Sean Griffey, CEO of Industry Dive, launched the digital-only publishing company last year. He recently spoke to Media Business about content management in a mobile-first environment.
Media Business: You opened Industry Dive in 2012 with a digital-only approach. How do you manage your content?
Sean Griffey: We started with open-source software and built on it ourselves for publishing to mobile and to the Web. But I don't view content management as a technology problem. It's an editorial education and process problem. Think about content with a baseline understanding: I have a CMS that is flexible and can spit out content in different forms. That system should fit any situation. Then you have to think about educating your editorial team in what might work and what might not. There are many great infographics, for example, but there is no great way of handling that in mobile right now. We think about mobile first. If it won't work on a smartphone, it's something that we shy away from.
Media Business: What kind of content performs best on mobile?
Griffey: In b-to-b, we do a lot of news. When you are publishing news on mobile there is the belief that it is going to be current. If (readers) could wait until they got back to a desk, they probably would. What has to change is the process. We can't publish everything in the morning and then do calls during the day. We are publishing throughout the day. That is a shift from a print mindset, and in some ways it is a shift from what a lot of people in b-to-b are doing online. A lot of people build their editorial processes around newsletters. With mobile you're always publishing. The promise you make to a mobile user is that it will always be up to date.
Media Business: Are newsletters performing well?
Griffey: The No. 1 product for publishers on mobile right now is email. At Industry Dive we see almost 50% of our emails opened on mobile devices. We make sure that our newsletters look great on mobile and the better they look, the more people come (to the platform). There are a couple of different ways you can make newsletters look good on the phone. From the technology standpoint, media queries allow you to see what kind of browsers (users) are working on and serve different layouts. There is no standard way across email sites to handle that and, at best, you're going to get that to work 90% of the time. But with mobile becoming so important it's something that you have to do.