With the iPad launch date fast approaching, Media Memo reports that both the Wall Street Journal and NPR are developing custom versions of their websites to make them more accessible and engaging for iPad users.
Kinsey Wilson, who oversees digital media for NPR, says he has been able to create a new version of his Web site–while keeping the existing one up and running for other visitors–because of the site recent redesign, which split up the data that powers the site from its presentation layer. In English, this means NPR can swap out the site’s facade while keeping its plumbing and foundation intact.
Just as important: NPR only runs a smattering of advertising, in the form of sponsorships it sells to a handful of marketers. This means it doesn’t have to worry about how to handle the Web ad ecosystem, which depends on Flash. Wilson says NPR has locked up a launch sponsor for both the iPad app and the custom site.
And by custom designed, they essentially mean sans Flash, not the crappy mobile websites “optimized” for the iPhone that you run into every now and again.