleasant, but a little clunky and stiff. And don’t even think about aggregating content from The Daily. … It gets published in the morning, and that’s basically it.

    There’s a word for this: newspaper.

    It’s amazing what people think passes for innovation, I guess.

  8. No twitter and facebook links?

    Thank god!

    1. Fun fact:

      Reason H&R loads the Twitter API and then makes expensive client-side calls to determine how many people have tweeted each individual story. It does this around two dozen times on its main page. That’s why it’s so slow.

      Now this could all be fixed by doing one server-side call every 5-15 minutes or so, then storing and serving the results, but hey.

      1. Wise guy, eh? Get ‘im, boys!

      2. basckseat squirrling

        I will PULL THIS CAR OVER!…Without the WHEEL!

      3. Time to kill another squirrel and hang the carcass on the front door of the Squirrel department.

  9. I liked Gawker’s comment on it:

    At one point in the presentation, Angelo was even touting The Daily by pointing out that a television review contained a link to IMDB. Later, someone bragged about a direct link to the Apple Store. Woah, slow down with the innovation there, guys!

  10. Ha ha. I’m seeing an ad for “Cairo condos for $20 a night. Book online now!”

  11. An analogy can be made comparing how old media sees and attempts to mold new media into its own image and the movie moguls and how they viewed the advent of television. Seeing it only as a novelty, at first they fought it, then they tried to model it on the movies, then they failed to keep up with it, then they made movies that went directly to it.

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