The secret of successful publishing

Paul Boag

I recently ran a workshop on content strategy and social media. The reason I combine these two topics is because they are so closely linked. In today’s connected world, publishing has changed. It is no longer about broadcasting. Today publishing is about a conversation, as is beautifully expressed by Mandy Brown in her recent post Babies and Bathwater.

We can no longer think of publishing as a broadcast medium. It isn’t, not anymore. The web requires that we listen and converse as much as (if not more than) we ship.

Why then do so many publishers continue to broadcast rather than actively engage users? The reason is simple, as Mandy goes on to explain:

Of course, supporting a community is hard work, and it isn’t cheap. It’s expensive not only in time, but in spirit: you have to care about your readers.

For many nurturing a community is just too much effort. Unfortunately this is not an option on the modern web. Users are out there talking about you elsewhere. If you ignore them you risk alienating them or even missing a potential PR nightmare. However, if you nurture a community these very same people can become your best advocates.

What route have you chosen?