What Does the Future of Online Publishing Hold?

We don’t have a crystal ball, but we have a few ideas.

We are chatting again with the strategists and developers of WebEdition, a digital magazine platform that we at Journey Group built.

And we posed some questions to them about the direction of the publishing industry. It’s something these guys have thought a lot about.

What do you think the publishing landscape will look like for the next few years, and where does WebEdition fit within that?

Zack: Distributed content. You experience content in the place where you already are (not necessarily its place of origin). WebEdition will have to live alongside that comfortably. From a design and publishing standpoint, it’s a good time to be able to hold your content loosely, understanding that people are going to encounter it in a lot of different ways — on social, another website or even email.

Justin: It’s always going to be important to have a central hub, and we hope that WebEdition is that place. Just like movie studios had to give up control of where people are going to watch their movies, people are going to have to give up the desire for others to be viewing everything on their website. Everyone is going to have to be OK with it living everywhere.

“Publishing on the web is in a time of refinement.” — Josh Bryant
Fathom magazine, powered by WebEdition.

Josh: From a technological perspective, publishing on the web is in a time of refinement. We’re taking the rapid innovation that has happened over the last five years (market saturation of web-connected mobile devices, increased adoption of web standards by all major browsers), and turning it into better responsive design, better interaction patterns, better editing experiences, and better tools. As far as WebEdition is concerned, you can count on the platform to keep pace with that refinement. It was built at a good time in the history of digital publishing.

How does WebEdition leave room for changes in technology, reading trends, and new ideas that may be coming down the road?

Josh: It’s a clarity of purpose and a commitment to an audience (editors and readers) that will remain steady across the shifting landscape of the Web. You’re creating and curating content, arranging it in issues, and sending it out to a specific audience. You’re not writing anything and everything for anyone and everyone in the world. It’s going out to quality subscribers who have a vested interest in engaging your content.

“Distributed content is the future of web publishing, and our business model fits that.” — Justin Schroeder

Justin: We made this because technology has been moving faster than current content systems could keep up. By being able to own this and make it our own, we can grow it more quickly. We know exactly what it does (and doesn’t) do.

Distributed content is the future of web publishing, and our business model fits that. It’s not a freemium tool where we make money off of advertisements or other hidden things. Nothing’s hidden. As a result, we’re in a position to happily integrate as needs arise.

For more musings on digital publishing and WebEdition, read the first part of this interview: Magazines Aren’t Dead: Especially Online.

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