The reboot of The Loop is in many ways about the Glide platform and what Harris and his team have been able to do with an arena that many have written off as hopeless. iPad (and iPhone) publishing is a melange of bad repackaging and slapdash coding that hasn’t done much to make Apple’s tablet the savior of magazines it was touted as. Even the hot platforms of the moment like Prss leave a lot to be desired and require complex web content management.
The way Glide uses Dropbox is awesome and it’s so simple:
The Dropbox folder contains an hierarchy of folders that lay out the issues and articles, and you simply drop text, image and video files into their appropriate spots. The changes are reflected live in the administration app, called Glide Creator. And it’s truly collaborative as well; Harris says that 100 people should be able to work on the same project at once without trouble. The publications are scaled using an Amazon S3 instance which syncs with Dropbox using a Glide service.
The files inside the project define what you see on the device, and the device is always providing you with a canonical view of what your finished product will look like. There is no web CMS or imperfect simulation. You’re simply always seeing exactly what the publication will look like when it’s pushed live for your customers.
Is magazine publishing back? Well it seems so, at least in digital. It’ll be interesting to see if more outlets use Glide going forward, especially the big boys like The New York Times.