Media and Newspaper Publishers

Day 4 of #DF14: What you can’t miss today at Dreamforce

It is Day 4 of Dreamforce 2014  – the last hours of an action-packed week of product releases and inspiring speakers. Here’s your must attend list for the day and the newscaps from yesterday to catch you up. (All times are local time, San Francisco).

3 Things You Don’t Want to Miss Today

1. Arianna Huffington and Eckhart Tolle

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Moscone South

Also part of the Reimagine Everything keynote, Arianna Huffington and author Eckhart Tolle will join forces to talk about what it means to truly thrive as human beings. This keynote is sure to inspire and leave attendees acutely aware of their own personal power.


2. Al Gore and Neil Young

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM Moscone South

As part of the Reimagine Everything keynote, Al Gore and Neil Young will form a visionary pair working to transform the world. Young will showcase his newest venture: Pono Music, which gives listeners access to the highest quality sound that has ever been created, just as the artist intended it. Gore will discuss the critical need to develop greater awareness of our global ecosystem.


3. Marc and Parker Q&A

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Moscone West

Chairman and CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, joins his co-founder, Parker Harris, at a town hall session. Bring your thoughtful questions and get them answered first-hand by these two visionary founders.

Highlights from Day 3: The new wrist wearable that isn’t a watch

Yesterday featured an exciting and highly anticipated launch from, but before the singer took on the wearable tech scene, we were treated to a sit down chat with one of the most renown VC investors on the planet, Marc Andreessen.

The investor – who was one of the first to back Twitter – gave some startling insights into the world of the venture capitalist. He talked about the low rate of success when you place a bet, but how important is to be really, really right on the bets that do pan out (this is what they call looking for at least the 10x pay out). He also touched on women’s issues, clamorouing for fairer pay and disparaging the low numbers of female workers in the STEM areas.

But his primary message of the night was about innovation. Apple is losing its edge. And all tech companies will inevitably become obsolete, he said. You better start truly innovating, or fade away. Period.

Great content aside, the true gem yesterday was something you wear on your wrist and does a lot of the things the Apple Watch will do. But don’t call it a watch. It’s really more of a fashionable, standalone super-cuff, and its founder, unveiled the gizmo for the first time on stage last night.

The PULS is highly focused on bringing fashion into the tech industry – something the singer claimed is often neglected. Which it doesn’t boast the same health monitors that Apple’s does, it makes up for the shortfall with some unique features: you don’t need a phone to send texts or call for example. With Neil Young showing his Pono player off later today, the world of tech seems to be getting enmeshed ever tighter with the world of music.

Next Year

Kinda like advertising for Christmas on Boxing Day, it’s confirmed that the speakers will announce some early details about next year’s confab as the #DF14 ceremonial closing winds down. Get your calendars out.

The Tony Robbins Effect at Dreamforce: AKA Day 1’s Mind Explosion

Dreamforce 14 has kicked off with a bang. CEO of Salesforce Marc Benioff welcomed over 130,000 attendees, with over 3 million people following the action online, via stream. Tony Robbins had the room literally dance their minds out and shaking it off like the pros. PayPal Mafia trio talked all things money, from early days of PayPal to Bitcoin. And Tony Prophet spoke about giving back, the value of philanthropy and empathy as key to success in life.

“As a leader you have to be ready for inevitability of change and keep the beginner’s mind” - Marc Benioff of Salesforce.

Focus on Giving Back

Focus on creating more value than you capture, and give back. Marc Benioff asked everyone at Dreamforce to bring canned food, to deliver millions of meals to fight hunger. And in the spirit of giving back, who was the speaker to kick off the Dreamforce experience? Tony Prophet, VP of Microsoft who spoke about community service and philanthropy. Prophet is focused and passionate about improving health care for children and HIV positive women, and helping teens get college education. “No one should be treated unfairly, just because they’re different. We all have the same rights. Having impact beyond the bottom line. That’s what I’m most proud of,” Prophet said. Can an intense focus on empathy be a key to success?

