Thank you Gilbane Sponsors

Thanks to all the Gilbane Conference sponsors and exhibitors this year!

Diamond Sponsor


Brightspot is an enterprise user experience platform that powers large-scale, highly dynamic and editorially rich consumer experiences. Brightspot delights editors with a consistent, familiar and uncluttered user interface that supports their workflows. It unleashes designers, allowing them to create visually stunning experiences with complete design flexibility and zero platform constraints. And it empowers developers, by automating routine tasks and injecting industry best practices in the development workflows they already know and understand. Brightspot brings teams together from day one, resulting in high quality deployments and faster time to market. For more information, visit

Platinum Sponsor


Adobe is the global leader in digital marketing and digital media solutions. Our tools and services enable our customers to create groundbreaking digital content, deploy it across media and devices, measure and optimize it over time, and achieve greater business success. We help our customers make, manage, measure and monetize their digital content across every channel and screen. For more information, visit

Gold Sponsors


HP Marketing Optimization empowers organizations to understand and engage audiences, reach new customer segments, and deliver dynamic and personal experiences across every channel, including print, web, contact centers, and augmented reality. With a portfolio of industry-leading products, including HP Exstream, HP TeamSite, HP MediaBin, HP Qfiniti, and HP Aurasma, marketers can increase revenue, conversion rates, and customer loyalty using the diverse and growing volume of information that powers today’s world. For more information, visit


Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications, platform services, and engineered systems. With more than 400,000 customers—including 100 of the Fortune 100—in more than 145 countries, Oracle provides a complete technology stack both in the cloud and in the data center. Oracle’s industry-leading cloud-based and on-premises solutions give customers complete deployment flexibility and unmatched benefits including application integration, advanced security, high availability, scalability, energy efficiency, powerful performance, and low total cost of ownership. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit



Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 323,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014.


Acclaro is a translation and localization services firm that specializes in adapting products and information for worldwide markets. We help brands transcend borders, open new markets and gain a competitive edge in new languages worldwide. From transcreation of marketing campaigns, to website and product localization, to translation and production of eLearning, we help businesses succeed across cultures.


ActiveStandards is the leader in digital governance, providing global enterprises with end-to-end digital governance solutions through a powerful blend of technology and consulting services. These solutions help companies realize value from their online presence and mitigate risk by optimizing the management of complex digital operations and improving the quality and effectiveness of their digital content. ActiveStandards has an international client base across all industry sectors and supports the digital governance programs of some of the largest brands in the world, including Unilever, Shell, CSC, HP, Thomson Reuters and Canon.


Enonic’s innovative platform provides a faster way to create and deliver powerful digital experiences. We solve everyday problems in all stages of the digital delivery process. Our simplified architecture reduces the number of moving parts, and enables delivery of content, services and applications from a single, scalable platform. Visit


EPiServer connects digital commerce and digital marketing to help organizations create unique digital experiences for their customers, with measurable business results. Sitting at the center of the digital experience ecosystem, EPiServer empowers digital leaders to embrace disruptive, transformational strategies to deliver standout experiences for their customers – everywhere they engage. Founded in 1994, EPiServer has offices in the USA, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, The Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Singapore, Spain, UAE and the UK.


IAE makes the Digital Strategy of A-brand multinationals an affordable reality. IAE delivers hands on digital execution services such as web content implementation, online campaign management, creative maintenance and digital reporting. IAE makes the Digital Strategy of A-brand multinationals an affordable reality. IAE delivers hands on digital execution services such as web content implementation, online campaign management, creative maintenance and digital reporting from 5 locations around the world, catering for the 24/7 needs of its customers, among others Philips Electronics, The Hertz Corporation, Unilever, Sony Corporation and TomTom. By customizing its operating model, delivery location, scaling and workflows, IAE offers companies ‘a perfect fit’ for their global digital execution requirements.


Jostle’s intranet helps leaders engage their workforce, it helps teams collaborate, and it helps organizations build and sustain vibrant cultures. Its elegance and relevance yield exceptional participation rates – exceeding five times industry standards. Jostle’s intranet is turnkey, cloud-based, and requires no IT resources to maintain. For more information contact or visit us online at


SDL is the leader in global customer experience. We untangle the complexity of managing your brand’s digital footprint as it grows across websites, devices, channels, multiple languages and cultures. Customer expectations are high. To turn shoppers into buyers and likes into loves, SDL technologies and language services enable you to engage customers with authentic, in-context brand experiences at every touch point—before, during and after the sale. With a complete integrated cloud solution for content management, analytics, language and documentation, SDL doesn’t just bring your brand to the world. We bring the world to your brand. Learn more at


SearchBlox is a text analytics and search platform for unstructured data with built-in connectors to multiple data sources. SearchBlox is used for customer feedback and employee feedback analysis. SearchBlox can visualize multiple streams of text data for actionable insights leading to faster decisions.

