The Evernote Conference is only a few weeks away and we wanted to give you a peek at some of the interesting talks and sessions you’ll be seeing there. Today we’d like to take a closer look at a talk about online reading called “On Your Own Terms: The Future of Online Content Consumption” hosted by our Director of Developer Relations, Rafe Needleman.
I’ve gathered four visionary players in the Internet media business to talk about the current state of online reading for consumers; and to discuss how readers, writers, publishers and advertisers can prepare for further shifts in publishing.
It’s a important topic for all of us, but for me the shift from print to online content consumption has been a fundamental theme of life. When I started my career as a product reviews editor for the printed weekly InfoWorld, distributing content to readers was a physical, dirty job. And the businesses that produced content also distributed the media on which readers consumed it. But thanks to the Internet, that cozy and defendable business structure has fractured into pieces.
Today, people create their own “publications”: lists of stories that they can read on their mobile devices or on the Web. These publications are made up of articles cribbed from multiple sources. Some of the stories that go into these reading lists are written by professional (by which I mean paid) writers, and some are just written for the love of writing. “Articles” can just as easily be Facebook posts or even Tweets. Or Instagram photos. And they all end up mushed together on one distribution platform: a mobile device or Web browser.
The function of editing such a list (that is, collecting the stories to be read) can be solitary, but more often than not it’s got a large social component to it. People find stories to read from their friends’ social feeds.
In short, publishing today is nothing like publishing was even a few years ago. Just one year ago, for example, it seemed that Google was committed to the reading list space through its support of Google Reader. Today, that app is gone, and upstarts are trying to fill in the gaps that Google left. And more big change is certainly coming.
But what does Google’s withdrawal from the reader market really mean? Since it certainly does not mean people aren’t reading content, we have to ask how their behavior is changing. What’s the right way to deal with the shifts in the content business, the growth of mobile device reading, and the changes in advertising and user expectations?
Panelists who will discuss these shifts include two players in the reading list space: Edwin Khodabakchian, CEO of Feedly; and Nate Weiner, the CEO and Founder of Pocket. We’re also thrilled to include Dave Winer, the RSS, blogging, and podcasting pioneer who’s now working on outlining apps Fargo and Little Outliner at his new startup, Small Picture. Rounding out the panel will be Jakob Bignert, lead product manager running Evernote’s Web Clipper team.