PayPal Trio on Data, Hiring People Who Failed and eBay

The firechat with the PayPal Mafia trio – Max Levchin of Affirm, Jeremy Stoppelman of Yelp, and Reid Hoffman, an entrepreneur and investor – took everyone back to the early days of Silicon Valley, when PayPal was just a crazy idea of a bunch of people who wanted to “disrupt money.” Levchin shared thoughts on the recent split between PayPal and eBay: “It’s great they’re splitting, because, being part of eBay there’s lots of things we never touched on, like small business lending. We’ve been huge and steady for so long. Pulling PayPal out into the wild is a good idea. PayPal makes more sense as an independent company.” Key to PayPal success? Hiring passionate entrepreneurial people during tough times. “The company became composed of the bunch of smart, entrepreneurial and driven folks. Half of the people we recruited was from the companies that failed,” said Levchin. Then the conversation moved on to the value of data as the driving force for innovation. The panel was in agreement: Data is the new overlord, and our collective future depends on it.

Tony Robbins set Dreamforce on Fire

Tony Robbins took Dreamforce by storm and yes, this is how the room looked like. That’s when you know Dreamforce is not your average conference.

Tony Robbins pulled off an epic talk, covering lots of ground from how your decisions and focus in life affect your emotions and success, to engagement to money and giving it all away. Bonus: most people in the room got their workout in for the day, because Robbins is just that intense. “What are you going to focus on? Whatever you’re focused on you are going to feel. Focus equals feeling and when you start to control your focus, you start taking control of your life. The meanings we give to things control your life.” said Tony Robbins.


One thing every marketer should do for Dreamforce

conversation image


If you don’t do this at Dreamforce, you’re leaving money on the table

The countdown is on for Dreamforce 2014, one of the most spectacular marketing events of the year. Aside from a saliva-worthy roster of keynotes, break-out sessions, tech displays and parties, there’s one reason companies get excited for attending: the prospect of reaching your next customer.

Over 130,000 attendees live, and nearly a quarter million watching online, guarantees an active, enormous and like-minded audience, just ready to hear your message and perhaps do business with you.

But with all that traffic, comes noise. You certainly will be just one of hundreds of other companies, many of them with similar value props, vying to turn Dreamforce attendees into their next set of leads.

While there are endless tactics available to catch their limited attention and make the sale, there is one approach in particular that every company should think of before hopping on the plane to San Francisco:

“Own a conversation that your customers care about”

What is Owning a Conversation?

In the age of content marketing and brand publishing, Dreamforce attendees (most of whom are marketing and technology pros) no longer want to be advertised “at”. They want and expect to be engaged by brands, intellectually, and to be given valuable information. This is nothing new, of course. But the concept of “Owning a conversation” is an important key to keep in mind as you prep your marketing and sales strategy for the event, which is only a few weeks away.

Surely, your brand has a topic, conversation or timely event that is both relevant to your target customers, and unique enough to stand out from the crowd. In particular at Dreamforce, you may want to dig deep into how you tie into or any of the major marketing automation platforms like Hubspot. Think of what Dreamforcers care most about, about the kinds of content they are already consuming and then pick your angle.

Why is this so important?

There are a number of reasons laying claim to a theme is so crucial to events such as Dreamforce.

  • You are sharing already: as a modern day organization, you likely already have teams of social and content sharing and pumping out some content. However, if you haven’t though through your conversation, how can you expect your readers to connect to or care about what you are saying?
  • Your readers want more than just your POV: a crucial aspect of conversations is that they have multiple points of view. Of course, you can take a stand, but as a curator, you’re job is also to bring on broader, perhaps conflicting elements and angles.
  • You want to convert that traffic: Owning is end to end. It means you own the experience, too, not just the message. It’s not enough to share across fragmented social channels and platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. You’re just sending your prospects to another company’s site. What you should be doing is upstreaming that conversation by actually owning the real estate, not just the message.


