Archive for the ‘Digital Delivery’ Category
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by Autumn Jones
Nearly three-fourths (74.8%) of association executives believe their members use smartphones — including 73% of those in professional societies and 78.5% in trade associations — but interestingly, only 28.1% of respondents report having a mobile strategy.
Also interesting is the fact that while trade association executives were more likely to indicate that their members use smartphones, professional societies are much more likely to be working on a mobile strategy for their associations. Over one-third (36.3%) of professional society executives said their association has a mobile strategy, while a mere 19% of trade associations said the same.
This is particularly interesting, as 73.2% of professional society executives and 61.6% of trade association executives have identified “offering new value-added products and services” as a top strategy for developing new revenue, and it can be argued that offering on-the-go access to the association’s content and products, in an age when 87.1% of executives themselves (87.5% in professional societies and 86.8% in trade associations) say they have a smartphone for business and/or personal use, is definitely a value-added service. The second-most selected strategy to develop new revenue streams among association executives is “developing strategic partnerships with external partners and vendors.”
Of the few associations that have mobile strategies, a majority are formatting website content to be mobile accessible (39.0%). About a quarter (25.1%) are developing original mobile apps or other custom mobile-specific solutions, and 20.3% are using QR codes to direct mobile traffic to association content. Very few (11.2%) are using existing mobile apps (including location-based apps like Four Square) to enhance the member experience.
These findings from the Association TRENDS Fall 2011 PULSE report suggest a few things: First, association executives are largely underestimating the power of mobile in their associations. Many mobile features can be cost-effective ways to interact with members, particularly leveraging existing apps to enhance the mobile experience, which would cost the association very little, if anything. Second, it suggests that many association executives are simply unaware of the possibilities around mobile. It may also speak to the limited resources in associations — both monetary and human, but it undeniably suggests that there is a world of potential for executives to tap into as it relates to meeting members where they are.
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011 by Autumn Jones
By Richard Brasser, CEO, The Targeted Group
1. Differentiation – What is your niche? You are probably well aware of this but it helps to clearly understand it in the context of an online community. What skills, perspectives, knowledge or interests do your members share with each other that differentiate them from other people?
2. Competition – What other communities online offer a place for people like your members to interact? Do the research! You might be surprised that someone already owns your audience. Here is a quick example – a luxury German car company dragged their feet (for two years) while trying to decide whether or not to build their own online community. In the meantime, a community emerged that offered almost everything that these passionate car enthusiasts wanted. When the company finally decided to launch their own community, their audience yawned and found no need to leave the already thriving world they had come to love. If the company would have known about the other community, they could have taken a totally different approach and participated in that community instead of building their own.
3. Value Proposition – What are the top 3 things that a member of your community could gain from joining? Is it unique knowledge that your internal team can provide? Is it access to the other members in a much more efficient way? Is it the ability to participate and help without having to be in person? Whatever it is, you have to clearly understand WHY people will want to join your community and what will keep them coming back.
4. Business Objectives – What are you hoping to accomplish? Imagine that you have already created a community with lots of members…what value does YOUR organization get out of it? Is it the “living” database? Is it the ability to sell sponsorships or advertising around the discussions? Is it a “value-add” for the membership fees that you charge? It is CRITICAL that you answer these questions because the technologies might not cost a lot, but this will take money, time and resources. You have to know why you are doing it and what value you wish to gain from it.
5. Resource Planning – Don’t underestimate the work effort this will take! If you answered number four, you will already know the value and what resources are available based on the expected results. Make sure to challenge your assumptions, test market ideas with members and make sure to overestimate how much time and effort it will take. Bad things start to happen when this kind of initiative is tossed in the lap of an administrator who is already maxed out or an intern that is helping for the summer. Make sure you have enough time and people to manage the community, analyze the data and metrics and constantly refine the strategy.
*Quick story about #5 – I recently worked with a very large association and met the person in charge of social media. She explained that she didn’t track any posts, use hashtags or any analytics because she didn’t have any time. She was communicating constantly but gaining NO value as a result. My suggestion? Pretty simple, post 50% less and spend that time on reporting, analytics and metrics. Don’t fall into the time trap and lose out on the biggest value.
What is the gist? At the end of the day, there is a huge opportunity brewing for you to expand your audience, increase revenue and create a long lasting connection with your members through the use of a well-designed online community. Take the necessary steps to design it right, leverage people and resources that know how to put these together and you could create a legacy of value for your organization.
The storm is brewing…are you going to be ready to take advantage or is someone else going to own your audience?
Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 by Autumn Jones
As the cost of paper and ink continue to rise, the nation continues to emphasize “green” initiatives, and people are increasingly turning to portable devices for their reading preferences, a lot of Scientific Technical and Medical publishers are moving journals and publications into PDFs, instead of expending the money to print them.
Part of the allure of PDF publications, aside from the cost benefit for the association, is the ease of access. PDFs can be saved and stored to desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and are, for the most part, universally accessible across operating systems. With over 83% of STM publications and journals now available online (and growing!), libraries are able to continue to stock all of the scholarly research on which the scientists report without having to sacrifice publications because of budget. The speed of delivery is almost instantaneous, and there are more advanced metrics on just who is reading the publications.
Some are apprehensive about the decrease in price at which the journals can be sold, but this is handily accounted for by the significant decrease in printing costs. Journals can become living documents, constantly updated, linked from one to the next, able to be condensed or expanded to suit individual readers’ needs.
