Welcome to Whither Media, LLC. I founded this company because I believe there are unreached markets and potentials in digital publishing. We’re working on our first property. It will launch on the web soon and other platforms later this year.
The most successful digital media properties in the next few years won’t be tied to just one platform or traffic driver. They’ll be multi-disciplined, cross-platform services. Development, design, branding, community management and marketing will be just as important as content — especially development.
Social layers and APIs, production of mobile apps, and powerful proprietary web application features that present the content in new and engaging ways for the user — not to mention ways which make content more attractive to advertisers — call for more robust development resources.
When I started in this business, Google was the gorilla traffic driver. Everything else was a shot in the dark. Sure, sometimes you got Dugg, but the only thing you could really track was Google. That’s just not so anymore.
For almost two years now, social shares have been the biggest outside source of traffic for the major digital properties I’ve worked with. Facebook is driving more traffic than Twitter in many cases, and now a whole plethora of smaller networks can be leveraged not just to build traffic but to establish a brand and build a community around that brand. Ultimately, that’s vital to a digital publication’s success too.
But the important thing is that these are changing very, very quickly. You have to be present everywhere, and you have to be agile enough to get there when “everywhere” begins to encompass somewhere else.
In the tech, gaming and social media spaces where I’ve worked, there’s a tendency to focus only on the core constituency because they can be relied upon to turn up. That strategy of razor-sharp focus on narrow verticals has proven successful in the past, but we are already in a new chapter in the saga of digital publishing.
Google is no longer the most critical traffic driver, and it was gaming Google that led to the vertical strategy to begin with. It doesn’t make sense from an advertising perspective either; advertisers look at more sophisticatedly defined demographic data than interests in “video games” or “film,” with a few key exceptions.
The new model must focus on the reader or user and his or her lifestyle from a demographics perspective, not just on grabbing search page rank for certain product names.
New media is for every one. There is not a person in the developed world who isn’t swept up in this radical transition, and to most it’s not a matter of startup acquisitions, APIs, IPOs, or insider gossip. It’s a matter of how their social lives and daily experiences are transformed. It won’t do to only produce content for the core enthusiasts and the professionals working in the industry.
We must produce content that delights and expands the entire addressable market, delights the advertisers trying to reach them, and opens up doors to new models of monetization.
Samuel Axon, Founder