In a marketplace where dot-com reigns supreme, it's vital for publishers to integrate the Internet into their future business strategies. Publishers customize information for particular audiences, and those that are destined for continued success will transcend the method of information delivery—print vs. Web—and find, as my company has, that technological change can be advantageous.
The technological impact
Many publishers agree that technological change can have a positive impact on the industry. We've seen it enhance print quality, reduce production costs and compress turn-around time. And technological change provides the impetus for new business opportunities, as well. Just look at the booming new dot-com advertising base! Indeed, the Internet promises to provide publishers and advertisers with a more cost-effective and more targeted medium to reach consumers.
The market impact
Not a day goes by during which we don't hear praises, and criticisms, about the Internet. Access to the Internet puts a veritable library at the consumer's fingertips. The Internet empowers consumers, allowing them to gain access to the information that they need, when they need it.
The Internet presents immense opportunity for publishers that leverage their existing information and contacts. Forming a Web-based business model, publishers can offer a highly targeted, value-added marketing medium to their advertisers.
The learning curve
One of the first hurdles publishers must clear is educating staff about the Web's nuances. To publish in multiple platforms, employees must understand how to present the information people want in a way that maximizes the advantages of its intended medium. For a traditional print-based publisher, retraining existing staff can be a difficult endeavor.
The "process thinking" of the Web versus the "event thinking" of print creates two co-existing cultures and behaviors. Publishing has a hard deadline and a final publication date. Once the date passes, the project is complete—for better or for worse. Quite the opposite, the Web is a far more fluid medium. It is constantly accessible for updates, improvements and changes. While the two cultures may operate independent of one another, it may be far more efficient and cost effective to build a bridge between the two, so that each can benefit from a single source of content.