NewspaperDirect Enables Publishers to Better Engage Readers with Reader Comment and Community Features

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New community features launched on world's biggest online newspaper kiosk instantly turn any newspaper into a virtual watercooler where readers can comment on content and quality of reporting, and interact with other readers

Readers can add their comments to any story in the newspaper

The proliferation of user-generated discussion on other social media tells us that readers want to engage with reporters, editors and other readers. Giving customers what they want helps increase reader loyalty and retention -- critical success factors for online profitability of publishers.

NewspaperDirect Inc., the world leader in multi-channel newspaper and magazine content distribution and monetization, has introduced new powerful reader comment and community features into the hundreds of digital editions available on PressDisplay.com and SmartEdition e-papers. By opening up hundreds of electronic editions of some of the world's most prestigious newspapers to reader comments, NewspaperDirect enables publishers to instantly add advanced 'social media' features to their publications and let their readers be a part of the story.

The latest version of PressDisplay, the world's largest online newspaper kiosk, makes it easy for registered readers to add their comments to any story -- essentially enabling popular blog features in over 700 mainstream newspapers. The new community-building features highlight which articles are receiving the most reader reactions, and which articles are rated by readers as well written. A reader's comments are also aggregated on their profile page.

"Today's internet-savvy readers are much more proactive in sharing their opinions online, and the more progressive publishers are recognizing that in order to continue to be current and relevant they must make a successful transition to the social Web," said Alex Kroogman, CEO of NewspaperDirect. "The proliferation of user-generated discussion on other social media tells us that readers want to engage with reporters, editors and other readers. Giving customers what they want helps increase reader loyalty and retention -- critical success factors for online profitability of publishers."

The new community and reader-comment features on PressDisplay.com are a game-changing development for publishers and readers alike. With traditional printed newspapers, readers write letters to the editor in the hope that they might make it into a future edition of the newspaper. But, due to the economics of print, most letters never make it into the printed edition. However with PressDisplay.com and SmartEdition e-papers, readers can instantly add a comment to any article in the newspaper and be assured that their opinions and ideas will be seen in the context of that article.

"At Newspapers & Technology, we constantly see publishers looking for innovations that will deliver more value to their readers," said Mary L. Van Meter, publisher for Newspapers & Technology. "NewspaperDirect has once again set the bar higher by making their SmartEditions and PressDisplay.com titles much more than just digital editions of printed publications. With NewspaperDirect, newspapers become online communities for readers to ask questions, share opinions and learn from each other."

Moderation of comments is managed by the readers themselves with the help of a "Report Abuse" link that immediately notifies NewspaperDirect Digital Support of any comment that requires review. Publishers are also provided with support tools should they choose to moderate comments on their own publications.

About NewspaperDirect Inc.:
Founded in 1999, NewspaperDirect Inc. is the world leader in multi-channel newspaper and magazine content distribution and monetization. NewspaperDirect offers more than 700 newspaper and magazine titles through a global network of 1,200 print locations in 105 countries, delivering them to hotels, libraries, cruise ships, corporate offices, retail outlets, home subscribers, and Web browsers everywhere.

The company's PressDisplay.com offering is the world's largest online newspaper kiosk, providing instant access to hundreds of newspapers and magazines from around the world. Users can view publications online, download titles for offline viewing, vote and comment on articles, instantly translate articles into 12 different languages, listen to publications on their PCs, Macs or mobile devices, and enjoy reading hundreds of publications that have been optimized for Smart Phones, iPhones, iPod Touch and BlackBerry devices. Special versions of PressDisplay.com are available for the library, corporate, airline, hotel and OEM markets.

NewspaperDirect's SmartEdition e-paper solution, powered by PressDisplay technology, fits every publisher's needs with zero investment and zero operational cost. With SmartEdition, a publisher's subscribers benefit from anywhere/anytime access to current and back issues of their publications, while enjoying premium digital features such as voice narration, instant translation, article sharing, integration with leading blog platforms, and advanced searching. NewspaperDirect provides full hosting, payment acceptance, customer service management and technical support.

Media Contact:
Tim Cox, tim @ zingpr.com, +1-650-369-7784

PressDisplay.com and SmartEdition are trademarks or registered trademarks of NewspaperDirect Inc. All other trademarks and registered trademarks belong to their respective owners.

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