5 Vital resolutions for 2010
eMediaVitals has only been around for the last half of this year, so we don’t have the benefit/curse of looking back at how we did on our 2009 prognostications, since we didn’t make any. No matter – I’m not very good at predictions anyway, as anyone in my football pool can attest.
I do, however, have a decent wish list of story topics I’d like to see us cover in more depth during 2010. These are the stories and topics that will provide the most value to our community, and I have a high level of confidence that we can deliver them. So on this last day of 2009, I offer my Top 5 Vital Resolutions for 2010.
1. Pay walls that work. Time to stop pointing to the WSJ and FT.com as the prime examples of online subscription models – 98% of the publishing community can’t relate to what these giants are doing. We need more stories of pay models that are driving profitable growth for publications of all shapes and sizes. And as a bonus, I’d really like to know what’s inside the black box e-commerce engine that Journalism Online is supposedly testing with
dozens hundreds thousands of publishers.
2. Mobile success stories. Most pundits expect big things from the mobile and wireless markets in 2010. (Of course, they’ve had similar expectations every year since, oh, 2003.) But the evolution of smart phones and 3G services has made mobile an attractive platform for distributing content. We need to chronicle the efforts of publishers that are testing new ways to deliver news, features and other information to users, examining all the issues – design, app development, delivery methods, advertising models and, yes, paid content offerings.
3. Business model innovation. The pace of the transition from print to digital business models went from cruise control to overdrive in 2009 as the bottom fell out of the ad market and print revenues took a nosedive across the industry. Many publishers remain caught in the purgatory between print and digital, unwilling to shake their print-centric mindset and unable to define a new Web-first model that works. We don’t expect any Eureka moments, but we know that successful new models are emerging – we just need to uncover more of them.
4. Role models. The publishing industry doesn’t need more visionaries at the moment; it needs real agents of change. Who’s taking the risks necessary to position their publications for long-term growth? Who’s making the hard decisions now to pull their businesses back from the brink? Who’s green-lighting the experimentation needed to remake an industry? These are the people we want to profile.
5. Org charts. Forget the staffing model of the future – what’s the right staffing model for right now? Many publications are still heavily weighted toward print production. Has anyone figured out a winning structure for their editorial team, the sales staff, Web production? Who owns the website? Do the content and development teams need to be integrated? How much can be outsourced? What critical capabilities to we need to keep in-house?
So there you have it – my list of Vital Resolutions for 2010. We’ll need your help in delivering on these, of course. Here’s to a year of collaboration, valuable storytelling, and a positive vibe returning to the publishing industry.