Example of Providing Options Beyond Basic Online Subscription

I made a short screencast of the Wall Street Journal’s website today, WSJ.com, looking at the subscription pricing model the publisher has in place. There is a great lesson here for associations about offering premium options that give new value to those who purchase it without inherently devaluing the base subscription.

eReaders and Association Publishing

Reggie Henry, CIO of ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership, posted the following to Twitter this morning:

Looking at all of the e-reader apps at CES just begs the question of when are we going to rethink association publishing…

Interesting question!

About six years ago a board member of a scientific society with significant publishing operations asked me how I thought the Web would change scholarly publishing. I answered that the peer review process was unlikely to go away, unless we change how we do science, but that the medium in which scientific content is published will continue to change over time. In short: don’t abandon peer review but do be very open to changing how your content is delivered.

I believe the same holds for the new round of innovation coming with ereaders and tablet PCs. The core value of association publications won’t be degraded. However, you have to follow your markets in how they choose to access content. If you don’t, you’ll fail to realize a tremendous amount of potential value.

For example, any journal that doesn’t have an online version somewhere (paid or open) has relegated themselves to obscurity at this point.

I expect ereaders and tablets to integrate quite well with the Web while introducing newer forms of content presentation that will be unique to the platform. Therefore, this transition probably won’t be as drastic and problematic as the print to Web transitions proved for a lot of publications, especially if they already have a strong online presence.

What do you think?

Video Interview about Breakthrough Results Online

The folks over at ASAE & the Center just released a video interview with me discussing my book, Online and On Mission: Practical Web Strategy for Breakthrough Results. In the interview I explain what a breakthrough results looks like online.

You can buy a copy of the book for yourself via my site, Amazon or ASAE. ASAE members should buy from them to receive the greatest discount.

Two Web Strategy Screencasts

I created two screencasts (video of a browser session with voice over) showing websites that demonstrate several of the web strategies that I cover in my book, Online and On Mission: Practical Web Strategy for Breakthrough Results. The videos accompany an article I wrote for the December issue of Associations Now, What Drives Your Web Strategy?. You can view the videos below or go to read the article and see them there as well.

Revenue Examples

Market Needs and Marketing Examples

Many thanks to the folks at the following organizations: Air Conditioning Contractors of America; American Institute of Physics; Maryland Chamber of Commerce; and HopeWell Cancer Support.

Finally, thank to Lisa Junker for inviting me to be their first author to contribute both text and online video for Associations Now.

Fiber to Cuba Illuminates Future Opportunity

I wrote an article for Association’s Now earlier this year on the web strategy implications of a more open Cuba. One of the key factors I noted was that Cuba has no fiber optic lines, to the rest of the world, which drastically limits the available bandwidth in the island country. Looks like that may change in a couple years: Miami Firm Plans First U.S.-Cuba Fiber Optic Cable.

If an open Cuba is an opportunity for your organization, then you have a window in which to prepare for making greater connections online with Cuban citizens.

Online and On Mission Interview

My new book is coming out in a bit over a week. Titled Online and On Mission: Practical Web Strategy for Breakthrough Results, you can pre-order from the publisher now or pick one up in person at ASAE’s annual meeting in Toronto.

Seth Kahan, who helps visionary leaders get traction for their big ideas, was kind enough to interview me about the book last week. I have added the video to the Facebook fan page I set up for the book. Watch the vid and become a fan to get updates on content and events related to the book.


Creating New Ideas for Your Association Web Site

I had a great time presenting on Sunday at ASAE’s Great Ideas conference about how to create your own ideas for your association web site.

I emphasized in the session that:

  • Anyone can do this, you do not need permission.
  • Ideas are literally all around us if you open your eyes to them.
  • Creating and implementing new ideas is inherently an act of optimism, which will make you stand out from the crowd these days!

I had a few people come up afterward saying how enabling they found the ideas of the presentation. They were not ‘tech’ people and, before my talk, didn’t think they could do much of this themselves. Untrue! If you can simply edit content on your site (or have someone do it for you) you can immediately begin improving it.

Here are the slides for your reference.

I also offer this same presentation as a staff workshop. If you see value in empowering staff to do more with your web site, drop me a note and we can discuss putting a program together for you. Your members will thank you!

My First Word of Mouth Whoa Moment

Lindy has asked me to contribute a story about the impact of word-of-mouth marketing. So, here goes.

Back in the dark ages of the Web I was working for the Employee Relocation Council in the research department. ERC launched one of the earliest association web sites and I was listed as the contact for research information, including international relocation.

The day the site went up (probably in 1995, maybe 1994), I started receiving e-mail from people all around the world with questions about how to get a visa to come to the United States. This was way before e-mail scams were that common, they were genuine people looking for help. I was blown away and knew this was something new and special. I have no idea how people found this page on the web with my e-mail but they did. Search was next to useless or non-existent then, if you can imagine. ASAE used to maintain a single page that listed all the association web sites online, to give you an idea of how sparse the web world was back then.

All of these folks found me somehow through links and clicking and sharing information with others back when you had to get through some pretty significant hoops to be online.

That’s word of mouth powered by strong needs and desire.

Great Ideas and Avectra Academy Appearances Soon!

I have two opportunities coming up in the next week to hear me in action.

First, this Sunday I am presenting a session at ASAE & the Center’s Great Ideas conference in Miami. The session is titled: Creating Your Own Web Site Idea Generator. I will lead the audience in determining the best sources of new ideas for their organization’s web site and how to make it a regular innovation process rather than an infrequent exception. Should be fun!

Second, I am moderating a webinar for the Avectra Academy on Monday Feb 23 with two great panelists. Suzanne Zurn of 720 Strategies and Brad Fitch of Knowlegis are going to discuss the big changes that are coming in advocacy from the new administration and changes in technology. The session is titled Association Advocacy in 2009:
Leveraging Changes in Technology and Administration to Create the Change Your Members Need
. This is a free session but be sure to sign up this week if you want to join in.