DPInnovation BLOG

Digital Publishing Innovation and David McKnight

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gauge your global branding approach in four questions

Source: Gauge your global branding approach in four questions


iPortal Website – Much more than just an

iPortal Website – Much more than just an Online Publishing and Subscription Website http://ow.ly/is5oC via @notionpath

Interested in Marketing, Sales or PR Inn

Interested in Marketing, Sales or PR Innovation? The join this popular Linkedin Innovation Group almost 200,000 members. http://ow.ly/gE7w1

Digital Publishing Explosion

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…

The Digital Publishing Explosion

Look beyond the current standards of mob

Look beyond the current standards of mobi and EPUB. Platforms like Tizra show what’s possible @jwikert @tizrahttp://ow.ly/fPM7d #asae

Associations and Publishers – How you are losing your members right now!

Seeking Digital ReadersAndrea 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.

Strategic Planning and the Not-for-Profit Publisher

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:

Strategic Planning and the Not-for-Profit Publisher

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?

Is the Value of Your Content Decaying?

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.

The Servant Leader is Servant First

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?

The Future of Publishing can be Summed Up in One Word: Community.

The publishing industry is going through great change.    eBooks are changing the way we read books and because eBooks are cheaper to produce and distribute it’s create a huge increase in the number of books.   The challenge that remains is marketing.

To do that more effectively eBook distributors are turning to what Associations have known and fosters for years – community – members.   But the for-profit world is getting it.   Now there is a race for “members”.

Anthony Horvath, Founder of Start-Up Bard and Book Publishing said  “If Gutenberg had invented the ebook and print-on-demand technology instead of the printing press, the current publishing model would have never arisen,” Horvath says.  He argues that the future of publishing can be summed up in one word:  community.   Read the full blog here

Mr. Horvath and his eBook Distribution Company are not alone.  Magazine publishers are also in a race to build community and they are also discovering Events as a way to create engagement in the community.

I believe the future of Associations will require Innovations in the way they:

1)   Distribute content, act as a publisher, reaching a growing digital audience

2)   Create events that engage and educate using more collaborative methods for fully leverage the wisdom of the crowd and deepen relationships.  Capturing more content and sharing it digitally.

…and the successful ones will create new value, new revenue streams, by embarrassing and including sponsors into the conversations and selling content to an audience well outside of their current membership.

What do you think?   Is your Association’s vision seeing this??  Are you Innovating???