Here on 10,000 Words, we’ve shown you a few tips on how to define your newsroom’s mobile presence, as well as some other helpful tips for reaching news junkies on the second screen. A recent report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism showed that 53% of tablet owners are daily news consumers. And while the iPad still dominates the tablet marketplace, Android tablets are popping up all over the place this holiday season from manufacturers like HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. Even Amazon has recently entered the fray with their own Android-powered tablet device: the Kindle Fire. Google continues their rapid-fire push into the tablet arena with their latest application: Google Currents.
Google Currents allows users to browse their favorite magazines, newspapers and websites in an attractive and elegant format. Google has joined with over 150 publishing partners to offer content, including Saveur, Popular Science, Fast Company, ProPublica, Forbes, The Atlantic, and more. Consumers have over 180 editions of formatted content to choose from once they download the app to their Android or iOS device. But the best thing about Google Currents is that anyone can create their editions for the app. Google has created an intuitive self-service platform that gives you the ability to customize, brand and style your Google Currents edition to match your organization or website. (Note: the Google Currents app is only available in the US, but users worldwide can create their own editions.)
Creating a Google Currents edition is quick and easy. Visit the Google Currents Publisher website and log in with your Google Account. (Note: Google Currents Publisher currently can only be accessed using Google Chrome.) Once you agree to the terms of service, you’ll be presented with the modal box you see above. At this step, you only need to fill out the name of your edition. You can also change this name later in the building process. Alternatively, you can quickly create an edition based on your website’s RSS feed or YouTube channel. Once you have your information ready, click the “Create” button. This will bring you to the Google Currents Producer page.
As you can see, there are links to the left where you can add additional sections to your edition, manage your articles and media library, create access levels for administering the edition, and a link to distribute the finished edition to the Google Currents app. There’s also a handy simulator to the right which approximates how your completed edition will look on both Android and iOS devices. You can also open this simulation in another window and change the orientation of the simulator.
You’re not limited to only using RSS feeds and YouTube channels for your Google Currents edition. Clicking on the “Sections” link at the left brings up a menu of additional modules you can add to your edition, including articles imported from Google Docs, HTML, or ePub, photos pulled from Flickr or Picasa, or social updates from Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. (Note: you will need to know the RSS feed for either your Facebook page or your Twitter profile in order to add these modules.)
Once you have added your sections and customized the edition with an icon and a splash image, you’re ready to distribute your edition to the Google Currents application. Click the “Distribute” button, and you’ll be presented with QR codes you can scan to test the edition on your physical Android or iOS device. After you are done testing, click the “Distribute to Google Currents” section header under Distribute, and then click “Publish”. Any changes that you make to the edition after publishing will be immediately seen by readers once they sync the Google Currents application. Google Currents also provides you with a URL you can use to share the edition via social networks or other means. Publishers can even revoke the public edition if necessary.
Congratulations! You have now created your own Google Currents edition! This is a simple and free way to share your content with mobile users without having to create a separate mobile presence. What are some Google Chrome editions that you enjoy? Let us know in the comments!