To my mind, the most intriguing exercise this morning during Outsell Vice President and Lead Analyst  Chuck Richards’ presentation was hearing from the publishers and vendors in this audience on two questions. The audience was asked to identify two things — the first, being what they saw as the single biggest user need and the second, their identification of the biggest challenge facing the publishering community in satisfying that need. Nine tables of attendees wrestled with this and delivered the following as their answers.

In responding to the first question regarding the single most significant user need, publishers responded with:

  • reliable information in a one-stop shop
  • information efficiency
  • easy, timely access to correct information
  • targeted, relevant information and good pathways to discovery
  • relevant, quality information, speedily delivered

What do publishers themselves see as their biggest challenge in satisfying that need?

  • Explosive competing demands from both users and from internal decision-makers
  • Managing information clutter
  • Taking full advantage of available media for both new and old audiences
  • Economics of making the transition to a world of distributed publishing
  • Business models.

One of the themes that Chuck focused on was that of crossmedia — the idea that your print and your electronic media should be fueling each other as well as new areas (such as events) in heightening your visibility and driving of revenue.  He indicated that he has a number of items bookmarked on Delicious, the social bookmarking site, with the tag crossmedia that may be worthwhile investigating.