On Tuesday, H+K London hosted the PRCA Technology Group meeting – The Shapeshift of Tech Media: Why, How & Where to now? Leading the discussion was a panel of tech media’s leading journalists: Matt Warman (The Telegraph), Duncan Geere (Wired.co.uk), Bobbie Johnson (GigaOM), Bryan Glick (Computer Weekly) and Mike Simons (ComputerWorld UK).
How to monetise digital content and social media integration
Matt Warman kicked off the discussion with some comments on the tech websites and the challenges the nationals face in competing with them. His view was that the nationals simply can’t match the experts and ad revenue of publications like Wired so they rely on big executive interviews as their differentiator.
Duncan Geere said that the tech media are not using the technology they write about to report stories in dramatically different ways and that they should experiment more with form and content. To this, Bobbie Johnson added that more thought is needed on how stories are developed and offered, rather than just the story itself.
Bryan Glick took to the stage to tell us how he is bringing ComputerWeekly into the digital age. His view is that publications simply can’t get away with charging for content if their competitors don’t. Also, readers have never paid for content; they have paid for the platform to access that content. Everyone agreed on this point and a couple of panellists went as far as to say that technology innovation is just what tech media need to get up to speed. The industry is in the process of learning how to adapt content to different platforms – B2B publications in particular are often tempted to chase consumer traffic and ultimately forget their readers’ needs. On social media the consensus was that it generates minimal traffic but is essential to adding a deeper social layer to the relationship between journalists and readers.
Finally, the panel discussed the growing interest of digital audiences in the availability of long form content on mobiles devices – a shift away from the previous assumption that only short-from content was suitable.
Are tech media going in the right direction? Are they equipped to win over the digital challenges they face on a daily basis? Can they master the same technology they write about to help the industry move forward?
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