Best Digital Publishing Strategies Mix the Old and the New

multiplatform publishingAccording to one leading industry analyst, the best digital publishing strategies are built on innovation and classic tactics

Newsonomics author Ken Doctor writes in a recent Nieman Lab post that the resurgence of email newsletters, among other trends often associated with new media, are actually longstanding practices that have been adapted and updated for the best digital publishing. More to the point, Doctor says, digital publishers must find the right combination to succeed in the 21st century.

We couldn’t agree more, of course – our Mequoda Method is a multiplatform strategy that incorporates traditional print approaches along with capitalizing on available software, technology, and devices. 

Doctor cites the massive email lists for The Wall Street Journal‘s “The 10 Point,” The Daily Beast‘s “Cheat Sheet,” Quartz’s “The Brief,” and .Mic’s “Mic Check” as examples of platforms that can help foster crucial loyalty among news junkies while generating daily bursts of traffic that ultimately lead to higher ad revenue.

“It’s kind of funny that editors are rediscovering the value of editions, of predictability, of habit, here in 2015,” Doctor writes.

“The digital age, we’ve been told variously and intensely, is a revolution unlike any seen in any generation of publishing, perhaps since Gutenberg’s. As we’ve all lived through it, as publishers, journalists, and readers, that’s hard to contest. But at the same time, so much that is new is old. What’s increasingly clear is that the task of those producing the news is to make sense of what’s really new – immediacy, multimedia, mobile access points, and more – and what’s bedrock old. Then they must mix and match the two smartly. It’s not an easy recipe; there are no cookbooks.

“Let’s think about the old and the new in media. The new newsletter binge is a small part of the reconnection of circadian rhythm to the circuits of possibility all the new technologies offer. It’s as if the web has created a kind of content jet lag for a lot of people, and new remedies are just being trotted out, twenty years in.”

Here are some other areas that Doctor covers in his post:

Native Advertising

As Don has discussed in the past, native ads are nothing new – back in the print-only days, they were called advertorials. Now, though, the best digital publishing companies are developing new ways to maximize this stream – and how to deploy their editorial staff in doing so.


Interestingly, Doctor compares Thrillist to QVC in wondering where the line is when it comes to publishers selling products – that aren’t editorial but nonetheless presented along with it – to readers.


Even in the Age of Information and democratizing ideals of the Internet, media monopolies continue to exist –in addition, like the market forces of yesteryear were pressing on publishers, Net Neutrality will continue to be a concern in terms of access.

Paywalls + Subscriptions 

This section of Doctor’s post is a must-read for digital publishers, addressing the question of what readers will pay for when it comes to tiers, apps, and services.

Doctor said there’s no cookbook to produce the best digital publishing, and he might be right – but what about a handbook? Download our free Digital Magazine Publishing to find out!

To read more about Ken Doctor’s thoughts on the old and the new in best digital publishing practices, visit the Nieman Lab.


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