March 1, 2012
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Move to Digital
I’m not going to rehash the old “Print is Dead” mantra. It just IS for many types of publications – proceedings, directories, most manuals, standards, journals, marketing material, and more.
With change brings new value. Your ability to reach a much wider audience brings huge value. Strive to bring value to your members but connecting with a wider audience to build your community and key to maintaining relevancy. Knowledge is your weapon. Use it wisely.
Where should you and your team put your digital publishing focus?
Online and eBooks.
Here are the technologies or digital solution your team needs to research, learn and either build expertise in-house or go find.
- ePub3 – for eBooks, this technology will be profound – books will not just be read but “engaged” with and learning brought to new levels
- HTML5 and XML – for online, eBooks and mobile (mobile is CRITICAL)
- “Pull” vs “Push” – website and mobile delivery that identify a members information needs and allows them to get the content they value most – not hunt for it or get spammed with email to know it’s available
- Component Content Management Systems – sharing of content in small chunks, like the news has done for years, yet the chunks can be combined, mixed and matched to form new content pieces.
- Community Technology – beyond your members. Associations have led the way on building communities and today’s technology makes it easier for new communities to form. So Associations need to embrace this technology too, and yes social media. But communities that offer members the opportunities to meet face to face (events/conferences) – will have the edge.
For eBooks conversion from existing content with complex formatting, equations, charts, tables and all the stuff that is key to communicating knowledge – don’t waste your time “doing-it-yourself”. Quality and accuracy are priceless and protects your reputation. Find an expert and one that can help put you on a path to adopting new ways to collect and distribute content.
An Innovation Challenge: Share this list with your entire team – assign a team member with one of these topics and have them research how that technology can impact your organization. Have them find an expert and talk to them. Awareness sparks innovation.