Viewing content at the atomic level

Adam Salomone on breaking down, monetizing and enriching content.

This post is part of the TOC podcast series, which we’ll be featuring here on Radar in the coming months. You can also subscribe to the free TOC podcast through iTunes.

The concept of chunking or breaking out content into its component parts — and the opportunities that can create — has been much discussed, including here on Radar. In the following podcast, Adam Salomone (@AdamSalomone), associate publisher at The Harvard Common Press, talks about why publishers need to start creating more agile content by viewing it at its “atomic” level. He also offers insights on monetization, advertising revenue and the importance of remaining flexible.

Highlights from the full video interview (below) include:

  • Content suited for granular presentation: There is lot of potential for taking content — especially lifestyle and recipe content — and atomizing it, breaking it down and chunking it, Salomone says. It’s important for publishers to look at incremental revenue possibilities and start thinking of their content at the “atomic” level. (Discussed at the 00:57 mark.)
  • The licensing monetization model: Salomone says he’s surprised licensing hasn’t gotten more of a foothold and that it’s important to realize the value of curated content and what it can bring to the table. He suggested such a model could be used to fund some of the other digital transition efforts. (Discussed at 5:30.)
  • Barriers to advertising revenue: The issue is two-fold, Salomone says. First, publishers don’t necessarily have the ad sales expertise, and second, they’re not thinking of monetization outside the book in the same way they think of it inside the book. (Discussed at 6:23.)
  • The approach to content enrichment: Salomone says publishers are stuck in a we’ve-got-to-add-video rut. He suggests looking to partner with companies that have related content options to make the enriched content smarter and more useful. (Discussed at 14:38.)
  • The file format conundrum: Salomone doesn’t see a unified file format in the near future — or even the continued use of the file formats we have today. He says publishers’ value isn’t necessarily converting their entire backlists to EPUB, though that needs to be done; the value lies in building the expertise to remain flexible and able to accommodate a workflow that allows the output of multiple file formats — whatever they may be. (Discussed at 19:19.)

You can view the entire interview in the following video.

TOC NY 2012 — O’Reilly’s TOC Conference, being held Feb 13-15, 2012 in New York City, is where the publishing and tech industries converge. Practitioners and executives from both camps will share what they’ve learned and join together to navigate publishing’s ongoing transformation.

Register to attend TOC 2012