Moderator, Tom Krazit, Senior Writer, paidContent/GigaOM:
Rob Malda, Chief Strategist and Editor-at-Large, Labs Team, Washington Post: Have projects on all sides of the debate. Have apps and HTML5 and agnostic as to which to use. Pick whatever work with the content. If want your stuff to work everywhere then HTML5 is the way to go. Unless have a very specific reason to go native code then will be much faster to go to HTML5. A lot of folks will go hybrid. Can do this if have enough employees to go native plus HTML5, but not good for start-up with few people. For Android, have to look at each device individually.
Jeff Moriarty, VP, Digital Products, The Boston Globe and Boston.com: Redesigned Boston.com. Used a responsive design technique, for example detected your screen size and display accordingly. Out about 6 months and seeing good numbers. Will work on all devices. 20K paid subscribers @ 15/month after six months. Apps in the future, but no reason to use them for news content. Most users don’t know what a “web app” is yet and is difficult to explain. Went to web app because wanted to be available on as many devices as possible. Actually worked on an Apple Newton! Something has to give in transitioning advertising to mobile devices. Current technology doesn’t work well.
Mark Johnson, CEO, Zite: As a start-up almost have to use an app, but not necessary for an established company with a web presence. Apps are the distribution platform for a start-up. It’s a discoverability question not a technology question. Will need a discovery application for apps. Zite is largely an HTML5 application and took it a lot of time to make it as snappy as an app. Can develop quickly in NTML5 but hare to optimize it to look as fast as an app. Can’t forget the UI. If people don’t like it won’t get the downloads. One huge advantage of HTML is that you can do updates without doing an app update. Enables you to bypass the app store. Looking at ways to bring Zite’s technology to CNN. CNN has left them pretty much alone. Second most used thing on an iPad, after email, is news reading. Users have a problem right now- there is too much content and they have trouble dealing with it. Exploring new business models is the only thing you can do right now to save publishing because advertising won’t do it.