Context-free content: new challenges for publishers

Publishers used to control the way content was experienced. Designers read and put content in tailored layouts. Content was produced and laid out for consumption on paper and later on desktop computers. The experience could be controlled but the content landscape is changing. First, an ever expanding portion of audiences access content through mobile devices.… Continue reading Context-free content: new challenges for publishers

Presenting Pearls: Stakes of Content Discovery

“Pearls” by Dr. John Supan for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Users of fast growing services face challenges discovering relevant content. To address these challenges is hard because relevance is an ever evolving concept which depends on the context. When the user has a clear goal or specific question, relevance is straight forward: that’s how we got search engines. But it is less obvious to address… Continue reading Presenting Pearls: Stakes of Content Discovery

Content Rivers and Information Gluttony

Portion depicting Gluttony in Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things”

As the festive season was drawing to a close, I –like a large portion of the online population– became concerned about ending the cycle of over-eating. The sense of satiety is easy to numb and hard to get back. It is not only true for food but also for content. Non-physical items can lead to… Continue reading Content Rivers and Information Gluttony

The limits of automation and the curator’s role

"Kneading Clay" by Sawyer Isabelle

Frank posted earlier about Popping the Filter Bubble, arguing that there wasn’t a real problem. Although, as he argues, the concerns about the filter bubble are framed as a conflict to sell the idea, it doesn’t mean the filter bubble is not a real and potentially problematic phenomenon. As he shows using the example of… Continue reading The limits of automation and the curator’s role

Wrap Your Content Around Regular Events

How do you ensure your content flows continuously? Publishing around current events, seasons and holidays are a great place to start. News organizations are masters at this. No example shines brighter than the month of December. Year after year, they run stories about Christmas decorations. More recently, they’ve put a “green” spin to it by… Continue reading Wrap Your Content Around Regular Events

Inject Gameplay into Your Content

Gamification is a very popular term with web product managers these days. It designates the introduction of game mechanics into seemingly unrelated products and processes. With the success of social video games such as Farmville and services such as Foursquare which give you points and badges to reward engagement, social gaming mechanics have arrived in the… Continue reading Inject Gameplay into Your Content

On or Off? How to Make Comments Work for You

I was prompted to think about the costs and value of comments after reading a post about the latest changes made to Gawker’s comment management system in which Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media, laments the poor state of comments sections. Engagement is difficult to get and even more difficult to keep. Whether you get no comments at all… Continue reading On or Off? How to Make Comments Work for You

Low cognitive budgets for web projects

A cognitive budget measures the amount of time and attention the stakeholders allocate to various aspects of their business. I am especially interested in the amount willingly given to the website and other web initiatives. Web teams can work around financial constraints. However, when the stakeholder cognitive budget is low and the web team doesn’t… Continue reading Low cognitive budgets for web projects

Carousels work great but not for communications

Two carousel pigs, hand-made in the late 19th century (Cirkuskarusellen in Gröna Lund, Stockholm) photographed by H. Pellikka

Slideshows or carousels are wonderful. They provide ample space for everything to be on the homepage for weeks. There is no need to hold meetings about the website. All stakeholders think they are getting a fair deal and appropriate amounts of exposure for their content. You may even whisper to yourself that your visitors get a well-rounded… Continue reading Carousels work great but not for communications

Quelques questions à se poser au delà du choix d’un CMS

Un jour, dans une librairie informatique, une femme s’approche du rayon consacré au web. Hésitante, elle s’approche du libraire et lui dit: «Bonjour, je suis secrétaire dans une petite association et on m’a chargée de créer un site web. Je ne sais pas quel logiciel choisir». Le rayon devant elle était rempli de livre avec… Continue reading Quelques questions à se poser au delà du choix d’un CMS