On May 9 & 10, the SIIA Content Division hosted Content VIA Platforms – a conference dedicated to educating media, publishing and information professionals about the technology and business issues related to distributing content via mobile, social and other platforms. Guest blogger, Angus Robertson, Principal Robertson Advisors LLC, gives his write up on the Conference and the content covered.
About Robertson Advisors: For 10 years Robertson Advisors has been providing content creators and distributors with strategic and tactical consulting services. Angus can be reached at email@example.com.
A major theme emerging from SIIA’s Content VIA Platforms conference in San Francisco last week was the impact that mobile is having on the distribution of content.
One lesson from the success of iPad apps is that the simplicity dictated by the format can be a benefit that has relevance to other offerings as well. The limitations of apps forces greater focus on what is truly important, a lesson that is increasingly being incorporated into web products.
Newstex President Larry Schwartz offered a useful walk through of the process and timeline of developing mobile apps. He stressed the importance of following the Lean Startup model of “Nail it and scale it.”
Dan Bennett, VP of Technology for Thomson Reuters, provided a handy comparison of the pros and cons of native apps versus HTML5 and sounded a note of caution about jumping on the app bandwagon. Developing and supporting apps for Apple devices always adds to costs but not always to revenue, so it is important to understand what you are trying to do with apps, he said. He likens apps to puppies: everyone loves them until they get big and tear apart the house.
Barry Graubart, VP Marketing, ReisReports, led an informative Executive Bootcamp on Platforms that included Teri Mendelsohn of Mendelsohn Consulting, Ann Michael of Delta Think, Robin Neidorf of Free Pint and Mark Strohlein of Agile Business Logic.
Some of the key pointers from this session were:
Mobile strategy needs to:
- embrace the constraints; focus and simplify; and leverage mobile features such as geolocation, but only where they add value.
- iPads are now outselling PCS, which represent less than 50% of the market.
- About one in ten new products will be successful.
Security and authentication remains a significant hindrance to going fully mobile in the enterprise market, especially for businesses such as financial institutions. Still, Free Pint surveys of enterprise users show that mobile is growing strongly in the corporate world. Two years ago Junior Analysts were asking “Why can’t I get this on my iPhone?” Now, senior executives are saying “Get this on my iPad, I don’t care how.”
Peter Marney, VP Content Group, Thomson Financial Research, gave an overview of how Thomson Reuters is handling the issue of fully leveraging the vast amounts of data across the company to support multiple platforms and markets. His goal is to make news dynamic and interactive across the merged enterprise. “Knowing the value of the connections (between content) is more important than the content itself,” he said, citing the links between companies, people, patents and legal issues.