Raju Narisetti is the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal’s digital network. In an interview with TheMediaBriefing, he talked innovation in digital publishing. Here are the highlights:
On bad strategy:
One mistake people have made – with the exception of people like the Wall Street Journal – is the idea that if you grow audiences and grow enough critical mass of audience that the advertising will come and the revenue will grow proportionally.
That hasn’t panned out at all. Even though some media companies have done well from that mass of eyeballs they’ve not been able to monetise it. That means that whatever you say about the print business it remains the majority of revenue and in some cases profits, or losses.
On short-term thinking:
…a lot of decisions tend to be made by publishing execs who have a much shorter personal horizon – so as a result have a lot at stake over the next five or ten years, because of their retirement or profit share. That’s had a significant impact on media business models and it’s still happening. I don’t see anyone who’s making 10 or 15 year bets and taking short-term hits to make them happen.
On content creation:
Content creation ought to be a single multiplatform group. But content management ought to be specialised. I get very irritated when people say they are platform-agnostic, because each platform is a very different opportunity to create a different experience.
Journalists working to fill a page of news print is inside-out thinking. You have to say, where is our audience and where are they consuming our content?
Awesome narrative timeline of how the Supreme Court’s Decision on the Affordable Care Act broke across different news networks. “We’re Getting Wildly Differing Assessments.” My take away: news outlets not especially invested in “getting there first,” and which had predicted the unusual structure of the decision, were the winners.
EPEAT—Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool—maintains a national registry of green tech hardware. Sounds like something Apple’d be on. But Ars Technica reports that Apple asked EPEAT to take 39 products off the list. Although Apple has emphasized their environmentally friendly designs, the EPEAT standards requires that “recyclers need to be able to easily disassemble products, with common tools, to separate toxic components, like batteries,” according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s a serious problem for Apple because the Retina MacBook Pro is not going to pop apart with a flathead screwdriver. Components are glued together, so unless you have some industrial strength solvents and a lot of know-how, the new Retina MacBook is impregnable. Strangely enough, Apple is pulling its entire product line from the list, not just the Retina. In effect, Apple is distancing itself from EPEAT. Why the sudden swivel away from a green standard? Perhaps, Apple anticipates that EPEAT standards will become increasingly prohibitive and that now is an optimal time to make the change. The Apple-EPEAT split has neither generated big PR waves nor provoked public ire, so it seems like the strategy worked.
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LinkedIn has not been successfully integrated into the social media strategies of digital publishing companies.
In fact, most publishers are either unaware of LinkedIn’s shareable functionality altogether or don’t actively proliferate their content on LinkedIn.
That’s a mistake.