Dinamalar’s iPaper version is a great step ahead for online newspapers

Earlier this week, given our drive to Coimbatore and to Coonoor, I was anxiously looking at the weather reports (on weather warnings of heavy rain) and the local Tamil newspapers for updates on landslides on the Coimbatore to Coonoor route.

Apart from Dinakaran’s epaper, I also stumbled on Dinamalar’s iPaper! I hadn’t known that they had an iPaper and that piqued my curiosity, on why it was called so, as against the standard ‘epaper’. What Dinamalar has done with iPaper is quite unique! Take a look! (I did a video screen-grab and converted the .mov file into an animated GIF. Click on each image to see the animated GIF effect if it doesn’t play automatically).

Here’s the front-page, bottom-right advertisement for Honda Amaze. The car colours change, along with a headlight glow!

In this page, there are 2 elements – some of the photos act like a carousel and keep changing. Plus, notice the play button in some stories – when clicked, they play videos directly in that slot! (Click on the image to see the animated GIF effect if it doesn’t play automatically)

This is mighty impressive – a full-page ad for TVS where all the bikes’ headlights glow in unison! (Click on the image to see the animated GIF effect if it doesn’t play automatically)

This ad for Maruti Suzuki is similar to the one for Honda Amaze. (Click on the image to see the animated GIF effect if it doesn’t play automatically)

In the mobile version (which is not accessible from the mobile browser, but asks the user to download the mobile app), the effect for the car coloursĀ is magnified – while the colour changing happens, when you double-click on the car, it comes to the fore and becomes a swipe-able colour-changer!

Other nifty ideas include embedded videos where the videos for the daily astrological predictions have a video ‘play’ call-to-action – very apt for that segment of content! It looks even better in the mobile app version where you can read it or click to play!

There are embedded videos almost all through the iPaper edition and all of them are over a text element, so you can choose to read either the text or watch the video by clicking on it!

I searched for the announcement from Dinamalar on this innovative iPaper version and found it from August this year! Looks like a fairly new idea. But I must say they have executed it well and it’s a significant step ahead from the staid epaper version. It does look far more interesting and interactive than either a text-version of a newspaper or the epaper version. As the announcement says, they also have click-to-call and click-to-email! That’s mighty innovative too and can help brands track the impact of their ads on the digital version pretty well!

PS: I’m in Coonoor now and the weather is perfect. Incidentally, I stepped into a small, quaint Gujarati tea shop called The Chai Wala’s on Church Road (near the Gateway Hotel where we’re staying) and picked a book off the shelf mainly for the name of the author – Mansoor Khan.

I know that Aamir Khan’s cousin, director Mansoor Khan (of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar fame) lives in Coonoor, but I picked it up wondering if this is the same Mansoor. As I read the book’s blurb, I decided it wasn’t because it seemed completely removed from anything I know of Mansoor Khan the director. But as I moved to the foreword, I noticed a couple of names (Mansoor’s wife, kids) and remembered those names from a recent news report of Aamir and Kiran’s trip to Coonoor and photo captions of the same names! It IS the same Mansoor! What an interesting man, to write a book on such a different topic!

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