Friday, November 23, 2007

Content Serving and Guanxi

The Exact Editions content management service is being used by a good number of publications and organizations to showcase their literature. These applications may have nothing at all to do with the consumer magazines service which is hosted at

But our servers, our scripts and our databases are doing the work and we have a capacity to deliver these third party services so that the content served is branded for the publisher. This is an interesting set of features.

Here are a few examples of our silent third party work. The Scientist magazine is now providing open access to its current issue, and supplying an alert service to its 'controlled circulation' audience. You can sample the current issue here:

In fact, I particularly recommend the current issue which has an intriguing article on 'Open Access' by Joe Esposito. He offers this arresting thought

Note that this particular issue will only be on open access till the December issue appears. After which time clicking on the clipping above will take you to a log-in page.

Another service which shows how the content can be delivered with a completely different look and feel is available from the international charity, INEE (the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies:
Note from the Table of Contents that the icons, the surrounding 'furniture' of the page, and the highlights for page numbers, have been adapted to the colour scheme of the sponsor.

For well over a year we have been powering an open access version of The Publican magazine. The substantial archive is available at The current issue has a fascinating piece about a brand extension of which I was completely unaware 'Pimms Winter'.

'Pimms in Winter' its pretty much an oxymoron. Do you think they had to go to Henley or Ascot to shoot the teapot with its snowy field?

The last example of Exact Editions providing a content service for a third party that I want to mention is for Guanxi, business and culture newsletters for the Chinese market.
I have absolutely no idea what the ideograms that accompany the title mean. Presumably they mean 'Guanxi', whatever that means! ('Savoir faire' may be one of the closer European approximations.)But it is very reassuring that our system picks up the ideograms from the PDF file and uses them appropriately in the title legend, and in the crawler bar. We none of us speak a word of Chinese but its encouraging to see our software doing the right things by, with, and from, Unicode in the PDF.

An ideogram in a JPEG is just a collection of bits, but the right ideogram in the metadata, now there is a small but significant step on the way to the universal digital library that all publishers are building. If we treat print right, respect it, use it and enhance it, Gutenberg-stuff will work better in the digital sphere -- really its a matter of guanxi.

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