Communicator’s hate change

A few months ago I talked about how users hate change, but let’s not forget that a lot of communicators hate change, too. I’ve been in several situations where I had to train reporters, editors and writers in the newsroom or writers in a PR and marketing group how to create web content and work with social media and quite often they are highly resistant to changing how they write, what they write for online. Most of the time their thought process is that the web is just another place to publish their writing so they just copy and paste their news releases, brochures, etc into the content management system and they think their done when they are actually just getting started.

When I talk to college students about working in communications the only thing that I say that I can guarantee them about a career in communications is that people always love to read, see and hear well told stories and that how we tell stories will continue to change.

Is the Kindle Fire for content or purchases?

I bought my wife a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I’m impressed and she loves it (and the price isn’t bad either).

I’ve read a lot of hype that says that Amazon is pushing the device to make more sales, but I really believe that is a pure content device. It’s a great reader, beautiful HD player and runs all the Android apps once you get out of the Amazon App store.

In contrast to most critics I actually prefer the size of the Fire to the iPad and I don’t really have any issues with the Silk web browser. My wife carries it with her everywhere- It’s the perfect purse device.  She has a Nook e-reader before and we’ve installed the Nook App so she has her previously purchased Barnes and Noble’s e-books on her Amazon Kindle Fire.

You really have to have an Amazon prime membership to get the most out of  the Fire. With the a Prime membership you can stream videos to it and participate in the Kindle lending library.


What’s the most important part of a CMS?

Most web sites today are ran by a content management system (CMS). A CMS separates content from design and makes it easy to post content to the site without the knowledge of HTML. A CMS can be cheap (open source – free) or expensive ($100,000) plus a year, but what feature of a CMS is the most important?

  • Reliability – Your web site has to be up to accomplish your goal.
  • Ease of use – If it’s not easy for your users to post content forget it.
  • Speed – Your web sites must be fast for someone to enjoy it.
  • SEO – The mother’s milk of web sites.
  • Social – Does it play well with Facebook and Twitter.
  • Administrative costs – It may be free, but how many server administrators does it take to run it?

I confess, I’ve paid for online content

It makes me sad to admit this, but I must confess I have paid for online content. You probably have too if you you are among the 65 percent of Internet users who admitted to paying for online content in a new study from the  Pew Internet & the American Life Project.

For this survey Pew defined online content as  “intangible digital products such as software, articles, and music that need not have a physical form.” Some of my highlights of what we’ve paid for include.

  • 33% of internet users have paid for digital music online
  • 19% have paid for digital games
  • 18% have paid for digital newspaper, magazine, or journal articles or reports
  • 16% have paid for videos, movies, or TV shows
  • 11% have paid for members-only premium content from a website that has other free material on it
  • 10% have paid for e-books
  • 7% have paid for podcasts
  • 5% have paid for tools or materials to use in video or computer games
  • 5% have paid for “cheats or codes” to help them in video games

Although I am a proponent of all information wants to be free philosophy, I must admit I’ve paid for ebooks, music, apps and even web site access (for my kids, not for me). So what kind of online content have you paid for?

Predictions for 2011 and beyond

As my first post of the new year, here’s my web, technology and communications predictions for 2011 and beyond. Don’t let me forget to check up next year and see how many I’ve gotten right.

Social Media
Twitter will stagnate and be recognized as a niche product. Twitter’s web traffic has plateued and can’t seem to grow. It’s management will start grasping for straws and reduce access for outside applications to their API. Facebook’s growth will slow, too (it has, too there aren’t that many people with Internet access left).

The mobile web growth will increase while app growth slows. Companies will realize it is much cheaper to customize their web site designs for mobile devices rather than code 3 or 4 seperate apps.

Online Content
We’ll see more and more niche sites pop-up and make it. The sites will have to be run on a shoe string, but they can survive that way (A few of those may even be paid content that work).

Tablets will continue to be huge for online content. Not for their apps, but their easy portability to access the web. iPads will continue to grow, but there will be a surge in cheaper linux based tablets.