Heralded iPhone Developer Working on App for AAN Members

Raven Zachary’s work on iPhone applications for the Obama campaign, Whole Foods and Zipcar has earned him wide recognition and praise in the growing app development field. Now his Portland-based company, Small Society, is partnering with Pre1 Software and the parent company of Willamette Week and Santa Fe Reporter to develop an iPhone publishing platform which they hope to make available to AAN publishers by late 2009.

The platform will allow publishers to leverage their brand and to create a powerful application that taps into the strengths of the iPhone and iPod touch for personalized content, interaction and social networking. Planned features include the integration of listings and Google maps; push notifications and location-based services; user customization for things like favorite clubs, restaurants and theaters; and, perhaps most importantly, monetization via sponsorships and banner advertising.

“You look at Small Society’s track record with successful iPhone apps and Pre1’s relationship with half the AAN members and it’s clear these are the two best companies to work with,” Willamette Week editor Mark Zusman says. “We think this may be the killer app for alt weeklies.”

Small Society will develop the application and Pre1 Software will license, configure and submit the applications to Apple for publishing in the app store. The first two papers to go live will be Willamette Week and Santa Fe Reporter.

“Over 10 years, we’ve worked with hundreds of newspapers and magazines including half the AAN members and we feel that we understand the needs and can help them,” Pre1 CEO Jim Abeles says. “And existing Pre1 customers will have the added benefit of using SmartPublisher to automated the scheduling and billing of ads and sponsorships for the app.”

The planned application will be compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch with operating system version 2.0 or later, though push and location-based services will require the iPhone 3.0 operating system.

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