Note: This post is part 3 of 4 in a series of posts. The parent article is “ISA: One Member’s Vision.”
Content is the fuel for this new paradigm’s engine. A wide variety of interesting, thought provoking, authoritative, and even mundane content will increase member engagement and improve search engine results, driving more and more web search results to ISA. However, under the current publication infrastructure this is difficult if not impossible to realize. That’s because the current approach is to filter, then publish. In other words, a centralized group of staff and volunteers decides what content would be valuable to members, assembles, edits, and then publishes it in a “one size fits all” format. Incidentally, it may sound like I’m referring specifically to InTech, but it includes any means of disseminating information. There are several problems with this approach. First, it bombards me with information I don’t care about. I have too many other options available to me that make it dead simple to zoom in on the information I care about than to spend time sifting through information I don’t. Second, it costs lots and lots of time and money to orchestrate. Third, the information is devalued by making it hard to index (Google), find, bookmark, share, or re-purpose.
The alternative is to distribute, then filter. In other words, the long tail of the membership should be enabled to become content providers. This may or may not involve intermediary review and/or editing – that’s an implementation detail. Then, the content is published using categories and tagging so that it is easily searched subscribed to. Now, Sally can very easily focus on any content tagged with “cybersecurity” without the distraction of having to wade through “flow sensors” or “thermocouples.”