From Print to Digital: To Know You is to Engage You

Knowing your audience. That is the key to making the transition from print to digital according to the speakers at today’s Circus “From Print to Digital” session. All three speakers stressed the importance of knowing what motivates their readers and using that to create as, James Daly of Edutopia phrased it, “a two-way conversation that’s organic.”

Speaking for the Economist, perhaps the strongest example of a traditional magazine that made the lead from print to web, publisher Paul Rossi (who apologized to those who were expecting Ben Edwards) said that a “sustainable future is to have people engaged in your site,” and then stressed that readers “come to you for a lens and a view and defining what is your view is very important.” (Also, did you know there’s an audio edition of the Economist available online? New Yorker take note!)

James Cloutier CEO of 8020 publishing, which prints magazines (JPG, Everywhere) from online content that readers vote on, says that “it’s important to know why readers care and play to their strengths…Don’t try to compete with traditional process because web isn’t going to make magazines go away, but apathy is.”