  • Pick an angle: Pick a polarizing, authentic stance that your company believes in. There is far too much unbiased slop out there, your customers won’t have any time for that.
  • Discovery tools: One of the hardest parts is finding enough great content to fill the channel. There are hundreds of powerful tools. Find a few you like. To see what we use, read this.
  • Curation and Publishing tools: This is what demands your smarts and most of your time. How will you collect, present and share that content in a meaningful and business-driving way? Tools such as Pressly are designed exactly for that.

Want help? We’ve got you covered

If you’re planning on attending Dreamforce, we’re offering a limited time promotion to get you using Pressly’s end to end content curation service. In just a matter of minutes, you can be up and running with your very own branded content hub, which will look great across devices and platforms.

See the details of the promotion here:


The Rise of Microproperties

Microproperties are a valuable content marketing tool for brand and publishers of all sizes. Although microproperties have been around for many years, the massive increase in the creation and consumption of content has lead to a influx in the number of microprerties being launched by everyone from Fortune 500 companies to media companies to startups.

Vice Creators Project

Media companies like Vice Magazine already take the microproperty approach to crafting and distributing content; as a matter of fact, Intel collaborated with Vice to produce The Creators Project, an award-winning branded content destination dedicated to interviewing some of today’s most relevant artists and connecting with potential mainstream users of Intel technology. The initiative has reached millions of viewers and contributed significantly to keep Intel’s brand relevant with a typically fickle audience.

How is this possible? What makes these microproperties so effective?

Microproperties Can Reach Mainstream Media

Xerox partnered up with Forbes to create a branded publication called Chief Optimist. This franchise specifically focuses on interviewing thought leaders from different verticals and features content that would appeal to C-level executives. Xerox then leverages Forbes’ credibility and uses its platform to reach its target readers. According to this case study, in just nine months after launching, Xerox has led to over a thousand new sales appointments and created over $1 billion of pipeline revenue.

That’s not to say advertising and partnerships are the only way to land mainstream media syndication. Norton created a microproperty called Mobile Security, targeting users of mobile devices. Its content is based on the themes of protection, security, and safety. This microproperty was featured on Huffington Post, which added to Norton’s credibility and created an opportunity to reach more readers.

Microproperties reaching mainstream coverage is nothing new; almost seven years ago, Intuit hit Forbes with its Tax Almanac. While it was probably not the most appealing or sensational topic, it was valuable for users and gained a press opportunity simply by continuing to be extremely useful for a specific slice of users. Only a microproperty can be lean enough to target such a thin scope of users in a deep way, and be substantial enough to reach mainstream media as a result.

Microproperties are Inherently Shareable

Content creation is not always a walk in the park; sometimes, the subject is just extremely ordinary or ubiquitous. For example, how can content creators make communication infrastructures appealing to potential users? Cisco managed to pull it off with their Work Together initiative; at the time of writing, its interactive website features various statistics and pieces of information being displayed as the user clicks through animated transitions to various floors on a building, with an accompanying video of a Cisco user closing a deal over the phone in the span of an elevator ride up to his residence. The initiative circulated well on Twitter, despite a lack of heavy advertising and branded content partnership.

Rather than appearing as a crony of a company, content marketing is most effective when the sponsoring company allows for the team to focus on content and operate practically independently. As a byproduct of autonomy, content marketing teams are able to make sure their content is either entertaining or informative (or both) without hard sells that would turn away long-term, loyal readers.

This is the case with BabyCenter. Despite its apparent independence, it is actually a microproperty created by Johnson & Johnson. The company had originally created BabyCenter to target new families and introduce them to various Johnson & Johnson products. The BabyCenter touches thousands of loyal readers every month, and features products from competitors as well; they focus on creating objective, compelling, content — much like any other publication would. This positions them to launch many marketing initiatives, such as collecting data from a sample of 85,000 loyal readers (with over 90% response rate). According to this interview, the BabyCenter reaches over 8 million new and expectant mothers in the United States, which is an impressive 78% of the total. A lot of this distribution is done through Word-of-Mouth marketing, simply because BabyCenter’s content is so valuable that aspiring and new mothers feel compelled to share it with others.

