When media was like grocery stores

By March 31, 2015Uncategorized

Photo: Nathan Rein

Everytime I go to a grocery store it frustrates me how difficult it is to find all the stuff I need. Although experts have spent gazillions of hours perfecting the shopping experience for us (or rather for the shop owners), we still waste valueable spare time staring at products we’re not interested in.

In a dream world, the grocery stores would be designed exclusively for me, so I could take a fast track along the shelves to find my beef, olive oil, pepper and bearnaise.  And you…, well you could have your own track.

For online media consumers however, this kind of experience is not a dream anymore. The traditional way of presenting media online was to add new stories on the first page, in reversed chronological order. This approach had a two major drawbacks:

 

  • Users had to scan through a large number of articles that were totally irrelevant to them.
  • Interesting articles disappeared quickly and were difficult to find again. Within 24 hours most stories were gone from the first page and if you’ve ever tried to search news sites, you know how bad those engines are.

 

With access to data and tools for personalization, those challeges are now being taken care of. Modern publishers are quickly adopting a much more dynamic publishing approach. By constantly learning about how each user navigates through their websites, publishers can align the experience to individual interests. If you’re not into sports, you don’t have to see 25% of the surface being sports news. If you frequently click into the site from Facebook, the publisher will give you more of a Facebook experience.

Simultaneously, an intelligent publishing platform will suggest more relevant content, depending on your interest, making it easier to dig into a certain story and get the full picture. This prolongs lifetime and value of content, which is crucial for publishers in need of higher online revenues.

So having a user-centric approach has never been easier, at least on the Internet. I guess I should begin shopping groceries online too…

Contact Sprinkle if you want to learn more about user-centric publishing.