Conference season should be in full swing by now and it is - after a fashion. While in-person events are pretty much canceled for the remainder of 2020, virtual events have emerged from their Cinderella status to become the mainstay for vendors who see the value in presenting their wares, roadmaps and education workshops as essential parts of the customer experience. In that vein, we've developed functionality that allows partners to augment their existing diginomica presence with a hub page that showcases their events. There's more to it than slapping a new page onto the site. Here's the background.
Similar to what happens in the real world, our people 'travel' to virtual events, sit in on and, where appropriate, participate in sessions. Last month for example, Phil, Jon and I attended a couple of analyst briefings for Workday. I acted as the facilitator for the office of the CFO session. Earlier I acted as host for Noodle.ai's webinar on intelligent supply chains. Jon has more engagements coming up and we expect that others will follow. This week, Derek is riding the Knowledge 2020 train.
It has quickly become apparent that vendors are choosing to spread out their virtual event content over time. That makes good sense when people who would otherwise attend are likely already stretched and can't realistically take days out of their otherwise hectic work life to attend two or three days of sessions. Can you imagine remaining glued to a screen for 6-7 hours a day for two to three days but without the benefit of the event party to look forward towards? Me neither.
So in many senses, the compromise is worthwhile. The question is how can we cover events in the way we have in the past? The straight up answer is that we can't but we know readers like to see what's happening 'through our eyes.' So this is what we did.
As mentioned, we have event hubs tied to a taxonomy that allows us to corral all the content arising out of an event in a single event hub page. Here is the page as we have it for Knowledge 2020. And for those who prefer to receive content via a feed - here's that too. As an extra, we've given partners additional content rights so they can pen a given number of pieces as part of the coverage package. We've also designed for event specific social and rich media content. In essence, we're extending the diginomica platform in a purposeful way.
To help readers identify event content, we've color-coded the background for each headline on the home page with what we think is a tasteful light blue (see image at the top of this story.) To be clear - partners don't get to influence what we say in our own reporting and as has been our practice in the past, we maintain full editorial control over what - if anything - we report. In addition, we actively edit partner created content as we always have.
Based on what we see in event agendas, we can predict with reasonable accuracy how much content we can get from the event we believe will be useful to readers. The wildcard is around customer stories. Alongside, we've advised our partners on elements we believe make events compelling compared to those that are so-so. For more, please see this from Barb. Onwards.
A small but interesting feature added this week are sticky controllers for video. What? Yeah - it's a mouthful but the best way to describe what we've done. When we post a video accompanying a post, people often want to read the story while also playing the video. That's pointless when scrolling so the way around it is to pull the video off to the side and continue playing it such that it remains visible regardless of how a reader is scrolling up and down the page. It sounds a tad wild and so far we've not posted enough video for this to be a big deal. But it will make the content more easily digested.
As we do each month, we tweak things to make them work better. Perhaps the most important has been removing the ability to add to your stories library while offline. It proved too confusing for people and to be truly effective, we have to build a registration system. We've always avoided content gateways and don't want to store user data. So unless someone can provide us (actually me as the firm's designated DPO) with an exceptionally compelling use case, this is a compromise worth the making.