“How many people are still seeking clarification about what all this ‘product’ talk is?” Heather Chaplin
, director of the Journalism + Design program at the New School, asked the crowd gathered last night to hear BuzzFeed’s Stacy-Marie Ishmael
, The Guardian’s Aron Pilhofer
, and Vox Media’s Trei Brundrett
tackle that very question.
So what is “product” in the news context, and what do product managers do exactly? Ishmael offered one useful way to think about it:
Product at most media organizations might be “a little screwed up most of the time,” Brundrett mused, because a lot of news organizations made the move into digital by seeking out the one IT person who knew how to put articles online.
There’s often a clearer definition, though, coming from outside media companies:
It’s the department that thinks about what the mission and what the vision of the company and the business is and it figures out how to render what that thing is that we’re going to take to market, and how people are going to interact with it and love it…
We have a team called Vox Product. What that word means is just a collection of designers, and engineers, and product managers, and ops, and all the people who get together and figure out how to deliver value to users — whether that’s people who are creating things, people who are thinking about how we get it out to [audiences]….
I think that’s the really exciting thing in media right now: we’re evolving to think, how do we build really great products?
If you missed the conversation, the event with livestream and the full video is available for everyone here: