Monday, October 10, 2011

Recommended reading: Yelvington on meaning of 'digital first'

Steve Yelvington is out with an excellent post on what, exactly, it means to be "digital first."

It requires restructuring all your priorities. Not just when you do it, but what you do and how you do it.

It requires grasping what is different about digital media -- and leveraging those differences.

So what are those differences? There are many, but here are three worth pondering:
  1. Time. It's not just about the volatility of news. Brands are volatile. Ideas are volatile. Change has accelerated. In such an environment, "the way we do things here" is probably wrong. Challenge everything. If "news" is "old" moments later, are there things you could be doing with your time that create longer-lasting value?
  2. Surplus. Newspapers evolved in an era of information scarcity. As I write this, an estimated 12.51 billion Web pages are at our fingertips. In such a glut, clarity and simplicity become scarce. What are you doing that helps guide people through this clutter?
  3. Control. Gatekeeping died back in the last century. Everyone is a self-publisher. Information flows around would-be barriers in a globally networked conversation. You can't manage information in this environment. But can you lead? Do you understand what is implied by that question? How can you leverage this process?
If you think about it, he's talking about the two legs of the three-legged stool (content, the third leg, is a given for this discussion) that I've said journalists still struggle with:

Utility (No. 2) and community (No. 3).

Read it all - it's well worth a couple of minutes of your time.

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