#SMBEB: Jory Des Jardins, BlogHer on current state of blog publishing

When Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins founded BlogHer in 2005 they were only thinking of helping showcase women bloggers, not of building the content network empire that BlogHer is today.

In an inspiring Social Media Breakfast here in the East Bay this week Jory took us through where BlogHer came from and where BlogHer is today. Sourcing content from 1000s of bloggers and dealing with issues as diverse as tech, politics, sex and food, means that Jory and team have a good sense of what’s happening in the world of digital publishing.

So what’s going on?

Jory reiterated three major trends impacting the world of publishing:

Mobile
Most consumption of BlogHer content now happens on mobile devices. And it has been that way for some time. Jory points out that for BlogHer they do adopt a mobile-first mentality, whether it relates to infrastructure or advertising. We hear a lot about responsive design and building for mobile, but Jory points out this is tough for smaller publishers (read many individual bloggers) who lack the time and skill to ensure an optimized mobile experience. Jory suggests that practically all traffic to the network will be from mobile devices within a few years. One observation: we still hear a lot of pronouncements that the web is dead, particularly driven by the use of mobile apps of the mobile web. However listening to Jory, it’s clear that the blogosphere (built on the web) has a vital role to play in our mobile future.

Video
Jory points out that increasingly video is being employed for digital storytelling purposes. Video consumption is growing and the ease at which you can create great video grows, particularly given the huge advances in digital cameras and smartphones. It’s a medium that needs to be understood, particularly on how you can leverage video for maximum effect.

Analytics
Jory stressed the importance of getting to the right metrics, and this also proved a popular area when it came to questions. Gone are the days of showing success through page views. What are the key areas to focus on? On the one hand attribution metrics which help advertisers chart the course to a sale and give attribution back to each of the partners that helped enable that sale. On the other hand engagement and community metrics which tell you a lot about how your content resonates and the propensity for you to build and influence a network. Somehow I suspect there is still some room to grow when it comes to metrics – so watch this space!

Check out this recap of the event:

And obviously check out BlogHer and their upcoming conference in the Bay Area July 25/26.

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