Computerworld Enters New World Online
After 10 years of maintaining a respectable Web presence, the editors of Computerworld felt it was time to up the ante late last year. Although an “online mantra” had been preached within the company for nearly six years, the publication, aimed at senior IT management, decided to fundamentally alter the way it looked at its electronic content delivery.
It became an information broker.
According to Editor in Chief Don Tennant, trading in the twice-a-day updates on its site for a steady flow of new data helped the magazine get in touch with what its technology-savvy readership was looking for. Eleven beat reporters who worked on the weekly print magazine and occasionally contributed online became online reporters who also wrote for print. It doubled its output of online stories each day.
“We recognized that at some point all of our beat reporters who were writing for print would have to start writing for online first,” he says. “What it meant was we wouldn’t hold the story. We’d break the news online. Their job is to constantly pump out stories that go online.”
The 37-year-old magazine, a division of International Data Group (IDG), publisher of PC World and more than 300 other titles, now sees about 1.5 million unique visitors a month on its site. It has exponentially expanded its readership from 180,000 IT management
professionals at Fortune 1000 companies to just about any person interested in IT matters in just about any size company, Tennant says.
“We realized the old way was just not doing it, it did not meet our readers’ needs,” he says. “Eighteen months ago, we were really, really proud of ourselves that we were all over a breaking story of the day. But we’ve finally soaked in that that’s not good enough. You have to be all over the story of right now. [Our readers] wanted one news feed that is constantly updated. It finally dawned on us that this is a new medium, and we have to use it and take advantage of it for what it does.”