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Jan. 16, 2013, 10:33 a.m.

Press Publish 2: Karen McGrane on building a strategy for mobile

The content strategist and UX designer says that mobile will be the fulcrum to push smart publishers to restructure their content for a multi-platform future.

It’s Episode 2 of Press Publish, the Nieman Lab podcast! My guest this week is Karen McGrane. She’s a content strategist and user experience designer who’s worked with a number of media companies — The New York Times, Condé Nast, The Atlantic, Time Inc., and others. (She was the design lead on the Times’ 2006 redesign — which, with a few accumulated tweaks, is still the basis of what looks like today.)

Karen’s got a great new book out that I’d recommend you check out: Content Strategy for Mobile.

I think a lot of people would benefit from reading it — it’s not a technical book about building a mobile website. It’s more about the backend than the frontend; it’s about how publishers should structure their content — from workflows to tools to processes — to enable that content to flow across multiple platforms. In other words, if you view your task as optimizing for iPhone screens or Galaxy S III screens, you’re making the same mistake as when you optimized for desktop browsers. You will have to deal with new platforms in 2013 that you haven’t yet heard of, and being agile with your content is more important than picking a platform or two and building for them.

Karen and I also talk a bit about the basics of content strategy, new startups like Circa and Summly, responsive web design, and the possibilities (and absurdities) of responsive text. Hope you enjoy. (By the way, Wednesday is the day I’ll be aiming to put out a new episode each week.)


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Show notes

Karen McGrane
Karen’s book, Content Strategy for Mobile
Content strategy
Karen’s “Adapting Ourselves to Adaptive Content,” An Event Apart Boston, 2012
The Daily
Blobs vs. chunks
Patrick LaForge: “Writers wonder why editors trim stories in the online report. Answer: Reader patience online is even more precious than newsprint space.”
Highlights from NPR in Karen’s book
Smashing Magazine: “Is There Ever a Justification for Responsive Text?”
Frankie Roberto’s demo of responsive text (resize the width of the browser window and watch what happens to the text to see)
Inverted pyramid
Karen’s “Your Content, Now Mobile,” A List Apart
Responsive web design

POSTED     Jan. 16, 2013, 10:33 a.m.
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