The Three P’s Changing the Face of Online Content

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism is out with fresh survey data on how Americans consume their news.

The findings have big implications for any organization for which content management and content strategy play a role in supporting, interacting with and delivering information to customers. Read: this has tentacles that reach far beyond news organizations and news consumers, deep into the evolving behaviors of all consumers in the age of iPhone and Twitter.

First, the key findings: the Internet, according to Pew’s research, is now the third most popular news platform, behind only local and national TV news. It’s ahead of newspapers and radio – no surprise there.

But the more compelling info relates to the Three P’s of the research study’s findings. According to Pew:

‘The internet and mobile technologies are at the center of the story of how people’s relationship to news is changing. In today’s new multi-platform media environment, news is becoming portable, personalized, and participatory:

• Portable: 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones.
• Personalized: 28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them.
• Participatory: 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.’

For news and non-news organizations, the Three P’s pose many questions around content (and content management) that beg answers and point to opportunities:

• Do you have an effective strategy for delivering mobile content to your diverse audiences? With the rise of the iPhone, iPad and other phone and reader devices, what is your plan, and will you get left behind as your readers/customers move their experience to these platforms? Content management platforms are part of the solution here, but require extensive planning and prioritization to prepare to roll out effective content experiences tailored to these platforms.

• Do you have an effective strategy for personalizing the online content experience? This question also goes far beyond the personalized news feeds or news content tailored to your preferences – if you’re a corporation, or a brand, or a college, or a non-profit: are you prepared for this inexorable shift to more personalized content experiences? The good news is CMS platforms are working overtime to deliver on the promise of if not personalized then (at least) lightly customized content experiences.

• Do you have an effective strategy for utilizing social networks for connecting your information to readers/customers? Implicit in Pew’s research is that social networks have fast become not just platforms for dissemination of information, but also effective filters on the river of news and information that flows toward us all. Your trusted friends (even the 1,000 people you follow on Twitter) serve as unofficial editors delivering their ‘best of’ links and news and content they think you should know about. It’s a stark wake up call to traditional publishers and communicators whose branded influence (hello, networks and newspapers) are waning perhaps even faster than they think. The opportunity if you’re a corporation or brand is to determine how best to harness social networks and turn these trusted sources of information into active distribution channels for your content.

About the Author
David Aponovich

A former 'CMS Insider,' David is relentlessly focused on the gap between vendor speak and customer adoption. In addition to keeping a keen eye on industry trends, he works with clients on the cultural and process implications of CMS that are so often overlooked. David wrote for the CMS Myth during his time working at Connective DX (formerly ISITE Design).

More articles from David Aponovich

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