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Building a Pocket-Sized Heritage

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, October 20 2010

Taking and running with my mini-review of the field of think tank iPhone apps, Heritage's Robert Bluey writes that the absence of categories, something I'd considered a bug in Heritage's app is, yes, a feature:

Heritage set out to design an app that would address this trend of news consumption. We wanted to simplify the way users consume our latest content — in much the same way people read the latest news on the Huffington Post app or scan headlines on the New York Times app.

But we also wanted to make it different from, which already performs very well on the iPhone. While the website organizes information by topic and features a robust search, the app displays the content chronologically. Scola criticized the decision, but it was intentional.

National Journal’s research indicates the focus of mobile usage is on recent and breaking stories. It made sense that Heritage app users would be looking for our perspective on the latest issues brewing on Capitol Hill. With so many congressional staffers addicted to their mobile devices, it should be a welcome addition.

Bluey's piece is a nice little bit of insight into the thinking going into a think tank's app in its earliest days. What role Washington (or Washington-ish) think tanks play in a world where everyone's got Google and a soapbox is something that more places than just Heritage are trying to navigate.