Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Create Community and Context; Monetization Options Will Follow

"Authentic content recognized by a given community is the key to content monetization in today's publishing marketplace, regardless of how it's sourced. Tomorrow's trade journals are going to be far less about the reportage model and far more about those channels best equipped to service the diverse communications needs of professionals in given communities and contexts." --John Blossom, Shore Communications, NewsAnalysis, November 29, 2004.

This quote from my colleague appeared in his newsanalysis column this week, just a day before news reached our desks that TechTarget has extended its portfolio of integrated media properties with the acquisition of TheServerSide communities. TheServerSide (TSS) communities come ready-made with an active base of developer reader/contributors, along with a popular conference. In fact, TSS grew from member-generated content provided by the Java developers and architects who constitute the audience of the site.

TechTarget now has the opportunity to lead the way in "creat[ing] channels best equipped to service the diverse communications needs" of the application developer community as described in the opening quote. TechTarget's challenge is to retain an environment that encourages continued collaboration while applying aspects of their overarching integrated media model, which depends on aligning targeted audiences with a set of advertisers who want to market to that community. Given their success to date in redefining the B2B trade journal model, I'm willing to bet that TechTarget will succeed in retaining the right collaborative environment and in leveraging the authentic content that is created among the TSS community by means of incorporating appropriate contextual links to relevant advertising, marketing, and supplemental content.
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