Keeping Tech in Check
For the second edition of the Publishing Executive Technology Issue, contributor Brian O'Leary penned a piece entitled "The Technology Conundrum," which posits that the technological tools we employ tend to ingrain the assumptions we used to design the tools themselves. The article is a cautionary tale.
As O'Leary suggests, as we sort through the various new technologies that arrive in the market, we must force ourselves to question what problems they serve to solve. Will they solve the problems of tomorrow or saddle us with the problems of the past? Do the very tools we embrace actually act as constraints to our ingenuity? Sometimes they do.
Jumping off from O'Leary's line of thinking, I'd venture that publishers should set their sights on two things when considering the technology conundrum: First, make the user experience the starting point for any technology consideration. Ask what value will a technology provide for the end user? What solution am I providing and what need am I fulfilling? Second, seek ways to future-proof content so when the next disruptive platform, device, or consumption trend arrives, the reverberations are more sustainable. That's, of course, a difficult task because the next disruption will not necessarily look like those of the past and achieving it requires content creation tools, workflows, data systems -- the whole slew of publishing technologies -- that are integrated, flexible, and intelligent. That's a goal many have only begun to work toward.
Within this issue we'll address some of the most pressing technology challenges for publishers. Two articles look into perhaps the biggest issue on publishers' minds: mobile. "Defining The Mobile Problem for Publishers" tries to get a handle on what obstacles the growth of mobile content consumption really presents. In another mobile feature we explore how Guitar World is revamping existing video assets so they play and pay on mobile devices. The article "5 Digital Magazine Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2015" is exactly what it sounds like, reporting on the ongoing experiment that is the digital magazine/app. Meanwhile, "Why Online Learning & Publishers Are a Perfect Match" explores a growing revenue opportunity for publishers in the learning space.
Denis Wilson is the content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzes and reports on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aims to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.