Digital Publishing Innovation and David McKnight
iPortal Website – Much more than just an Online Publishing and Subscription Website http://ow.ly/is5oC via @notionpath
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80% of Publishers expect Digital publications revenues will exceed print, most in 3 years or less. Experts predict 90% in 3 years.
Source: 2012 Publishers survey
The term “publisher” is expanding to include many organizations including Associations, Societies, and Institutes. Brands, corporations, are also becoming publishers…
Here is more validation of this growing trend…
Look beyond the current standards of mobi and EPUB. Platforms like Tizra show what’s possible @jwikert @tizrahttp://ow.ly/fPM7d #asae
Member Engagement through Content Strategy.
End silos, coordinate efforts across all groups – marketing, membership, publications, events.
Building on Online Publishing Platform to engage and monetize information.
Don’t build what you want…deliver what members want.
Provide eBook solutions without all the conversion costs and distribution revenue sharing required by Amazon and other major Online Proprietary Solutions.
O’Reilly – Tools of Change for Publishing: “A level of unmediated control that empowers publishers (Associations) to be responsive to market feedback, and encourages them to take ownership of user relationships. These are exactly the habits that publishers need to develop in order to build successful digital businesses, and exactly the habits Tizra does a great job of supporting.”
Tizra’s web-based publishing platform
by Joe Wikert
Full Post here
Andrea Pellegrino shared a great post that gets right to the point of how Associations are failing their members. Her post 7 Ways to Lose Members she shares how Associations are. Publisher should take note too as a couple of these point may hit home as well. Here is a quick summary and my comments..take a look..what do you see?. Warning, it’s sarcastic!
1. Don’t ask members what they want: Tell them!
Your association has been doing this for years…eventually things will change back so members get what your doing, right?
2. Talk to your members as if you don’t know who they are.
This social media thing will blow over and people will fallback into line. After all, you already know what they really need.
3. Don’t give members personal service: Give them FAQ’s.
Aren’t all members the same and isn’t it so much more efficient to tell them all what they need to know, at the same time.
4. Make them wait!
See point #2…they will change, then we can go back to the way things were.
5. Ask them for more money right away.
Everyone knows that membership dues isn’t enough. Let’s though a bunch of products at them and surely they need some.
6. Don’t waste time or money bringing in “peripheral” members!
By all means, if people can not pay for full membership – forget them…they will just miss out! This is member only content, join or you don’t exist.
7. Focus on “messaging,” not on providing value.
Because we know what they want we just need to figure how to tell them.
This may sound harsh but members are not going to wait for Associations to change…they have more choices than ever before.
The value of building a community is well understood and the race to build one is on. The for-profit world is all to willing to find the products and services members will pay for.
The publishing industry, in particular, also heavy hit by the changes in digital technology, is slow to react but appears to be more motivate to change, to innovate. Through subscriptions, products, events and better connecting sponsors…will they become the leading “membership-based organizations”?
The answers, if you are an Association or Publisher… is different for each organization… but the answer will be found though innovation…innovative thinking, innovative leadership, innovative people.
Check out Andreas full post here.
Some good insights into what a “Strategic Thinking” process should be like. True both both for and not-for profit companies. The biggest challenge to to think across silos, not in them. Across department, functional areas, teams, budgets. Until that’s done we just get more of the same with a small improvement….while the rest of the world races by.
Visit The Scholar Kitchen post:
1. What will the world in which the organization operates look like in a specific amount of time?
That picture of the world 5 years from now is the company’s vision.
2. What role do we want the organization to play in that future world?
That place in the picture is the company mission.
3. How do we get there from here?
The strategy is how to get there from here.
Asking the questions is the easy part. Take a look at your strategy process. Is is a cross functional process. All all players given an equal voice? Well, at least heard? Is the CEO really pushing the group to be innovative, how can you shake it up, is there more to our mission than is getting done? Are you moving from “protection” to “growing”?
Again, my two cents…what are yours? What ideas to you have to share up the process?
Clearly there are a number of digital media publishing ideas to chase and some to embrace. Several new products and opportunities exist to improve workflow to save money and create new products (see the circle). All of the options can be overwhelming! So where should you focus…tools, technology, media, or all of the above. My suggestion is to focus on MARKETING.
OK, why am I talking about marketing for bringing innovation to digital publishing? Because that is how you connect to a wider audience. I have worked with few Associations or Publishers that are not already creating great content. Content that exists in multiple media. Content that if more people find out about it more people will join their community. Many are also investing in workflow too. But none of this happens without marketing.
