It's an 'and' universe: responsive design with a companion mobile app

We pulled the veil off today. It's our first foray into fully responsive Web design, adjusting automatically to viewport size with optimizations for smartphone, tablet and desktop viewers. At the same time, we launched a mobile app for iOS and Android.

These might seem redundant. But it's an "and" universe, not an "or" universe. The website and the app play somewhat different roles, just as Do Savannah itself plays a role distinct from and the Savannah Morning News. The app and the website work as companions, not as competitors.

The responsive website is best for consuming content produced by the staff and contributors of Do Savannah, the region's largest-circulation arts and entertainment publication, which is published Thursdays and distributed free at more than 200 locations as well as being inserted in all copies of the Savannah Morning News.

The app is for what apps do best: push notifications, geolocation, mapping, and social sharing -- especially of images. It has a Twitter-like "shout wall" for status updates and pictures as you're out and about in Savannah's booming historic district, at the beach, or on a boat.

Likewise, Do and the Savannah Morning News have different purposes. The newspaper (and target a substantial community of people who are engaged in civic life, who care about local government, business and other traditional topics of local newspaper journalism.

But there are a lot of people who aren't and don't. The vibrant creative community that has grown up around the Savannah College of Art and Design includes many people who aren't from around here and don't -- yet -- care deeply about local politics. Many young people have a strong interest in the music and arts scene but don't -- yet -- care deeply about the health of the business community, the port, or the school system.

We all hope to move them "up the ladder" and into our paid-content/paid-access products and our serious journalism. But the first rung is engagement, and today's product launches are all about that.