Microproperties Resonate with Readers

As the barriers to communication steadily decrease, the amount of content being created increases. This deluge of content makes it difficult for any one piece to stand out from the noise of the other content. As a result, being specific and relevant gives content an edge to reach readers more effectively. One-on-one marketing has grown more popular and effective as a result. As Fabcom CEO and author Brian Fabiano puts it in his book Neuromarketology, brands need to start seeing themselves as diamonds — entities that reflect various brand attributes to match the corresponding values of its many different segments.

Enterprises have the opportunity to identify the many different segments, and market much more effectively towards them. For example, IBM’s Smarter Planet has made a huge splash in all of IBM’s target markets. According to Boston University Professor Edward Noches, Smarter Planet also commands huge amounts of Research & Development money and advertising budget. IBM understands the importance of microproperties; in addition to Smarter Planet, it also powers Midsize Insider, a much leaner microproperty dedicated to targeting midsize business owners.

Similarly, Dell partnered up with UBM TechWeb to create Enterprise Efficiency. It’s a microproperty where Dell executives can voice their opinion free of advertising or other forms of noise. Enterprise Efficiency’s content specifically targets CIOs and other IT executives. The publication has generated millions of pageviews, while steadily engaging users and generating new registrants (and qualified leads for Dell).

Closing Thoughts

Without specifically targeting audiences, content marketing is a much more difficult task to successfully execute on. Microproperties are the solution to this: creating content that is perfect for a specific range of customers. By using microproperties, brands have a greater opportunity to build longer-lasting relationships with prospects, enhance lead generation and increase brand recognition.

Image Source: Screenshot - The Creators Project

The Blurring Lines Between Journalism and Content Marketing

According to The Guardian, 86% of viewer skip TV ads. Mashable tells us 44% of direct mail is never opened. Companies have adapted to the decrease in advertising interest and scarcity of consumer attention, and instead are starting to refocus on new methods of customer acquisition.  There are three aspects to this shift: embedding the marketing message within the content through native advertising, hiring journalists with strong relationships with external press, and building media properties instead of relying on traditional press to attract clients.

Let’s start by delving into the progress of native advertising, where companies create interesting content to attract readers of traditional press.

Blurring Lines Between Journalism and Content Marketing

Native Advertising

For those unfamiliar, native advertising is similar in concept to sponsored content or the advertorial. It is a method of marketing designed to attract consumers by providing valuable content.

Financial services consultancy Capco created an interesting, relevant, and well-designed native advertisement for the Monocle magazine (seen in slide #6 of this Slideshare). In this case, Capco’s advertisement comes in the form of an article that talks about how factors such as investment contribute to urban regeneration. (It doesn’t hurt that Monocle can work closely with its sister branding agency Winkreative for creative work.)

In other parts of the world, the relationship is much more direct and difficult to discern; for example, this New York Times article highlights the practises of Esquire in China, which at the time of investigation charged around $20,000 per page. Any business leaders that wanted a profile to appear in this magazine could simply pay the fee and buy their way in. While it may not appear to be a big deal, this press appearance could have significant implications for seemingly unrelated metrics, such as stock prices.

The Executives are Editors of the Press

A couple of years ago, Salesforce’s founder Marc Benioff recruited veteran technology journalist Steve Gillmor to become the company’s Head of Technical Media Strategy. At the time, Gillmor was as the founding editor of TechCrunchIT, and still retains a contributing editor role with the company.

This presents an interesting opportunity for Gillmor to break Salesforce news first to TechCrunch to gain more exposure (should he choose to), and for him to continue observing how the state of technology and media is changing directly from the front lines. He can also continue crafting articles for TechCrunch and link back to Salesforce’s CloudBlog, which presents the opportunity to attract curious readers.