I’m not alone in this thinking. Check out the Scholarly Kitchen (a site focused on Scholarly publishing) recent blog post New Media and New Markets — Making Sense of the Possibilities in Publishing. In Joseph Esposito post he does a great job of talking about innovation in publishing from three categories:
- Subtractive – change that lowers revenue
- Substitutive – takes an existing revenue stream and replicates it with an innovation
- Additive – leads to growth
It’s critical to have a strategic perspective of you digital publishing efforts. The blog post concludes with “The real innovation for digital media is not in technology or in enhancing products. The real innovation is in marketing. The successful publisher is one that can study new technologies and see the inherent marketing opportunities before others do. Management is foresight, first and always.”
For marketing however, using social media, email, websites, cold or warm calling are all required…but can be a slow and expensive process. So what is the key…your content itself. Unleash your content…make it highly discoverable. Highly search able. Highly relevant to the visitors on your website. Highly shareable.
Now, I did not use the word “free” although aspects of your content distribution strategy should include “free” content…free access. But capturing value is required to be sustainable.
Your PubCMS (Publishing Content Manage System) should provide you with ways to effectively manage content make it highly discoverable, searchable and relevant to you visitor. If it can not…you may not be using a PubCMS but a website CMS which simply manages pages on a website….not a publishing solution. You should also be thinking of XML and at least a path to get there.
I’ve said it before and will again…Associations and Publishers are in a race…the winners won’t be the only ones with great content (hopefully most are) but instead the winners will embrace innovation by getting their content read. Are you?
It should not be much of a surprise to most of you that the value of published content declines once it’s published. In a few rare cases the content can grow legs, go viral, and increase in value but most does not.
What may sound even worse is that the half-life value of most published content is zero. Suggesting your content is rapidly decaying the minute it hits air.
This is true for both printed and digital content. Digitizing content doesn’t on it own increase value without one key ingredient – Discoverability.
By Discoverability I mean using methods and process to increase the likelihood that a piece of information, content, can be found – discovered online – and hence give value to a reader. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps but aS a publisher you have far greater value – the rich content itself. SEO may be effective for your local retailer… what Google, Bing and others want is content. The more discoverable, read and shared…the faster search engine bring your content to the top of the search engines. You can buy your way there WITH SEO but your content keeps you at the top.
The key is a new kind of online Content Management System (CMS) designed for online publishing…I call it a PubCMS. Trust me, to build these kinds of features into your current CMS solution, Open Source or not, will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor hours and months maybe years to get online.
Marketing is an effect way to add value, get content noticed, but… marketing is expensive.
To estimate the potential value gained by making your published content more discoverable let us assume the chart here represents a publication. The Traditional line (blue) represents your current publishing approach (again print only or also in digital and maybe a link to it on your existing CMS) and the PubCMS line (orange) is the using a new approach to make content more discoverable.
For the line chart the Yellow area represents new value created by making content more discoverable using a PubCMS solution. In this sample if you measure this area it represent approximately a 46% increase in lifetime revenue over using the Traditional approach.
While this analysis is focused on revenue…The “value” gained from this publication could be measured in Revenue, New Members or Increase Value to members so it’s quite possible this example is very conservative.
How to measure value other than revenue?
A good PubCMS solution will provide you with the analytics to measure the activity on the site, which publications get more traffic and how long, and other critical feedback to better understand the value of all your publications – which ones to feature, what you membership is interested in and where to extract more value in future publications.
This feedback gives you the publisher other critical information to explore bundling of content or micro-transactions to increase overall sales. Bundling = if readers visit Publication A and B then an offer to sell Publications A and B for a reduced rate make increase sales (it also give more value to the regular price of each publication) Micro-Transaction – if visitors are regularly visiting Chapter 3,4 and 7 but not buying a book then maybe offering to sell the book by chapter makes sense – just like the iTunes model.
So, What are you going to do?
Clearly if your content only exist in printed form stored in a closet, or in a digital file stored on hard drives few have access too the only way it can be discovered is by a small description sitting on your website or in your eCommerce store. With Bundling and Micro-Transaction you can offer hundreds of new products to meet readers needs and budget. Try doing this with your existing eCommerce solution.
The internet and the very low cost of storing content can be an effective form of low cost marketing if you can provide access to your digital content, in a searchable and discoverable form – text in the document and/or meta-data describing the content. By enable all of your published content to be searchable and discoverable (yes, you can still control access), consumable in different forms they way reader value it – your content then has additional value long after it is published.
Leadership is a huge topic. Career and riches are made talking, teaching and preaching different forms of leadership. Are leaders born or built? I believe that to be an effective leader today one must find new ways to serve not control.
My early mentor in business did not understand this and as such I learn by watching what was not working any longer. At times it was painful. The inherit mistrust of employees, of business partners, leads to isolation and crushes being nimble and innovative.
It works for those, a few, that need to be told what to do but pushes away others that want to be part of the decisions.
“It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice begins one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions… The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature” From Robert Greenleaf “The Servant as Leader” an essay first published in 1970.
I’ve made my choice, how about you?