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Crowe strives to be 'content agnostic'

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Bryan Crowe has been art director of Allured Publishing for three years. Allured, which is based in Carol Stream, Ill., publishes fives magazines, including Perfumer & Flavorist and Cosmetics & Toiletries. Crowe's duties include overseeing production. MB: What's changed since you arrived at Allured? Crowe: We've done a lot of work to streamline our work flow. We don't have blue lines anymore. We soft-proof. Everything is done online. We've been moving fully into the electronic world. MB: What are you working on now? Crowe: One of the phrases that gets mentioned around here often is “content agnostic”—the dissemination of information through multiple forms. We don't want to steer away from news in print because that's where some people access that, but we also want to provide as much news and video as possible to the online user. Video is really a whole new thing, because in the last year most people have dealt with the speed issue. It's accessible to all. You can download whole hourlong episodes of network TV. So we need to keep finding ways to use that now that it's truly available to us. MB: How will you do that? Crowe: We're in the middle of launching new versions of our sites, and we're really trying to grow our video online. We have events, and the video from that is useful to all the online readers as well. MB: In relaunching your sites, did you do focus groups? Crowe: We've spent a lot of time, money and effort looking at feasibility, usability. We had a company come in and do feasibility testing on our Web sites. We had people from the industry come in and look at it. We posed questions to online users. What we think they want isn't necessarily what they want, so you've got to ask questions. —M.J.M.
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