Looking at all of the e-reader apps at CES just begs the question of when are we going to rethink association publishing…
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.
I have added an article to my site that was originally published in a Society for National Association Publications newsletter: Slaying Sacred Zombie Cows. This piece expands on an earlier post where I first mentioned these pernicious sacred zombie cow programs and how we have a unique opportunity to kill them off now.
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!
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!
Google announced this week that they are closing down several sites and services. According to reports they are eliminating some redundant services (Google Video being a good example of that) while closing others that never performed.
Peter Drucker, in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said that the single thing that highly innovative companies had in common was that they were ruthless in killing programs, products or services that no longer created value. There is almost always a finite limit to which you can expand your capacity to add new things. The most innovative organizations, according to Drucker, free up existing resources for more valuable efforts.
This is precisely what Google is doing now.
In my experience, stopping programs is a significant challenge for a lot of non-profit organizations. Services and programs tend to come with their own built-in constituencies (that’s how many of them get created in the first place!). The ones that fail to flourish become sacred zombie cows, staggering along without truly dying yet with no hope for growth.
This recession creates an environment where those sacred zombie cows can finally be driven from the organization. Before contemplating layoffs or uniform cuts across the organization, take advantage of the disruption around us to stop doing things that no longer create value. This will allow you redirect resources to more productive programs which will create a thriving organization while others continue to struggle.
It’s hard to imagine a form that could be simpler: two fields, two buttons, and one link. Yet, it turns out this form was preventing customers from purchasing products from a major e-commerce site, to the tune of $300,000,000 a year. What was even worse: the designers of the site had no clue there was even a problem.
The button? Register.
I personally worked with an association where we made a similar change to an e-commerce process that resulted in a six figure improvement in revenue. Some small changes can have a big impact!
I am delivering a webinar next Monday at 12 noon eastern that is free with registration. The topic is “Top 10 Quickest Ways to Create Value Online” and is being hosted as part of the Avectra Academy. The content is tailored for membership organizations.
This is a great opportunity to pick up a few practical ideas with which to enhance the value of your site before the year is over. Sign up today!
Nick Carr makes a great point today about making sure you look at new outcomes you can achieve with new technology rather than simply getting more efficient at what you already do: The new economics of computing.
The title of this post comes from Peter Drucker who called innovations that enable new value for your customers as demand innovation. Supply innovation is all about creating efficiencies for value you already provide.