Associate Sponsor


Also thanks to all our Gilbane conference media sponsors!


Intranets that succeed

Employees are customers too. You want to reach them, you want them responsive and engaged with your organization and your joint customers, and you want to keep them. Today’s employees have little patience  with poor workplace digital experiences. In addition, organizations need to consider the connection between engaged employees and the ultimate customer experience.

Below are a selection of four conference sessions with multiple intranet case studies at the upcoming Gilbane Conference that will be especially relevant to anyone planning for a new or more successful intranet.

E1. Strategies and Lessons from Successful Intranets

Intranets that work provide an invaluable resource. But too often intranet projects either never get off the ground, or struggle for months or even years before being put out of their misery. How do you know when intranets are working? There is only one metric that matters – adoption, at least voluntary, and ideally enthusiastic. Attend this session get inspired by the managers at two organizations responsible for building successful intranets tell you what they did and how.

Wednesday, December, 2: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Moderator: Sara Redin, Senior Consultant, Think! Digital
Rachelle Byars-Sargent, Director, Collaborative Technologies, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
Productizing Intranets: Breaking away from the Service Catalog
Krista MacDonald, Manager, Business Services Portfolio, Employee Services, Business Systems Integration & Development, Jazz Aviation LP
Engaging Support at Every Level of the Organization – The JazzNet Story

E2. Critical Considerations for Building a Modern Intranet

In this session our speakers take a look at some specific areas to pay careful attention to when getting ready for a new intranet project, or for updating and modernizing an existing intranet.

Wednesday, December, 2: 2:40 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
Moderator: Sara Redin, Senior Consultant, Think! Digital
Deb Lavoy, Founder and CEO, Narrative Builders
Employee engagement is the opposite of being patronizing
Shannon Ryan, President & CEO, non-linear creations
Imagining and designing your next intranet

E4. Growth Without Compromise: Using Intranets to Scale What Makes You Great

Growth organizations – those who are growing fast, from a few dozen to a few hundred or thousands, have a unique challenge. You’re doing things right. But how can you maintain quality and momentum as you grow? How will you stay great when there are more and more newcomers?

Scaling organizational greatness means scaling a strong community, a strong culture, and a strong sense of belonging. How can culture, leadership and community expand to embrace people who don’t work in the same place or have pre-existing relationships? With intranets or digital workplaces. This panel of HR and Communications leaders will talk about the challenges of scaling culture, and how a great intranet enables extended teams to remain powerful. No compromise.

Thursday, December, 3: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Moderator: Deb Lavoy, Founder and CEO, Narrative Builders
J Ackley, Senior Director of Technology, Ivie & Associates
Amanda Connolly, Communications Manager, Plexxus
Eric Scholz, Sr. Director & Editor-in-Chief on Marriott Global Source, Marriott International, Inc

E5. Connecting Customer and Employee Experiences

Building a holistic and seamless customer experience is not just a job for marketing. It is not even a job limited to customer-facing employees because they are dependent on other internal employees and systems for their effectiveness. The two case studies in this session are excellent examples of the kind of efforts needed to achieve organizational level customer experience.

Thursday, December, 3: 9:40 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Moderator: Sara Redin, Senior Consultant, Think! Digital
Laurel Nicholes, Director, Information Experience, Emerging Technologies & Jill Orofino, Director, Information Experience, Core Technology, EMC
Build a Community not a Crowd: How employees and customers can build content communities to achieve shared goals
Gretchen Nadasky, Manager, Information Management, Optimality Advisors & Matt McClelland, Manager, Information Governance Office, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
The E3 of Enlisting Employees to Support Customer Experience: engagement, expectation, enthusiasm

Subscribers save $200 on conference registration – use priority code 200BB


Gilbane Advisor 10-27-15 – Platforms, apps, web, neutrality

There are tectonic shifts underway among competing web, mobile, and social platforms, that will have profound effects on digital strategies. There are too many moving parts and shifting alliances for anyone to predict outcomes with any certainty. But Apple, Google, Facebook, and others are making moves that need to be considered in the context of platform competition, whether it is Apple ad-blocking, and News, Google AMP, and Polymer, Facebook Instant Articles, and Notify, or Twitter Moments. Some thoughts…

Mobile is not a neutral platform

For sure. Benedict Evan’s lead-up discussion on desktop vs mobile platform doesn’t sit quite right, but it isn’t necessary to the argument or the other insights which are on target. It is certainly true that mobile operating systems are becoming less neutral and more intrusive and there will be serious consequences as this trend continues.