A quick word on Salesforce’s structure: Salesforce also has Peter Coffee as the Director of Platform Research (formerly from eWEEK), and Bruce Francis in the role of Chief Messaging Officer and VP of Corporate Strategy. Messaging and strategy, as Salesforce sees it, are intertwined.

Salesforce is far from the only company recruiting former reporters and journalists to help their cause. Hubspot recently hired Steve Lyons, better known for his writing under the name Fake Steve Jobs and as the former Editor-in-Chief of ReadWrite.

Building Media Properties

As Hubspot CMO Mike Volpe writes, “No one wakes up and says ‘I want to see an ad.’ Why do marketers wake up and say ‘let’s make an ad’?” Instead, Hubspot and many other companies focus on building media properties themselves and using it to attract customers. Marketing is evolving to the point where every company is a media company.

This is clear in the responsibilities and past histories of each media team’s leaders. Intel hired Benjamin Tomkins, previously the managing editor of and editor-in-chief at InformationWeek SMB, to be the managing editor of their media property called The Intel Free Press. According to Digiday, Cisco has over 15 journalists contributing to its technology news site, The Network. According to Business Insider, IBM recruited Ben Edwards, a former reporter at The Economist, as their VP of Global Communications to help grow its Smarter Planet property.

Journalists and reporters are leaving traditional publishers to take up similar editorial and publishing roles at corporate-sponsored media initiatives. Will this transition from editorial interest to corporate interest be a cause of concern?

Closing Thoughts

As former Businessweek columnist (and now a regular contributor to companies such as NVIDIA and Cisco) Steve Wildrom writes:

“But the world of journalism that I have known for all those years is dying fast. We are going to have to find new models to survive, and, unless a miracle occurs and we can find a way to get readers to pay directly for content,  those models are going to have to include sponsorship arrangements of one sort or another. In truth, journalism has always involved sponsorship. In the old world of advertiser-supported conventional media, an elaborate infrastructure separated the sponsors–advertisers–from the sponsored–journalists. The arrangement was never as pure as we liked to believe, but for the most part it worked.” [Emphasis added.]

Traditional press no longer commands the advertising money it used to; rather, corporations are shifting their spending into building their own media properties and connecting directly with their audiences. Corporations are finding new ways to attract attention in the press, journalists are finding new roles as marketing or communications leads at companies, and companies are building the media properties themselves. The convergence of journalism and marketing has already begun taking its first steps, and following this trend is the key to continued business success.

(Image Source: Flickr)

The Golden Age of Mobile Publishing is Here


The year is 1920 and a group of reporters at a small, virtually unknown Detroit radio station are about to make history. They’re about to conduct the world’s first ever newscast – reporting live results from the primary elections. As the station would later describe, the event would turn out to be prophetic, a sign of times to come:

 In the four hours that the apparatus, set up in an out-of-the-way corner of The News Building, was hissing and whirring its message into space, few realized that a dream and a prediction had come true. The news of the world was being given forth through this invisible trumpet to the waiting crowds in the unseen market place.

 I just love that quote. The language, aside from being so rich and evocative, has the tone of great importance, assured of the radio’s crucial role to come in mass communication. But it would take over thirty years for radio to realize that dream. Until then, it went through a series of twists and turns.

Mobile today is a lot like radio in the 1920s. There’s a general, optimistic feeling it possesses the keys to the future of communication and content discovery, of broadcasting, of publishing, of information. But the training wheels have only just come off, and mobile is still very young. What is mobile’s character? What will it look like in 30 years?

To understand exactly where mobile has come, and where it’s headed, it’s helpful to first take a step back to see how an older medium, radio, grew into its current role. It’s a story many in the tech industry have heard about already – a common anecdote to describe how mass media slowly shapes itself to catch up with changing technology and societies, and vice versa. But it’s worth a revisit.

