richAs the program for the 2016 Doody’s Digital Workshop has come together, it’s occurred to me that it’s increasingly important for everyone in customer-facing positions such as product development and marketing to truly understand the digital infrastructure that puts intellectual property into the hands of users.

One of our two keynote speakers, Bill Detmer, is CEO of a content platform — Unbound Medicine — and at one time was one of the founders of Ovid, one of the pioneering content aggregators on the Web. Two of our six panelists represent other platforms — Tamer Ali of YM Learning, a learning management system; and Betsy Jones of EBSCO, the sprawling content aggregator. And one of the case studies that we’ll use as a group exercise involves a disaster in the making as a mythical society tries to launch an LMS that will suit the preferences of its members.

Neither we nor our Planning Committee thought consciously about this point, but when you think of it, it’s an obvious implication of our workshop theme, “Defining and measuring success: building value in digital content and delivery.” Note that the subtitle refers to content and delivery. The greatest content in the world won’t help your members unless they can access it when, where, and how they need it, on the device they are using then and there. If the platform can’t perform to members’ expectations, then your content underperforms as well.

By the way, how well do you really understand when, where, and how your members want to use your content? That’s a big topic, and I’ll try to return to it in a future post.