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All Webbed-Out: Summary of eight hours of digital content

I have had the most ridiculously filled day of digital content.  Of course it’s all new, all interesting, and all slightly overwhelming.  From discussing new business models, to Twitter blurring the line between social media and all media, along with insider tips on SEO strategies, I feel as if all my new knowledge makes me quite the digital princess.

During class my digitality (made-up word) began when Hearst Digital Media (yes, Hearst of the Media empire) was generous enough to share with the NYU SPI class three of their top officials to discuss “Websites Gone Wild” and “Get the Work Out, Get the Traffic”:

  • Chris Johnson, VP Content and Business Development, Hearst Digital Media
  • Beth Ellard, Content Director, Hearst Digital Media
  • Dan Roberts, Senior SEO Strategist & Analyst, Hearst Digital Media

The session with Johnson and Ellard focused on the different ways Hearts utilizes the web to drive traffic to their 12 magazine branded sites and 8 digital-only entities.  These 20 Hearst owned sites reach 10% of the total internet audience monthly.  This massive digital reach translates to about 1/3 of all their magazine subscriptions coming from the web80% of the traffic on their magazine sites looks at pure digital content; not the re-postings of print editoral.

Roberts is a self proclaimed “Data Geek” who has knows how to match Hearst’s content with what people search for, aka Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Hate to say it to you naive websurfers out there, but the first hits that come up on Google don’t appear by chance, but a well-orchestrated plan.  Roberts is a fan of NOW Media: More than the “new media” we’re used to hearing about, as that’s already dated, this is the current digital landscape that’s constantly changing.

Advantages of NOW Media:

  • Distribution has never been easier
  • We (my generation) are experts
  • We know what works

NOW Media reality/challenges:

  • Rules are constantly changing, techonology always evolving
  • There is micro-attention (aka Twitter) and mega-noise (digital clutter)
  • You can’t always control the message – your brand can be discussed in user generated content that is beyond your regulation

The digital-ness of my Wednesday was made complete (after getting lost on the Subway for an hour- DO NOT use Google maps for the NYC transportation system, it lies!) by attending Mashable NextUp NYC: Social Media Marketing 101 (thanks to @TheUndomestic!).  The two keynote speakers were obviously incredibly smart and web-savvy:  Steve Rubel (SVP, Director of Insights for Edelman Digital) and Mashable’s Founder and President, Pete Cashmore.

Rubel spoke first on the five digital trends to watch (bear with me, my notes are quite scribbly after one very strong vodka soda):

  1. Satisfaction Guaranteed = Customer Service + PR: brands must audit online experiences
  2. Media Reforestation: Paper is going digital.
  3. Less is the new more: People are no longer gorging on media and often choosing selective ignorance.  More impotant than ever to shape search shelf.
  4. Corporate All-Stars: People within your company standing by your brand in the digital space.  Ex: @ScottMonty, as Ford on Twitter
  5. Power of the Pull: Write for searches, not for readers.

Then Pete Cashmore got on stage with his nice accent and talked to a panel of other professionals about their web opinions.  Wow they’ve done a lot for charity – check out and contribute to Charity Water; they’re doing incredible things.

Whew now time for bed, hopefully I’ll get to write up the other amazing speakers from Rodale, Seventeen magazine, Time Out, and People Style Watch tomorrow.

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