Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Roadmap to Modern Digital Communication

by Jeff Stanger

This draft roadmap contrasts a digital distribution model of communication that dominates many public policy organizations' activities with a modern digital information playbook -- interactive, mobile and unmediated.

A Digital Distribution Playbook c. 1995   A Modern Digital Communication Playbook
staticinteractive
tetheredmobile
browser-onlymulti-platform
mediatedunmediated
siteapplication
documentdata
lectureconversation

Background

As communications professionals from the philanthropic community gather this week at the Communications Network conference in Los Angeles, and as I prepare for an upcoming Center for Digital Information event for foundations in October, I've put together this draft roadmap to modern digital communication for discussion.

Please weigh in using the comments section. I welcome the input.

This builds on a distinction between "digital distribution" and "digital information" that I've written about elsewhere and that is central to describing the Center for Digital Information's mission.

CDI's focus is on guiding this essential transition for the policy research community — think tanks, foundations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. With advances in digital communication technology and the shrinking of the traditional journalism industry, this community now plays an increasingly important and direct role in the public policy dialogue. However, these organizations still predominantly operate from a digital playbook circa 1995 (write report/document, post on Web site, promote to journalists, hope they write about it), which is incompatible with modern digital communication. This presents serious threats to authority, expertise, credibility, relevance and impact — the very currency of organizations who seek to inform citizens and policy makers on matters of public importance.

Comments welcome...