Editor’s Note: Mobile: The Web All Over Again?
Some are just maximizing the Web's benefits today, launching communities for their audiences to meet authors and each other, and even involving readers in story plots (the newly launched FictionExpress.co.uk/en).
While Andrew Brenneman cautions, in his Digital Directions column (page 34), against diving into mobile without a set strategy for delivering real value, he also offers the three keys to an effective mobile strategy. And they seem clear and simple enough.
Morse, on the contrary, suggests that proceeding without a clear business model is OK, as waiting will make you late to market.
A combination of these two philosophies seems to be what successful Web ventures did in the past, and what some successful mobile ventures are doing now. While Merriam-Webster may not have had a set business model for mobile, it has developed, for the most part, products that utilize the benefits of mobile (including its portability, content salability and even advertising revenue) and that tap the company's existing assets—two of Brenneman's main points.
This strategy has worked with print and websites, and surely makes sense for mobile. It worked for TV (after realizing that creating "visual radio" was not tapping TV's capabilities). The Web's interactive capabilities enable publishers to connect with audiences in new ways, and mobile has so much potential that it's confusing to figure out the best way to tap it. Plus, the best way will be unique for every publisher. So, hopefully the tips and strategies in this issue will help you develop a successful strategy that won't hold you back from innovation and timeliness to market.