Concerns around open access can be assuaged by validation practices that require logging in or entering an authentication code when trying to access articles from mobile devices. This allows even more metrics to be reported back to the publisher, but also allows for customization by users for a better overall experience.
PDFs allow the publisher to maintain control over the work, while allowing the reader to carry it along and search the document with ease. And, if downloads translate into purchases, the business model around journals is unharmed. As the industry and the nation continue to move into the digital age, print publications are increasingly becoming “print to file” publications.
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 by user
If you have been following The Road to a Paperless Workflow series, so far you have assembled your team, managed the transition through critical questions, tested with a small sample of the affected groups, and challenged existing procedures and job descriptions. Effectively, you have passed the Ready and Set stages. Now, it is time to go!
But, no so fast! In order to achieve a sustainable workflow, you will need to properly maintain the employees that you have mobilized. Make sure that the workstations of those who will now be staring at a computer monitor for a majority of the day will accommodate for this kind of change.
According to www.youreyesite.net, the latest ergonomic standards for computer vision include the following:
Control your environment: The recommended distance you should be from your monitor is an extended arm length to the tips of the fingers.
Adjust the alignment of the monitor to accommodate for your height: Line up the monitor so that the eyes are looking down slightly at approximately 10-15 degrees
Make sure your workspace utilizes proper lighting: Most offices were designed to provide sufficient light required for a paper-dependent workflow. Such light, in addition to the glare that may be caused by a nearby window, can negatively impact your ability to stare at a monitor for extended periods of time. Adjust screen brightness and contrast to provide balance with room lighting. Consider using filters and adjusting shades and blinds in regular intervals.
Incorporate the use of rest or alternate task breaks throughout the workday: This will allow employees to relieve the stress on their eyes caused by shifting focus from a distant point source, like a person walking towards you in the hall, to a near point source, such as the text displayed on a computer monitor.
www.youreyesite.net is the blog for Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, Optometrists serving the Rockville, Potomac and Gaithersburg suburbs of Washington, DC for over 40 years.
Randy Townsend is a team leader in journals production at the American Geophysical Union. He is currently securing a Master’s Degree in Publishing at The George Washington University. Randy is also a freelance writer. See his interview with Basketball Wives’ Shaunie O’Neal in the latest issue of A-Game Magazine.
Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 by user
By Barbara Meyers Ford
Thad McIlroy, President, The Future of Publishing and keynote speaker at the Cadmus 2010 Executive Management Retreat, gave these ten guidelines for publishers looking to survive the current climate of publishing.
- Don’t Think “Either/Or.” Think “AND” where and = evolution.
- Trends are not linear. There is no evidence that print will die, but there is tons of evidence that its decline will continue. What we haven’t determined is the extent of that decline.
- Data formats remain a problem. Why didn’t XML go mass media? Its growth is happening in a non-algorithmic fashion.
- iPhone, iPads, and Notebooks can not all survive. There is a limit to the number of separate digital devices that people want to carry and that limit = ONE.
- People won’t deal with complexity. They would rather have a simple answer that is inaccurate than a complex one that’s true.
- Digital sales are gross. They don’t bring about the same unit revenues as print so there must be a change in the business model to create a tighter cost structure.
- Free is overrated. Most people will pay a reasonable amount for content. DRM increases the attractiveness of providing free samples, however, which are good.
- Traditional educational institutions are KAPUT; they are on a road to change in spite of their conservative nature.
- Don’t be defensive or you’ll attract predators.
- When there is a level playing field, GOOD content always wins. Problem: the field is rarely level.
Event Date: October 27, 2010, Baltimore, MD
During her 35+ year career, Barbara M. Ford worked for societies and consulting companies before establishing Meyers Consulting Services (MCS), specializing in society management and scholarly publishing. Since starting MCS, Barbara’s work with commercial and non-profit publishers (as well as organizations in allied industries) ranges from a day of advice to months or years of service as adjunct staff in senior positions.
A co-founder of the Society for Scholarly Publishing and a past President of the Council of Science Editors, she has devoted considerable time to all the organizations serving our industry and continues to do so. Her most recent contributions are as adjunct faculty in the Masters in Publishing Program, George Washington University. More information can be found at www.bmeyersconsulting.com.
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 by Autumn Jones
That is the big question in the association world right now. Some experts laud the mobile applications as THE NEXT BIG THING in association publishing, while others suggest it’s not really worth the effort unless members are banging down the door requesting one. The decision will ultimately lie with the communications staff, and will be based on association size, aim, resources and membership response.
If you DO however decide to embark on a journey into the iPad-friendly App World, here are some tips to aid in the design:
- Remember that the most innovative and ambitious apps are not always the most highly functioning. Find a balance between the two.
- Incorporate the use of links to featured music and movies, as well as transactional capabilities (iTunes, Amazon), and the ability to drag and drop selected items to a “Favorites List.”
- Embrace interactivity to the fullest extent. Popular magazines have released apps that employ the use of animation on the cover, links to articles from coverlines and a pop-over Table of Contents, as well as large photo-montages with which hundreds of images, allowing navigation in any direction and amplified viewing, with accompanying details, for any one image. The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses released the Healthy Mom & Baby app, which includes video, online quizzes, and information pertinent to each stage of pregnancy presented in interactive formats.
- Have your app cross-checked. Services like iValuate™ by McPheters & Company help project quality control issues before an app is launched. The greatest app in the world is of no use if the screen ends up crowded, links don’t work, or videos are slow to load.