New iPad-only mag taps tablet market, seeks contributors

نوشتهLindsay Kalter
Sep 7, 2011 در Journalism Basics

The Apple iPad may be the newest untapped market for those seeking to start new publications.

This was the idea that inspired Francesca Bassenger to create No Borders Magazine, a world culture and lifestyle "app-zine" for the iPad.

The magazine, which launched August 25 and costs €1.49 a month (about $US1.99), started out as Bassenger's final project at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, where she studied fashion journalism.

In an email Q&A with IJNet, Bassenger discusses the app, the iPad magazine market and how she took No Borders from a college project to iTunes.

IJNet: How did No Borders go from being a school project to an app?

FB: The more I researched my hypothetical market, the more I realized that not only was there a gap for a new iPad app-zine but a necessity.

The process took about 10 months before it hit the AppStore. It involved researching the existing market and the problems within it, forecasting how it was likely to change, designing the user interface (definitely the biggest task), communicating my designs to the developers (I'm a geek but not enough to know coding), defining the target reader, content and the publication's identity, hashing out design problems and functionality...

IJNet: What iPad magazines do you see as the biggest competition for No Borders?

FB: There aren't any direct competitors at the moment.

Existing magazines generally fall into one of two categories... they are either exact replicas of an existing print publication, displayed on a screen with some gimmicky visual bits thrown in (if you’re lucky).

Or, they’re apps designed especially for the iPad but with a heavy focus on videos, animations and more visual gimmicks, with little thought to any real content. All of the content is original to No Borders -- there are a lot of apps that collate news, features and images from across the web and just present it to readers -- but No Borders is all original content.

IJNET: What are some of the most innovative features -- both in terms of functionality and content-- on No Borders?

FB: In terms of functional features, I would say that the one people seem to like the most is the ability to scroll through galleries of high-quality full page images without leaving the layout of the article.

Content-wise, it would probably be the Zeitgeist Galleries. These are image galleries of five or six photo-journalistic images taken in a particular city at a particular time, summing up the atmosphere there. They’re always accompanied by a profile on the contributing photographer.

IJNet: Is No Borders looking for contributors now?

FB: Absolutely. We need as many hands on deck as possible to get as much of that covered as we can. At the moment unfortunately everyone is working voluntarily, including me. The contributors are predominantly graduates or those just starting out and do it for the sake of getting their work published. In that sense we all help each other out, I need great contributors, and great contributors need to get their names known.

Contact Bassenger for information about No Borders at Fran@nobordersmagazine.com