How Radio Got its Voice

During the early years of news radio, nothing could have been further from revolutionary. Reporters simply read from newspapers, unaware of the magnificent potential the new medium would have to transmit instant, timely news better than print ever could. In fact it got so bad, with reporters ripping headlines from the papers, the papers had to implement a blackout on radio stations from reading their stuff on air. The ban only lasted two years.

It wasn’t until World War Two radio truly came into its own. As public thirst for immediate information grew, radio delivered the fix with on-scene reportages, interviews and the sharp, easy-to-digest syntax of the modern newscast we are all so familiar with today.

By the 1950s, radio was no longer a new medium ripping pages (literally) from the old. It was a vibrant, instant way to capture the world’s attention and feed it information. The prophecy in that quote from the ‘20’s had come true. Radio was its own force with its own characteristics and style.

So what does this have to do with mobile?

The history of radio news sheds light on the current evolution we’re seeing right now with mobile’s (gradual) upheaval of the online reading experience. Just like radio, in the early years of mobile content publishing, old habits were adopted from older media, and continue to be relied on to this day.

The early days of mobile (including today)

Much like radio, mobile content’s early days are defined by the characteristics of older media.  With the explosion of the iPhone and iPad between 2009 and 2011, the App Store was the first place publishers and brands looked to snag the attention of a newly important, massive mobile audience. One way of getting their content to those eyeballs quickly was by re-purposing PDFs and calling them “apps.” Magazines, businesses, newspapers all did it: packaging up their PDF’s into an app, perhaps adding some slightly intriguing bells and whistles (html links, video pop ups, even a fake page flip animation) and that was that.

Around this time, we also saw the rise of the first mobile sites. Mobile sites became increasingly important as the battle between web and native apps started to reveal that most people prefer getting content from the web and not closed apps.  But mobile sites, in the early days, were not so much borrowed from the old. They simply fell short of mobile’s potential to tell a compelling story. They reduced the content experience to a bunch of single line summaries, very little visual information and an overall ugly, slow and difficult reading experience.

Finally came a great and clever solution, responsive design, which is probably one of the most discussed mobile strategies circulating publisher boardrooms and marketing departments today. The issue again is that responsive design is simply a reshuffling of the old, in this case the desktop web, into the new.

Responsive design makes it easy to fit all your content from the web onto smaller screens, and to do so with a simple, build-it-once approach. But it doesn’t bring out the true character of reading on smartphones and tablets. It relies on navigation built for the click and scroll world (back buttons, very little swipe), it relies on constantly reloading pages, which is a bigger problem on small devices with less speed, and it doesn’t provide new, immersive advertising and engagement models that give mobile its potential to not only change the way we read, but change the way publishers and content producers grow their business.

Mobile coming into its own

In the past few years, we’ve made tremendous leaps in defining exactly what mobile can be; we’ve had our 1920’s radio moment.

The most successful, trail-blazing apps for reading content on tablets and smartphones are the aggregators, that take your content from a feed, and from social networks, organize it in a relevant way (curated content) and then serve it up to you in the very best mobile experience possible. Think of Flipboard, of Zite, or Pulse. These addictive mobile experiences are all about swipe, full screen, clean layouts, and immersion – they let you keep flipping, and discovering more and more content.

We know from Pressly data this kind of experience is not just pretty – it is much more effective. Users will spend far more time with content on small devices if they can swipe around, rather than the hunt and peck of old mobilized or desktop sites.

We’ve also witnessed another major transformation of the mobile medium; the rich web experience. With FT leading the way in 2011 as the first major publisher to deliver a native-like experience directly from the web, many saw this move as a way to shirk Apple’s hefty 30% revenue cut. But it was so much more than that. FT saw the web was the future of content distribution, not app stores. So it built an HTML5 powered app and it proved you could offer the same rich experience exalted in the app stores, directly from the browser. The years that have passed and FT’s bold move has proven to be ahead of the curve. Publishers are now moving en masse to find mobile web solution, where they know their audience is growing, and the luster of the app store is dimming.

