Children's publishers: focus on content, not platform

Children's publishers: focus on content, not platform

<p>Children&#39;s publishers should design content that grips the attention of the consumer, rather than designing it for a specific platform, delegates at <em>The Bookseller&#39;s</em> Children&#39;s Conference were told yesterday (30th September). More than 200 publishers and agents attended the conference at the British Library in London. Speakers included publishers, digital experts and broadcasters.</p><p>Matt Locke, acting head of cross platform at Channel 4, said providing space for communication between fans was essential. He said: &quot;There is a strong desire for the audience to find ways to watch the shows and communicate with one another.&quot;</p><p>He warned not to get too focused on specific popular social networking platforms and instead focus on providing strong content. He said: &quot;You need to design for the attention of your consumer, not the platform. Facebook in five years may mean nothing.&quot;</p><p>Dan Martin, director of strategy at Chameleon Net, suggested publishers should provide content that straddles video content, search engines, social networking and mobile internet. He said: &quot;You need to communicate fully online or you are not communicating as fully as you could. Teenagers are fickle, highly brand influenced but not brand loyal. The best companies have strong websites and strong social networking. The opportunity for publishing is overlapping areas of the above four mainstays of digital communication. If you have content on your site you want to make sure it is shareable and accessible.&quot;</p><p>He also suggested focusing on one social networking platform could prove counterproductive, pointing out the emerging trend of parents friending their children on Facebook and the knock on effect of the child&#39;s behaviour on the site. &quot;Facebook is the majority player in social and web and will be for some years. But teenagers have no problem migrating to other platforms if they suit them better.&quot;<br /><br />For a full report on the Children&#39;s Conference, see next Friday&#39;s issue of <em>The Bookseller</em>.</p>