Content for human consumption please.

The most striking thing you will notice when using a iPad is how the
content delivered on the iPad is much easier to follow than the
content delivered on most websites. Take for example, the iPad
application from the New York Times. Compare that application to the
New York Times actual website and it becomes obvious that the New York
Times website is designed more for computer consumption than human
consumption. At the bottom of the New York Times website their are 31
links. I’ve never looked at the bottom of a website for anything other
then a companies contact information, have you?

I’m not picking on the New York Times. Just compare every media
companies app to their website. It’s like night and day. Everyone is
guilty of “search engine optimization” and the New York Times is good
at finding that balance, other media companies are much much worse.
Besides search engine optimization, it’s too common for media websites
to create annoying photo collages in a way that forces you to load a
new page for every image you want to see, this is because page-views
are important for selling advertisements. So most content websites you
find are both “page-view optimized” and “search engine optimized.”

But on the iPad these optimizations don’t help much because of the way
apps are structured and because the web economics hasn’t caught up yet
to apps. I hope it doesn’t. For now, iPad apps and iPad optimized
websites are built for engagement, readability and usability. But
shouldn’t all content display engines be built this way?

The web is kinda screwed up.

Advertising sold within apps are sold based on the amount of user
engagement, how much time they spend within the app, how many users
are actually using the app. That is refreshing. Now Apple is coming
out with their new advertising platform. I hope they get it right. If
advertising continues to be sold based on page-views and if a key
metric for a web sites success is the numbers of visitors they get
from search engines then the leading online media companies won’t be
the ones that employ journalist, but those that employ writers, human
or otherwise.

Related reading:
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/ad-driven_content_is_it_crossing_the_lin…
http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/14/vox-populi-vox-forbes/