This piece from Greg Clayman is the third in a series of 10 posts about the future of the media industry contained in a report titled: Rebooting Media: The Digital Publishing Revolution for a Fully Social Web.
Q: How does the rise of Facebook change the relationship between media and its audience?
Publishers need to embrace the social Web. They have to be where their audiences are and do what they can to make their content easy to share, and to digest across any given platform. Facebook allows media to engage with audiences in new ways, and the amount of commentary, feedback and interaction with audiences is greater than ever. Facebook also allows for a greater degree of discovery. By dramatically simplifying the ability to share anything, Facebook has hyper-charged distribution for all media products: free, paid, subscription, ad-supported; they’ve made distribution friction-free. It’s one thing to tell a friend about something you like. That’s been happening from the beginning of time. It’s quite another to “like” an article, a song, a video, etc. and be able to instantly broadcast to everybody you know.
Q: We’ve gone from SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to SMO (Social Media Optimization), so how will search change as the Web becomes more social?
Before the social Web, online search was entirely about looking for pages. And relevance was defined by how many influential sites were linking to a given page. This is the Google world: the link economy. Social adds an important layer to this – “What is it that the people I know and trust like?” “Where do they go?” “Who do they trust?” “What’s in their worldview?” This examination of one’s own orbit is part of what makes social media so fascinating from a search perspective, it’s a whole new dimension to explore. And one that’s clearly not lost on Google as evidenced by their recent launch of Google+.
We’re in the age of the curator. The more “infinite” the Web becomes the more difficult it is to find the media that is relevant to me. I think curators are going to be ever more important in the coming years –Mike Allen’s POLITICO Playbook and Jason Hirschhorn’s Media ReDEFined are two great examples who come to mind.
Q: How do you build a brand in publishing when, with greater frequency, media is distributed through social channels?
For one thing, you have to allow many-sided conversations on today’s emerging and evolving social Web. That means ceding some control in order to engage with consumers and give them the experience that they want. Sharing is the cornerstone of brand building on the social Web today.
It’s also important to have a strong editorial voice. Content aggregators, for example, might give you a tool to find just what you’re looking for. But that specificity can lack the serendipity of stumbling on something new by following a strong editor or curator. That serendipity is important and is how we learn to trust some voices over others.
Q: What are the critical success factors in publishing as we look to 2020; and who will be the winners?
You have to be nimble with distribution and go where the audiences are. You also have to work very hard to engender trust and build recognition and reputation. You want people to know you and feel good about your brand so that you can move quickly to take advantage of any and all new technologies as they develop and scale. This represents future growth.
Greg Clayman is Publisher of The Daily. Launched by News Corporation in early 2011, The Daily is a tablet-native national news brand built from the ground up to publish original content exclusively for the iPad. Prior to joining The Daily, Clayman was executive vice president of Digital Distribution & Business Development for MTV Networks (MTVN). Before MTVN, Clayman co-founded Upoc, one of the first mobile content companies in the United States.
To download the complete report, please click here: “Rebooting Media: The Digital Publishing Revolution for a Fully Social Web”