Web publishing is a fast-moving industry dominated by hot-takes and hyper-optimized content. To grab and retain consumer attention, publishers must be technologically nimble. Margins are slim, and publishers must produce large volumes of content—breaking news, blog posts, photo galleries, video—as efficiently as possible.
"There are hundreds of content management systems (CMSes) on the market that serve different market niches: e-commerce, bloggers, portfolio sites, and other needs," said Maria Podolyak, New Business Manager at Native Grid, a Brooklyn-based startup that creates publishing tools for new web publishers. "[Publishers] need the ability create complex posts quickly. They need built-in task managers, and [they have] to track budget expenditures and analytics."
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Modern programming languages and deep analytics help publishers optimize content and adjust quickly to fast-moving web trends. "The traffic to media sites is falling," Podolyak said. "Media companies have to be timely and budget-efficient to stay competitive in the market."
How do modern content management systems help digital publishers stay competitive?
First of all, it's not enough to be just a company that provides content management or creates a site anymore. [Publishing] clients face new nontrivial challenges like stagnant traffic and income decline. Tech companies have to find ways to help their clients be more efficient. We're working on reducing the time it takes to produce a post and helping users understand which content is worth more investment and which site sections should be closed. It's a question of budget redistribution.
On the other hand, media companies tend to prefer open source solutions, which charge for hosting, additional service level agreements, and services. Proprietary licensed solutions are losing clients. It's clear that market redistribution is happening.
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The CMS market is rapidly changing. [New] platforms need to be built for speed, and built specifically for media companies with all the problems the media company faces in mind. We focus on a monetization tool, editorial task management system, and budget efficiency module.
Our goal is to decrease the time to create any post and track how the content budget is being invested. We are implementing a system that cuts the time to produce any content piece and gives insights to what works for the traffic and what does not.
What language is the platform written in?
Native Grid is built on the Ruby on Rails framework. It's a high load resistant system that we have been testing for years in media environments.
What digital publishing trends have the most staying power?
One trend is native advertising. It is important for publishers to have formats that look native to readers and won't decrease site engagement. We have been experimenting with native advertising for several years. A modern platform must enable experiences for publishers, brand supporters, and readers.
What does the near future of web publishing look like?
In the near-term, new publishing tools must be able to support vast creativity, be flexible, and be highly customizable. Publishers and editorial teams need intuitive interfaces, stable working software, and functionality that enables them to create up-to-date content pieces. Big media companies must build internal data tools to bring analytics into the newsroom. [Publishing] decisions will be made based on data.
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Dan Patterson has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.