Lessons Learned from Online Journalism and Publishing Projects

Andre Hood, SVP, Business Development

Phase2 Technology has successfully completed many online publishing projects. One of the many benefits that come with the experience (including being recognized as a go-to firm in the publishing space) is knowing what to do (better) or what to avoid on the next project. I once thought that content is just content, but I’ve learned that’s just not so. Newspapers, magazines and online only offerings are all different. Each has a unique workflow, publishing schedule and audience. But some similar concepts still apply. Here are a few tips for any organization embarking on an online publishing project:

  • Process modification.

Know that there will be some level of business process re-engineering involved. Workflow for online publishing is different than workflow for non-web publishing, therefore, the existing processes for preparing content for audience consumption may not apply. Your existing processes may ultimately work, but since the web moves at a different pace – be open to making changes.

  • Being first or different is not always best or even preferred.

Unless you’re creating something break-through, don’t think you have to develop some wholly new component for your online publishing needs. Look at proven techniques and components used by similar organizations to see if they can work for your needs. Standardization is a good thing.

  • Maximize use of tools.

Semantic web applications and web services help minimize time-consuming tasks such as tagging and categorizing content for the web. Put those tools to use so you can concentrate on developing great content.

  • Take some time to clean house.

If this project involves building a new website, don’t feel like you have to migrate all the old content to the new site. The new site shouldn’t just have a different design, it should have an improved information architecture. Therefore, everything from the old site probably won’t fit as is. Use this time as an opportunity to purge or repurpose the old stuff and develop new content.


Andre Hood

Andre Hood

SVP, Business Development