Apropos of the article I blogged yesterday about the opportunities the iPad presents for publishing, now Mike Masnick at TechDirt looks at plans to put Sports Illustrated and Wired on tablets such as the iPad and asks the question, “Why wouldn’t these forms of content also work on the web?”
As Masnick points out, there is nothing inherent to the idea of an electronic version of a magazine that would prevent it from working on a plain desktop or laptop PC. But it does seem that a lot of magazine and newspaper publishers have gone “tablet crazy” lately, up to and including designing their own tablet devices.
Perhaps it has to do with the old saw that people don’t like to read on the computer, and it took the development of some new hardware that wasn’t quite a computer but wasn’t as limited as an e-reader before publishers started taking the idea seriously.
There is also some discussion in the comment thread that suggests other reasons: the delivery control Apple’s closed iPad environment offers, for example.
Regardless, it would be nice if these tablet magazine formats could also be backported to work on the web, or at least have versions available for the PC.