This week in web publishing includes a few mergers and acquisitions, content farming and a fashion magazine designed for the iPad.

The Magic of Macy's on the iPad

Macy’s has proven to be an early adopter when it comes to the iPad. The company is using the Apple tablet to turn its summer catalogue into a consumer-ready slideshow.

Macy's 60-page print catalogue has been converted into a two-page spread into which a 20-page slide show is embedded, with links that allow users to shop, browse and buy at

Macy’s is running its ad, which was designed and developed by Zinio, across the digital editions of 20 titles including Elle Decor and Marie Claire.

Is this a turning point for the fashion magazine industry? Could be, considering that one of the major hurdles -- creating a non-flash version for the iPad -- was achieved. It also might be a turning point for Zinio, whose platform may become a viable option for other publishers looking for similar exposure.

Forbes Buys True/Slant, Farms Blogs

True/Slant is an original content news network tailored to both the “Entrepreneurial Journalist” and marketers who want a more effective way to engage with digital audiences. Designed to be the “digital home” for the entrepreneurial journalist, their site, which launched in 2009, has been a place where contributors have built their digital brands.

Recently, Forbes Media announced that it is buying True/Slant. To be fair, Forbes was an early investor in the site. The goal of the merger/buyout, according to Lewis Dvorkin, the founder of True/Slant, is to

work together to further develop a mindset around the power of the Web and traditional news values. With hard work, we can implement new blogging platforms and more efficient digital, print and video content creation models; we can find better ways for audiences to engage with news and information; and we can pursue new integrative approaches for marketers and advertisers.

In other words: Forbes will use True/Slant as a “blog farm” to grow stories that Forbes can redistribute. Dworkin, a former executive editor of Forbes magazine, he will be rejoining the company as chief product officer from June 1.

Yahoo Buys Associated Content, Farms Content

Last week, Yahoo! Inc. agreed to buy Associated Content, a web publishing company with 380,000 contributors. The purchase aligns with the company’s strategy to use acquisitions to add content and ads.

For roughly one-hundred million dollars (US), Associated Content will give Yahoo’s media sites up-to-date information and analysis from freelance contributors. Founded in 2004, Associated Content pays contributors who produce photos, text or videos on any subject and then makes money by selling ads around it. The site generates around 50,000 unique pieces of media each month.

The jury is still out on the viability of content farming, in which both Yahoo and Forbes seem to be willfully investing. While it may help to boost revenue and page views in the short term, only time will tell how Yahoo’s management will fair in the long run.