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Monkey Mag-ic

Though you can see both pages of the mag on screen at the same time, this is almost certainly too small to read unless you have a high resolution 30in display. One click therefore smoothly zooms you in, while another zooms you out again. You can also embed videos directly into the page, and except for the play and scroll bar along the bottom they look just like printed images on the page. The videos can either play within the page or link out to an external site, such as YouTube.

I have to say that In fact, while as broad minded as I like to think I am, I was shocked that that this free and easily accessible magazine linked directly to what was essentially pornography on an external site, with only a mild age check to act as a barrier – which absolutely any kid would simply lie about. Of course when ‘I were a nipper’ Monkeymag itself would have been top shelf material, but as I’m starting to sound like the Daily Mail I’ll leave that issue for another time.

What makes it all so Web 2.0 is how users can interact with the content. As well as turning pages, they can click and drag to create a box, that captures an image which you can then save to a virtual clipboard or email straight to a friend. It’s also possible, should the publisher permit it, to have the searchable content.

Users on Monkeymag can also send videos and have them included in the magazine next week. For example, the mag gives you a chance to vote for your choice of cover-girl for the next week - no need to write a letter, type an email or send a text, you just click on the picture and your vote is counted.

Like I said, it’s Acrobat Reader on steroids. Ceros technology takes PDFs, adds rich media and then pumps it out into a format (CDE) that can be viewed from within the browser.

What’s really impressive though is how well it hides the technology behind it and concentrates on being easy to use. If you can turn the pages of a magazine and also know how to use a computer mouse then you’d be comfortable with a Ceros powered online publication.

Looking at the client list of the Ceros web site from large name publishers such as Dennis, IPC Media, Reed Elsevier, Haymarket and Emap, we can expect to see a lot more publications such as this online in the future and it will be interesting to see how much of an effect it will have on web sites in general. And while it certainly works for low rent material such as Monkeymag, the question is whether it will work for TrustedReviews?

What it clearly demonstrates though is that the Web is really starting to evolve. It’s Web 2.0 in action in a way that will actually mean something, not just for technologists, but for the average person.

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