Everything Channel’s Dan Dignam on Developing an Award-winning Online Component
The American Society of Business Publications (ASBPE) announced Tuesday the finalists for its annual Magazine of the Year, Web Site of the Year, and Multi-Platform awards. Among the 10 finalists for Web Site of the Year is ChannelWeb.com, owned by Manhasset, N.Y.-based United Business Media. The online network—a component of the Everything Channel, which also includes two print publications (CRN and VARBusiness), events (XChange and Vision), workflow tools (MTC and eXalt) and more geared toward solution providers—is no stranger to industry accolades.
How do you develop an award-winning online component? Dan Dignam, senior vice president/group publisher of Everything Channel, spoke with Publishing Executive Inbox about the keys to ChannelWeb.com’s success.
Inbox: In light of ChannelWeb.com’s recent recognition as an ASBPE Web Site of the Year Award finalist, what do you think sets your site apart?
Dan Dignam: What sets our site apart is that we have a fanatical following in the solution provider and value-added reseller (VAR) community. We have a content staff that thinks and acts like a solution provider and, in turn, provides compelling and essential information. And we listened to our customers, and have updated and upgraded in the [ways in which] they want information. Solution providers are small companies, and need as much information [as] they can get. We have both the trusted information and the industry experience to help them.
Inbox: What are your main goals for ChannelWeb.com from a business perspective?
Dignam: Our main goals are to produce compelling content at no cost to our audience and provide sponsorship opportunities to our vendors, providing them access to our audience. To accomplish these goals, we continue to expand our online capabilities (i.e., video and social networking) and to invest in meaningful acquisitions, initiatives [and] workflow tools that drive our customers’ business.
Inbox: What advice would you give other publishers who are looking to build up their online components?
Dignam: Know your audience well, understand your market, and partner with your customers to advance their success. Establish your online presence as the essential platform for your audience community.
Inbox: As a brand that has many components, including print, online and events, how do you decide what to invest time and money into when a new opportunity presents itself?
Dignam: When it comes to where to invest time and money, the Web has taught us [that] it doesn’t matter what we think. Look to metrics from your audience for the answers. Listening to your customers is the key to success.
Inbox: How do your various properties complement one another? What is the relationship between these entities?
Dignam: The beauty of our model is that our editorial team produces content, and our management team determines how to use it—in print, online and/or events. The formula is to produce the most compelling information, and then position it the proper medium. Our agenda is to serve our audience in the best medium.