What Paul Conley Said: “I would prefer that publishers spend less time thinking about electronic design and spend more time thinking about electronic distribution.”
Observation: I love great design — print and online — however, I couldn’t agree with Paul more. People are reading your articles via newsreaders, blackberries, Treo browsers, who knows, smoke signals. When you design a website with the belief that your readers are all going to “enjoy” it via the most recent version of a web browser on a large desktop monitor, you’re displaying a high degree of cognitive dissonance (translation: you’re convincing yourself of something you want to believe, rather than that which might actually be).
Paul’s post also reminds me that I’ve been meaning to point to the (Washington) Post Remix weblog (tagline: “The Post’s Official Mashup Center”). I’ll echo Paul’s suggestion to anyone in the “traditional” media business who has the desire to “get it.” Follow the Washington Post’s enlightened lead. However, on this front, I’m sorry to say I also agree with Paul, who writes, “But truth be told, I can’t imagine that any B2B publishers will be able to do such things for several years. Heck, I can’t convince many of the folks I work with to link outside their own Web sites! Many journalists aren’t ready for the present, let alone for the future.”
(Actually, I can think of some B2B publishers who are ready to follow the Post’s lead, but I could count them on one hand. Come to think of it, the Post even has a B2B publishing unit that pumps out lots of “mashup-ready” RSS feeds. Somebody there will should get it.)