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Reading a Web Magazine

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The online how-to guide eHow, a rich resource of instructional texts and videos, has been exploring all the ways that Internet Explorer 9 makes content more functional, videos more watchable, and the site more beautiful. And they lay out their conclusions at Experience eHow with Internet Explorer 9.

For example, eHow, like other major sources of video content such as MySpace, IMDb, and Break.com, is transitioning away from Flash and toward HTML5. Native HTML5 videos can be larger, sharper, and faster, and they allow for direct integration with other tools for finding related clips and for sharing with friends.

A jump list for each of eHow's major channels (including "family," "health," and "style") also takes advantage of the coordination between IE9 and Windows 7. Go to the home page of your favorite section, and then drag the icon from IE9's address bar down to your Windows 7 taskbar. This will reopen the site in a customized browser window, and it will provide a channel-specific menu of featured articles when you right-click on the taskbar.

The most innovative new offering is the eHow "folio," which duplicates the experience of browsing a print magazine. The main page presents each of the main channels in the guise of a magazine cover. Select your favorite channel, and the cover flips open to reveal a two-page spread, with a table of contents showing the current top stories in that channel. Click on a story's thumbnail image or headline, and you jump to the full story (with a custom scroll button so you can read the complete article on a single page). There are also small tabs to each side that let you flip the pages.

Reading the eHow "folio" (which makes excellent use HTML5's new article-oriented tags and of IE9's fast script processing) is obviously different from reading an actual magazine.. But the experience of flipping though the virtual pages builds on years of habit and experience to make for a more familiar -- and ultimately more natural way -- to discover interesting content.

This story, "Reading a Web Magazine" was originally published by BrandPost.