December 2014 Issue


Featured Stories

The 2014-2015 EContent 100, a list of the 100 Companies that Matter Most in the Digital Content Industry.
Posted Dec 01, 2014

Columns

These words--"It's quite simple. We are using Bayesian probability theory to solve oncology disease states using genetic immunotherapy."--began a recent presentation for a biotech startup. I was instantly confused. Flunking Algebra I and Algebra II had not prepared me for the potent blend of math and science that followed. I'm not a mathematician or scientist, but I do consider myself well-read and intelligent enough to grasp new concepts in a short amount of time. But the combination of new information and unfamiliar descriptions were flying over my head at a steady clip.
By - Posted Dec 02, 2014
It's the time of year we make lists about the past and proclamations about the future. We assemble important influencers into celebrated collections (usually round numbers) to provide the context about where we are, and then predict where we will be.
By - Posted Dec 09, 2014
We are all overwhelmed with the variety, velocity, and volume of information. It is becoming increasingly difficult to figure out where the information we want is. In one of my cloud systems? Outlook? A folder? Findability can seldom be helped by search alone. Metadata and taxonomies are key to boosting findability. However, if "metadata" makes eyes roll, "taxonomy" can be a snoozer ... until you understand how important both are to boosting findability and making your content stand out and be found. This is true whether you're standing up a CMS or an intranet inside the firewall or if you're competing for eyeballs on the web. Developing a structure for navigating, finding, and understanding content-and the related descriptions in that taxonomy-is difficult and can be a surprisingly contentious process.
By - Posted Dec 16, 2014
I was once fortunate enough to stay at the Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong while on a business trip. Checking in after a 13-hour flight from London, I was too tired to fully appreciate the stunning, tree-filled atrium; the amazing view from my room; or the impeccable service as a procession of hotel employees appeared unbidden, bringing tea, fruit, and hot towels. I haven't had the good fortune to revisit that particular haven of luxury again, but I was interested to learn that, starting in spring 2015, all 85 Shangri-La hotels and resorts will no longer provide guests with complimentary print newspapers. Instead, the hotels will offer online access to more than 2,000 local, regional, and international publications from 100 countries in 60 languages, which can be downloaded to guests' own devices, via an app that is available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows.
By - Posted Dec 23, 2014
It's time to face facts: Everything is a numbers game. From fantasy football to digital advertising campaigns, we yearn for more numbers and more analytics. Content marketing is no different. On a podcast called ConversionCast (it's a great one if you haven't subscribed), the host Tim Paige and guest Brian Dean (from Backlinko) spent an entire episode talking through the tactics and metrics behind a single post from Dean that garnered more than 5,000 shares on social media.
By - Posted Dec 30, 2014
For nearly a decade, my work has focused on ways companies can (and should) harness the unique attributes of mobile to engage and re-engage with their audience. Fast-forward, and the advance of tablets, phablets (phones plus tablets), other connected devices, and an avalanche of apps have made mobile much more than the primary way we connect with content.
By - Posted Dec 05, 2014
As social media professionals, we often like to imagine ourselves as iconoclast pioneers. To a large extent, 2014 has decisively disabused us of that illusion. We now have more than a decade of rigorous research by major think tanks that leads us to the same inevitable conclusion: On social media, the same basic rules of mass media still apply-very little ever goes viral, and the best way to achieve mass awareness and adoption is by securing the broadest possible reach. At the same time, the continuing evolution of the major social networking platforms is making it increasingly difficult to achieve mass reach solely through purely organic and earned media strategies.
By - Posted Dec 12, 2014
It's time to start planning next year's technology investments and budgets. Successful digital marketing leaders will fiscally plan for support of ongoing business operations, as well as investment into technology that will allow them to stay competitive and innovate. Here are some of the top items for IT and digital marketing budgets for 2015 and beyond.
By - Posted Dec 19, 2014
As is our custom, we end each year of Follow the Money columns anticipating what content monetization trends will drive growth in the coming months. It doesn't seem as if there will be many surprises on this front in 2015 so much as there will be next major stages in models that have already been evolving for publishers. Overshadowing all of it is the unprecedented migration of user attention to devices. "Mobile first" is not a trend or a slogan. It is the reality of modern content.
By - Posted Dec 03, 2014
I recently had the good fortune to visit the MIT Media Lab. These days, the Media Lab is much more than media, of course. Its focuses include building smart cities and urban farming, efficient vehicles, and better artificial limbs. There's a lot going on there, but as a media columnist, one area caught my eye: a project on the future of news.
By - Posted Dec 10, 2014
I've been thinking a lot about attention span lately. Since the advent of Twitter, we've been told that our audience is no longer capable of maintaining interest in what we have to say if it's more than 140 characters long. Then Vine appeared on the scene with 6-second videos, and panic nearly ensued. Meanwhile, though, millions of Americans sat down on their couches to binge watch entire seasons of Orange Is the New Black. Clearly, the public at large is perfectly capable of paying attention when it wants to. So what are we to conclude from this information? The problem isn't your audience's attention span--it's your content.
By - Posted Dec 17, 2014