DPInnovation BLOG

Digital Publishing Innovation and David McKnight

Going Beyond Yet Another Website Upgrade

Association executives understand the importance of their web presence.  It’s driving more and more traffic and members expect more value from how they connect with you online.    So the question is… “How can you create more value with your online presence?”  It’s value creation where you need to focus…. Not on SEO or Marketing or Design or Content Management… none of these “create value”.  And chances are 75% of the bill from your provider is for these very things.

To bring this point home visit this Blog post on paidContent Forget about ‘content management’–and focus on ‘audience development’

This post is part 1 of 5 Posts, stay tuned and please share links to these posts.   We’ll wrap up these posts with a Webinar.   Please register for Building an Association ePublishing Platform on Sep 12, 2012 12:00 PM CDT.

#1 Three Must Have Web Presence Value Creators

#2 Eight Questions to Address Before You Start Another RFP Process for Your Website

#3 Four ePublishing Solution Provider Categories

#4 Five things for us non-technical people to know about XML

#5 Three Strategies for Creating an ePublishing Platform

POST # 1 of 5:  Building an ePublishing Platform

Three Must Haves Web Presence Value Creators


If you can’t be found on the Internet… you don’t exist.   Harsh, but true, in todays connected world.   Just because your organization has a lot of content, much of it online, unless it can be discovered, only the few that know where to find it will.    That may seam to be ok, protect that content, but is it impacting your relevance?   Also, should you be looking beyond your membership to find ways to connect to the rest of the world?

Access is key here.  Don’t give away the valuable content…just make sure people know it’s there…  and either charge for it or ask them to join.

SEO isn’t enough anymore.   The cool trick of some smart people to manipulate your way to the top of a google search results are fading.   In the future, value will return to good old-fashioned quality content, that can be found, and word of mouth (social media).


A bit related to the above, however, I’m specifically addressing the ability to help members and others perform complex, multiple search word, nested searches.   In the world of thousands of pages it will require users to search at the page level to find what they need… quickly.

Meta-data – information that describes content is also critical to help with the searches and to organize content or even reorganize content into new “bundles” of content offerings.


With todays epublishing transformations it’s easier with the right tools now for publishers, associations are publishers, to sell direct.  Selling not only to members but also the rest of the world.   By building a “destination” website Branded with your association, they are in your house and you get to control the experience and offer new things that they may not have otherwise learned about just by buying a book on Amazon.

Not that you should not be working with Amazon and other distributors… but the goal is to direct traffic to your web presence to give your association the biggest opportunity to influence readers and spread your mission.

The key question every association needs to ask, before investing in a new website, is how will this site create new value?  That value can usually be measured by:

  • Increase Member Value
  • Increase Relevance
  • Increase Revenue

…if it can’t impact or all three of these, you might want to invest somewhere else.


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