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All Things Digital reported today that some major content providers, like National Public Radio and The Wall Street Journal, are hurrying to put together new versions of their websites optimized for the iPad. The main difference--no use of Adobe Flash.
NPR is actively working on an iPad-optimized version of their iPhone app, but they're also redesigning the site so that if the site detects that a visitor is using an iPad it will display a different version. NPR's digital media head Kinsey Wilson says they have redesigned their site to make it easier to support multiple versions. He also said that NPR has a sponsor signed up for both the iPad app and the iPad version of the site. Of course the fact that NPR uses very little advertising is an advantage; sites accustomed to selling lots of Flash-based ads will have a more significant transition.
That may be part of the reason The Wall Street Journal isn't committing to an entirely iPad-friendly site. Their front page will be customized, but not all video associated with articles will necessarily be converted from Flash format…at least for now.
Clearly this is an indication that they're expecting a huge iPad audience, or they wouldn't go to the trouble. Advertisers will also want to avoid having to create multiple versions of their ads, and will likely start using tools other than Flash.
Another interesting comment in the Media Memo was a quote from NPR's Wilson about the anticipated audience. He sees iPhone apps as a "very intentional experience" where the user is going for something specific. On the other hand, he also thinks the iPad will be a "lean back device"--which sounds a lot more like the way we think of a television than a computer.