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The Oklahoman online: Any way you want it

by Alan Herzberger Published: June 1, 2014
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I spoke with a subscriber to The Oklahoman last week. He had a request for a specific piece of content on the platform where he gets the daily editions of The Oklahoman.

He likes the stories. But he also wants to see the baseball boxscores and standings every day.

Those conversations usually begin by me asking a few questions to try to determine which one of our products the customer is using. In the case last week, the customer was reading The Oklahoman every day on his Kindle using the feeds we send to Amazon every day.

If you’ve ever read a newspaper on the Kindle, you know that tabbed tables and statistics are not meant to be seen in that format.

Every platform has a limitation, even if it’s subtle. Those limitations are usually not a big deal, unless it’s one of the key things you want in the product you have.

For example, our delivered print editions don’t have bonus national and international content. We have that in our digital products, because there we have unlimited space. Another limitation: The print edition doesn’t give the reader the interactive elements — video isn’t happening on a piece of paper.

We have Oklahoman.com. That solves those limitations. You get bonus content and videos there, but you can’t download it and take it with you somewhere you aren’t connected to the Internet.

You want offline reading? Great. We have our custom-built apps for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices for that. But those products don’t give you the exact layout and design that you get if you are holding the newspaper.

Some people prefer to view the paper like it appears in print — the print replica view.

Well, we have that product, too. You can read The Oklahoman’s Print Replica on your computer or on your iPad in The Oklahoman’s Print Replica app.

So after speaking with our subscriber who reads our Kindle edition each day, I discovered that he would prefer to see the actual newspaper with his digital subscription.

In his case, I recommend our Print Replica product, so I proceeded to tell him more about it. I told him that it’s a replica of the printed newspaper. The baseball standings will be in the sports section every day, just like in print.

Unfortunately, this customer doesn’t have a personal computer at his house, and he decided to give away the iPad he had because he wasn’t using it.

So we’re still trying to find the right product for this customer. That’s one of our challenges as our audience and our product line continues to be more flexible and more digital.

The bottom line is this: We have a variety of offerings for different types of readers who all prefer different types of interactions with our content.

But having a computer, a tablet or a smart phone is an important piece of being a digital subscriber.

 

by Alan Herzberger
Digital Managing Editor
Alan Herzberger is the Digital Managing Editor for NewsOK.com and The Oklahoman. He focuses on content within OPUBCO Communications Group’s variety of digital products. He’s been with The Oklahoman since 1997, when he joined the sports...
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