Originally Posted by SpotOn
Children and some adults might be interested in interactive content in publications to keep themselves occupied, but most adults in general are bombarded with enough information as it is without having to work more and pay more on top of it.
You certainly have a point in regards to gimmicky interactivity.
But multimedia is not bad in itself. And each bit of information has an ideal way of being presented.
Opinions and background stories are typically best expressed in words.
Yet to describe a work of art, or the extent of a natural disaster with words is not ideal, a picture will always tell you more.
And people's reactions, a performance or any kind of motion will always be best conveyed by a movie clip.
With the iPad the WSJ has the chance to break out of its mere text (and occasional image/video) form into true multimedia.
This is why the iPad edition will also be more expensive.
But you are right if those are only used as added bells and whistles with little extra information, then it is going to be a waste of money.
It will be up to the WSJ to make the right decisions on which story is best told via words, images, interactive charts or movie clips.
But the mixture can be better than any of these on their own.
And then it is worth spending a little extra on.
Essentially it is doing exactly what you ask for:
help you fight the information overflow by using the best medium to get each story across the fastest.
And I am still convinced that touch computing is too nascent for most people to really grasp. They cannot see the point.
Yet there is no point in 'understanding' it. You have to physically experience it. And for a while - and then go back to a mouse, pointing stick or touchpad.
It's like trying to understand the subtle flavors of an award winning food creation - without ever tasting it. You will not understand the point.
The way I see it is that human-computer interaction will also go the 'multimedia way':
there is no one best way to interact with a computer, instead use whatever medium is best for the intended computing use at hand.
Certain computing uses will always benefit from a keyboard. Others will require large screens. Many artists already use pen tablets because a mouse just doesn't do it.
And eventually there will be computing uses that work best with a good touch interface.
And I think people will be surprised at how many those will be!
It won't be just eBook reading and web browsing! There will be many uses we don't really use a computer for today.
with friends on an iPad will work much better than on a laptop or mobile phone. Those just aren't ideal. I would never consider opening up my laptop in a restaurant to show pictures to friends. That'd be really awkward, especially if you want to show 2 or more people at the same time as only people in front of the laptop can see the screen. Yet with an iPad this will all be very natural.
Or think of digital board games
. You can place the iPad down on a table and play a game of chess, backgammon or monopoly very easily with friends. Again, this would be very awkward on a laptop computer or a tablet with pen input.