Further, publishers have found better ways to engage their audience, and finally unlock the potential of mobile to provide a new monetization strategy. With full screen and swipe, comes the opportunity to insert full-screen ads. No longer do publishers rely on clutter, such as banners, but they can add a rich experience, while you surf content. These ads don’t interrupt from the aesthetics of mobile reading, while giving the reader potentially something enjoyable and entertaining on its own (often the full screen ads are beautiful and highly engaging, with video, animations and so on).

This new method of advertising also gives content marketers a model to improve their conversion on their content marketing properties. Instead of ads, they insert call to action screens in between articles: download this ebook, sign up for our newsletter, request information, and other forms of lead generation.

The next few years for mobile

What is effective on mobile is finally starting to become clear. Now what’s left is for mass adoption and the sharpening of the tools we already have. We know the web will be the hotbed of content distribution, we know it makes life easier for readers if all your content is a single Mobile Google search away. We know that works for publishers and marketers too. Yet a majority of publications still do not have an adequate modern mobile reading experience, one that takes advantage of all the strengths offered by the touch screen device.

We’ve also yet to uncover all the characteristics that will truly define mobile as its own force of nature. Remember, reading on these devices is so much more than just smaller screens. It’s an entirely different context: you are on the bus, in bed at home, walking in a park. How will publishers shape mobile to be more effective in these local contexts? This is certainly early days, but it seems like a natural progression for the medium.

We’ll also take strides in eliminating the jarring chasm between desktop and mobile reading. Responsive design is a step towards this, but so far, most mobile reading lives on a separate island, meanwhile desktop reading stays mostly unchanged. As mobile continues its evolution, we will see cleaner, tighter integration between small screens and big, and much more play between them. This might simply be Flipboard reading from the laptop, but it might also be “second screen” experiences, where the mobile device grows as the enhancer of non-mobile content, rather than the alternative.

The next step for publishers and marketers in mobile

Just as radio had its moment in the 1920s, the glimpse of hope for what the medium would hold, we’ve already had ours with mobile. Mobile is perennially a top priority in editorial boardrooms and marketing war rooms across the world. It’s clearly the key. In the last few years we’ve uncovered some fragments of what works on mobile. Swipe. Web. Full screen. Curation. Mobile is getting its voice.

And now, we are entering the golden age of mobile reading, this is the turning point, a time that will define mobile’s personality as a mass communications platform. The technological and social uses of mobile in will continue to evolve.

Marketers and publisher play a crucial role in shaping and adopting this future, or risk being left behind, reading those headlines over the airwaves.

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Changes in Google Ranking for Smartphone Web Traffic

google-now-galaxy-s4Smartphone traffic is at an all time high, and this comes with both challenges and opportunities for media companies and marketers with heavy web traffic.

As part of Google’s efforts to improve the mobile web, the search giant recently came out with some useful recommendations to avoid some serious, experience-hindering mistakes which web masters often make. The information they’ve circulated is a bit technical, but extremely useful in making sure you are treating your web visitors to the best possible reading experience.

In a recent post, they also outlined the two most common mistakes and how to fix them. The first is faulty redirects, and that’s when you send users looking for a certain desktop page, to an unrelated mobile-optimized page (for example, they are looking for your about page on an iPhone, and you send them to the mobile homepage instead). The second major mistake is smartphone-only errors, which is when you show an error page to someone just because they are on a mobile device, though the page actually exists. Google implores that it’s always better to show them a non-optimized page, if you don’t have one, than to send them to an error page.

As the mobile revolution continues to grow, knowing these trick and best practices from Google will be crucial in ensuring your web traffic is as strong as possible. Take a look at the full article, here. 

New Pressly Features: Analytics, Cover Pages, Desktop Mode and More


We’ve been hard at work since launching in March to make Pressly an even more powerful way for you to create and publish the world’s most immersive mobile reading experiences. With an updated interface, an incredible analytics widget, improved social sharing and even a seamless desktop reading mode, Pressly is proud to unveil our latest upgrades.


