Technology is mind-blowingly inspiring to me. -J.J. Abrams, Director and Screenwriter
In 2007, legendary director and screenwriter J.J. Abrams (creator of LOST and director of the 2009 Star Trek movie, among many other incredibly addictive storylines) gave a TED Talk in which he explored how advances in technology have suddenly let filmmakers do incredible things with storytelling. A man getting sucked into the engine of a jet? Now possible! An extensive recreation of Star Wars' Tatooine? Also possible! The things we can now do on TV and in movies is limited only by our imagination - and we're at the same point with digital publishing today.
Incredible creativity in digital media is being unlocked by technology. We have the opportunity to publish in real-time, on any device, instantaneously across platforms. We may even incorporate brand messages sometimes. Today you can publish a 140 character message on Twitter and hit 10 million people in one shot. Of course, we still take a lot of inspiration from printed magazines but it's dramatically easier to invent new features, to give editors a brand new authoring environment.
At Say Media, our little black box of tricks comes in the shape of Tempest. The ability to create beautiful, scalable online media experiences has always been limited by existing cobbled-together systems. But that all changes with Tempest. Tempest is built from the ground up to support the specific needs of the modern digital magazine. We partner with leading digital magazines to give them a best-in-class publishing platform and professional services, allowing them to focus on their content, their readers, and their business instead of their technology.
And it let's us create beautiful new experiences like Adaptive Ads, the first technology to seamlessly incorporate quality content and brand messaging on any device.
For the editors it makes their lives a whole lot easier because we give them tools to create rich interactive stories. For readers it's cleaner and less cluttered - the content is front and center and the interface gets out of the way. And for brands, their messaging has the opportunity to be integrated into this environment in novel and beautiful ways.
Tempest is hosted by Say Media, which means it's reliable and scalable - and reduces publishers' hosting and development costs to zero. Even better, Tempest is updated daily, so it's constantly getting better across all the digital magazines that are using it.
The crux of this is about creating an enhanced user experience which is suited to the time we live in. Forget page views, brands want engagement and we want to create media for humans. Just look at some of these examples - xoVain, ReadWrite, Lifetimemoms. Instantly you can see high levels of integration, seamless design dramatically changing the way media is created and consumed.
The media companies of the future are based upon the foundation of technology and having your own technology in place means you can innovate faster and keep making things better. While good strong editorial with a point of view should be the standard in any publishing house, it's great technology that's bringing digital media experiences a little closer to magic.
Paps Shaikh is European GM of Say Media. Follow him on Twitter @papscallion.