New Kiplinger.com Online Content Editor Talks Digital Strategy
Earlier this month, Cindy Schwalb assumed her new role as online content editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and Kiplinger.com. With a successful stint at AOL Money & Finance under her belt, she brings with her a vast knowledge of how to capture new visitors and entice return readers online. Publishing Executive Inbox spoke to Schwalb about how publishers can find that delicate balance between providing content in both traditional and digital formats.
INBOX: What are some of your own personal rules of thumb when it comes to deciding what type of content, in what form, works best for print and what works best solely on the Web?
CINDY SCHWALB: The structure of a magazine tends to be more closed; it has a beginning, middle and end. Therefore, I like content choices that can open it up dynamically. These are the sidebars, columns, front and back matter that offer the unexpected: an opposing view to a feature, additional resources, factoids, a slice of humor. Print also has a more captive audience, so articles can be more in depth and run longer.
The Web, in its current state of evolution, is nearly the opposite. It is open, infinite and changing. Given these dynamics, I feel it is important to discipline the direction of your site, keep it simple and sharply focused in appearance and content organization.
There’s a strong current of change on the Web, and it’s very easy to feel as if you have to jump on every new trend. Add the multimedia enhancements to your package, as long as these dynamic elements directly enhance your newly published feature. Only use these new elements if they do work for you.
INBOX: What is your philosophy concerning the question of using a single team to handle both print and digital vs. maintaining two separate editorial teams to create content separately?
SCHWALB: As the publishing systems and software evolve to integrate both publishing processes, I think the print and Web teams will become more integrated. However, I believe the teams can work in tandem planning content and sharing ideas. I believe this is direction that Kiplinger’s has been moving toward and would like to further integrate the communication between the online and print teams.