Cleaner, more beautiful dashboard design, making Pressly more intuitive than ever


We have re-organized and refined the look and feel of our dashboard to make it easier to navigate and build your apps as intuitively as possible. From a cleaner, flatter look, right down to unifying the settings pane to give you one spot to control everything.


An all new analytics section


Pressly now pulls together your user behaviour into a beautiful, visual analytics section to give you quick and customizable reports on how your users are interacting with your content. Subscribe to check it out!


Enhanced social sharing, with Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn


We’ve added a new social sharing box on all Pressly properties, so your readers can now share your content to their Pinterest, G+ and LinkedIn accounts, as well as Twitter and Facebook, all in one tap.


Desktop reading mode!


This is especially useful if you’re using Pressly to create a stand-alone, brand new property. Now when your readers visit a Pressly URL from a desktop computer, they will still be given a beautiful, elegant reading experience. No more sending them to an error page.


Cover Pages


You can now add a cover page to your Pressly properties. This is the first page your visitors will see; think of it as the front page of a magazine. It’s an awesome way to highlight your brand and it also gives you an exciting new sponsorship opportunity.


Easy new way to place your ads, just cut-and-paste ad tags


In addition to specifying a URL pointing to your ad unit, you now have the ability to copy and paste your ad tags right into the Pressly dashboard.


New Ad formats for smartphone and tablet


We’ve also enabled new, larger ad formats for smartphone, including a full-screen interstitial.


Soundcloud and Brightcove content support


We’ve also added more content formats to our supported list, including audio streams from Soundcloud and the enterprise video service Brightcove. (For custom Brightcove integrations or help, please get in touch.)


And much more, including:

Windows Phone 8 and Surface support, ability to customize a Bookmark icon for homescreen, and the ability to put 3 external links in navigation bar.


What new features would you like to see? Leave a comment and let us know

Come meet us at BrightCove Play 2013 (and get our guide)

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 3.49.31 PMFellow Bostonians! We are in your beautiful city for BrightcovePlay 2013, between May 13 and May 15. If you are attending the event, come say hello! We would love to meet up with anyone interested in learning more about transforming your content for mobile, and improving your mobile content engagement and returns.

A Pressly Guide to Brightcove Play 2013

For those of you who are attending, we’ve got something special just for you. We have put together a Pressly-powered guide to give you everything you need find your away around the conference, as well as some special features, such as:

  • Live stream video so you can watch all the action happening on stage, no matter where you are
  • Full schedules and links to the speaker tracks
  • Bios and background info on all the speakers
  • Plus: bonus info on Boston’s best places to eat and go have fun once you’re done schmoozing :)

On your smartphone or tablet device, you can access the BrightcovePlay 2013 Guide here: 

(Tip: if you aren’t on a mobile device right now, email yourself that link for easy opening).

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If you’d like to catch up, Pressly CEO Jeff Brenner will be taking part in the panel on responsive design and video on Tuesday. And we also have a booth set up with the other sponsors, and we’ll be giving live demos of Brightcove video integrations with Pressly’s mobile publishing platform. Just look for the people in the black polo shirts holding iPads.

Pressly Integrates with Brightcove

We are also pleased to announce that Pressly now integrates with Brightcove. So, if you are a Brightcove customer and you want to know how you can start presenting your video content to tablet and smartphone users in a beautiful and compelling  way, please get in touch.

That’s it for now. Can’t wait to meet you!

ps: not sure what Pressly is? Learn more here.


Mobile Makeover: Local News Goes Mobile To Boost Engagement

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In this Mobile Makeover series, we’ve written a lot about how brands and marketers can improve their content marketing results on mobile, simply by making it more engaging with a tool like Pressly.

But the exact same thing can be said for traditional publishers of all sizes, whether you are a major daily, or a niche local magazine. Content marketers and brands are just a different kind of publisher, after all. And pageviews, bounce rates and advertising (or call to actions) are all crucial elements in both worlds. Continue reading “Mobile Makeover: Local News Goes Mobile To Boost Engagement” »