Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Online Publishing, part I
Quick catch-up. These notes will be fragmented, since we're about to start another lecture. The online publishers have been extraordinarily good at speaking quickly and articulately; they never take long to get straight to the point, so I promise I'm not omitting many flourishes in what follows:
Yesterday morning, we had a panel with John Tryangiel of Time.com, Peter Frank of Concierge.com, Brandon Holley of Yahoo.com (more specifically Shine), and Gail Horwood of Instyle.com.
In sum, here's what they said about online publishing:
People are after the same kind of content, they're just changing the format of it.
People want smart information quickly.
The best journalists in magazines are the best journalists online. John Tryangiel pointed out that a writer can't wait for someone in the system to tell him what to do next; in this way, the web weeds out the most efficient and intelligent writers.
"There's never been more demand for content, and content packers, and content producers," said Gail Horwood.
"Clear is the new cute," according to Peter Frank. Headlines on the internet need to be search-friendly. The more expertise Google recognizes in your content, the higher you will be ranked in searches.
Gail Horwood also points out, "Every page is your home page." Most readers come in through the so-called "side door," entering your site through an article they found on a blog. Magazine websites especially seem to expect more linear browsing; internet browsing by definition is nonlinear.
Though sites can charge nearly three times the standard ad price for video ads, John Tryangiel recommended that sites save video for something that's experiential. Brandon Holley recommended having a distinct voice, especially for a women's website, so that readers will keep coming back to you. Shine has 500 blog posts a day, and about 5,000 comments.
An example of excellent visualization and a clear website, according to the panel, is Etsy.com.