GENWI Combines Backend Data, Mobile Platform For Publishers

Mobile media should not adopt the inefficiencies of Web publishing, says PJ Gurumohan, CEO at GENWI, a cloud-based publishing platform for mobile devices. But there are hundreds of devices today that require a variety of file structures. And what happens when publishers have 20 versions and need to make a small change to an ad or content?

Smartphone and tablet makers could become the saviors of publishers looking to generate profit from content and backend data on the Web. GENWI, as in generation wireless, creates a direct channel with consumers through a mobile publishing platform that sits on the cloud. The automated content management system integrates data. It doesn't offer targeted advertising today, but with a few tweaks it surely could, Gurumohan says.

Gurumohan defines a publisher as any online magazine or retail store churning out newsletters or lifestyle videos for Web consumption. In this case, that consumption happens on mobile devices. Using the fashion focused Wmagazine as an example, Gurumohan explains how the platform agregates daily updates from articles, videos and images and pushes it into a content management system distributed through the publication. The mobile application links to shopping pages where people click and buy products. Retailers sponsor content in the app.

The platform combines analytics, such as the number of views, with the ability to curate the content through multiple sources. The most popular content being shared on Facebook, for example, can become the newsletter or catalog. The publisher only needs to create a category, check a box in the CMS and publish the content, seeing results in real time.

The system indexes the content, allowing users to search on keywords or metadata. People want to see what's new, but also want to search for older content. The platform uses inverted indexing based on an open source system called Apache Lucene.

In the early days, search became a method to find content. No packaging or direct relationships existed. Developing in-app search not only creates new possibilities for collecting data on the backend, or finding content more easily, but also offers up options to target and retarget ads in the application or the publication. And if a publisher wanted to build specialty publications focusing on clothing or sailboats, it could. 

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