Driving for Distraction: How Do We Survive The Premium Media Onslaught?
Dec 6th, 2013 by Ryan Gantz (@sixfoot6), Director of UX, Vox Media
One great thing about working at a company built on Lifestyle Brands With Passionate Audiences is that many of us enjoy a huge overlap between our job and our hobbies. We get our work done, but there’s a (largely unspoken) understanding that when Apple events or World Series games or E3 announcements come around, we can and should take time to enjoy them. No doubt World Cup draw coverage has been up on the projector in the DC office common area today, folks plunked down on the couch.
We love this stuff, and it’s always a great chance to see our editorial & video teams in action, and to watch closely as tools like SBN Live and Syllabus get real-world use.
But one terrible thing about working for a growing family of premium brands is that we’re always publishing awesome shit, and it’s really, really hard to keep up. Some highlights from Wednesday:
VOX TABS EP1 MMA http://t.co/yAgR6SIFco GIRLS/GAMES http://t.co/lYXHPirMsF DEATH http://t.co/4i49Q13EwM WORLD CUP http://t.co/JLJmO78qyX— Trei Brundrett (@clockwerks) December 4, 2013
Those were just the longform features we published that day. These tabs reveal deep coverage of fascinating stories that required tight collaboration between editorial, design, sales, ad products and video. And it’s too much! I don’t mean to complain in a smug #CompanyHumbleBrag way (well, I sorta do), but rather in an actual selfish Seriously, Guys, I’m Having a Hard Time Focusing On My CSS Because Of These Tabs kind of way.
I want to keep up with our output so I can better understand our audiences, our process, our design choices, and subject matter relevant to the modern world. I’m glad Product tools help enable this stuff. But all too often I only have time to scan the layout, tweet some props to the writer and the team, and capture the story in Pocket so I can take a closer look later. Sadly, my track record for following up isn’t so strong, and I often feel bad about that.
Our sites publish stuff that people want to read & watch. Just this minute, folks in our main Campfire room are talking about this Curbed article on DC apartments. If I worked at a lousy temp job, I’d be in heaven with the distraction. As it is, sometimes the only articles I take time to read are the ones that come back around to me via friends on Facebook. To say nothing about engaging with other online communities, or consuming inspiring work published elsewhere.
So I’d love to hear both from Voxers and folks working in the wider world of media and tech: how do you manage to keep up? Should I be opening my laptop to read late at night, with a glass of bourbon? Bookmarking and watching our videos over the weekend? Doubling down on GTD? Going off the grid to live in the jungle? BECAUSE IT NEVER STOPS.