Successful Transitions by Traditional Media

May 16th, 2008 | Categories: blogs, design, social media, strategy, trends, usability

Making the transition from traditional media to new media is a difficult task. Old-school content providers are faced with this challenge amid a shifting industry. Newspapers are moving online. Cable TV networks and movie studios are doing the same. Many have attempted a successful transition, but few have succeeded.

Traditional publishers are faced with the dilemma of satisfying current customers, while attracting new media enthusiasts. Providing a conventional experience while integrating advanced functionality and features is a slippery slope. Favouring either extreme eliminates a potential target group from the mix. Finding that sweet spot in the middle is key.

American publishing heavyweight The New York Times and Canadian media titan CBC are two stand-out examples. They walk the fine line between satisfying grandma, as well as the techno-geek who churns out code in his parents’ basement.

Both can attest to a user experience that is welcoming and inviting. This is a far cry from the typical online newspaper experience of content overload and perplexing navigation. This new wave of publishers is providing an interface that is clean, slick, and uncluttered, akin to a blog. This seems to be the consensus and future of the industry. Navigation and usability have also improved immensely.

Often, trying to please everyone yields satisfaction from no-one. In this case, however, the New York Times and CBC have successfully made the transition from traditional publisher to new media mogul. Their efforts should be commended and others looking to accomplish the same feat should look to them for insight and inspiration.

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