Wired Editor in Chief Chris Anderson has two great articles on how Wired is transforming its web site.
THEN: Bookmarks and habit drive traffic to the home page; site architecture and editorial hierarchy determines where readers goes next. Portals rule.
NOW: Search and blog links drive readers to individual stories; they leave as quickly as they come. “De-portalization” rules.
THEN: Media as Lecture: we create content, you read it.
NOW: Media as Conversation: a total blur between traditional journalism, blogging and user comment/contributions.
THEN: Readers read HTML in a standard web browser window. If you want to be really fancy, design a whole new Flash interface that people will have to learn to get to your content. Charge for “premium content”? Sure!
NOW: More and more people read via RSS, where content is divorced from context. Media is atomized and microchunked. Even if readers do come to your site, the expectation is that the presentation will be a mix of HTML, AJAX, Flash multimedia and embedded third-party apps. Screens range from high-resolution wide displays to handhelds. Whatever you do, don’t let your design interfere with web conventions–everything must be Google-crawlable and blogger permalinkable. Oh, and everything must be open and free.
THEN: We control the site. Editors are gatekeepers.
NOW: We share control with readers. Editors catalyze and curate conversations that happen as much “out there” as on our own site.
Read the two stories over at the long tail:
What would radical transparency mean for Wired? (Part 1)
What would radical transparency mean for Wired? (Part 2)