FLYP is more than a magazine. Its dynamic, interactive insights about American and world culture engage users through a variety of text, video, audio and animation and have proven to be a journalistic endeavor that turns news and information into a multimedia experience.

FLYP has been described as Life Magazine for the Web 2.0 era so it’s only fitting that Jim Gaines, former managing editor of People, Time and Life magazines is editor-in-chief. A veteran news journalist, Gaines is committed to multimedia initiatives and advocates for experimentation and change within the digital publishing landscape.

We had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Gaines about the future of digital publishing. He shared many insights about how the web publishing industry can best position themselves in the New Year and what he considers to be important in the years ahead.

Be Open-Minded

2010 promises to bring exciting new developments for web and digital publishing alike. Mr. Gaines advises publishers to be open-minded and not pre-judge any one method for defining publishing success.

He believes that newspapers, among others, should keep experimenting. Experimentation is key to figuring out what’s sustainable -- or rather what engages an audience. Ultimately, what engages users will provide a sustainable business venue that is advantageous for readers, publishers and advertisers.

The Future of ePublishing

ePublishing as we know it is pretty cool and works well, admits Gaines. But before too long, will seem pretty lame. Though it’s hard to say what shape the printed word will take in 10 years, Gaines thinks that ePublishing will adopt a more multidimensional format and embrace aspects of collaboration, including what we now call citizen journalism.

Speaking of collaboration, Gaines considers Google Wave one of the most awesome developments of 2009. Highlighting its interlinear commenting format, which lends itself to storytelling, Google Wave can aide in the development of newspaper community-based venues, as well as open up its traditional one-way communication.

Keeping the Printed Word Alive Online

On FLYP, readers can peruse its archives in the same format as when it was first published. The very concept of archives is one that fascinates Gaines. Archeologically, a print term, archives serve mostly historians. But online, they are still alive and can be continuously updated by readers and content creators.

In 2009, many publishers, including the New York Times unlocked their archived content online for free -- a strategic moved that helped breathe new life into older issues.

The Problem with Multichannel Content

In last week’s Web Publishing Roll Up, we discussed predicted technology trends for magazines, which included multichannel content distribution. Gaines thinks that it doesn’t make sense for newspapers and magazines to focus on multiple channels.

The inefficiencies involved in creating content in new formats is reason enough, but Gaines thinks that the goal should be to automate the effort so that content can be transformed into other formats without expending too much time or energy.

However, he concedes that much-awaited tablets could preempt the concept of multichannel content altogether.

Digital Publishing is Mobile

If it isn’t already, everything will be available in a mobile format. Thanks to the advent of universal broadband, an endeavor that Gaines fully supports, all publishing, he says, will have to be available in a mobile format or else risk losing its access to their readers.

Despite all the technological and journalistic endeavors that 2009 brought, Gaines thinks that the best is yet to come. One thing, however, remains the same, a commitment to experimentation and collaboration.