… this summer we saw moves from Apple and Google to create their own real-estate around the home screen. … but the broader point is that this is Apple’s screen or Google’s screen, and another content provider gets there only if Apple or Google want (and if they implement the indexing APIs that Apple and Google require). This will get bigger… Next, Apple and Google are exploring new ways to unbundle the content within apps into new usage models. Hence Apple’s 3D Touch unbundles app content into the home screen … Can there be apps where this is the main UI? (And of course this isn’t on Android, so the fantasy of a cross-platform app gets even further away.) Read More

Notes from the Platform’s Edge

“Platforms for everyone, publications for no one”. John Herrman on the fascinating dance between publishers and platforms and social “platforms” like Facebook and Twitter who want to compete / survive via notification control. Referrals to websites from Facebook are trending down for many and the top ten membership is changing, and…

Facebook is … experimenting with a new editorial space… an app called Notify, which lets people aggregate… notifications? It was previously reported by Business Insider to be “a standalone mobile news publication.” … An Apple Watch future or a Siri future or a notifications-based future would threaten the most obvious ways Facebook and Twitter make money—by cramming ads into feeds—so it makes sense, probably, to at least try to get ahead of it, by becoming a sort of news notification clearinghouse—better or more vital than the notifications sent to users by, say, an Apple or Google News app…All along, platforms and publications have been interacting in two ways: on one end, by mingling audience and attention; on the other, by the advertising business model of one replacing the advertising business model of the other. Read More

For more on this join us for the New Frontiers in Digital Content Distribution panel discussion at the Gilbane conference.

The Apple-Google, App-Web Divide

Apple wants mobile devices to be filled with apps. Google supports a world where people browse the web for most things. Now websites are increasingly caught in the middle of those competing visions.

The full title of the article is “Publishers Straddle the Apple-Google, App-Web Divide”, but it is not just about publishers—everyone has to to figure out how to navigate among this divide and all of the exhaust from it. Ad-blocking, app-blocking, AMP-advantaging, non-neutral mobile platforms, and (healthy) web standards (e.g., web components) development competition, are all driven by the competing business models. Read More

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages AMP Project

Google’s latest strategic salvo in the app-web battle is to provide another way to speed up web pages with an open source project based on the web components standard. The idea is to neutralize any speed advantages of Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News, or other apps. Of course this also serves to influence the direction of the web components standard development in the same way as Polymer. This is all good, but there are some concerns about how open AMP is in its current form. There is already a (beta) WordPress plugin which I have installed on but haven’t tested yet. Danny Sullivan’s post from the announcement contains a description and useful links. Read More

You can hear more about Web Components and Polymer; Deep Linking and App Indexing at the upcoming Gilbane conference.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programing…

Integrating marketing technologies? That’s the easy part

It would be difficult to find someone more qualified than Scott Brinker to talk about integrating marketing technology. He knows firsthand how hard it is, which is why you should listen to what he has to say about what’s even more difficult.

Is the “integration” challenge of marketing technology really our top obstacle?… There are two studies that I’ve come across in the past couple of weeks that have caused me to wonder if integration has become a bit of a red herring for marketers who are wrestling with the much more hairy, vicious, pointy-toothed beast of digital transformation… Integration is getting easier. Marketing, however, is not. Read more

Hear Scott’s keynote on Building an Infrastructure for Marketing Digital Transformation at the Gilbane conference and join us for multiple sessions on integration, digital transformation and marketing challenges.

Gilbane Conference 2014 bulbGilbane Conference 2015

Join us in Boston December 1-3

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Short takes

Why ContentEditable is Terrible Or: How the Medium Editor Works… In case you thought building text editors was easy Or: If you are just curious. via Medium Engineering

CMS and Author Experience Or: Pushing WordPress’ boundaries… via

World of Service Providers, October 2015… WPP, Publicis, Havas, and Fullsix via Digital Clarity Group

Web Content Management Round-Up, October 2015… including discussion of latest WCM Magic Quadrant. via Digital Clarity Group

A new way to improve app experiences with web content… Safari View Controller and Automatic Safari Reader Activationvia MacStories

Digital Asset Management Round-Up, October 2015… Open Text, SAP, and Widen. via Digital Clarity Group

Useful infographic for anyone wondering why mobile apps take so long and cost so much… Overview of the mobile app development processvia

E-Commerce Round-Up: September 2015… Farfetch, Time Inc, and Mondelez.  via Digital Clarity Group

Sorry to say the leads the pack… The Cost of Mobile Ads on 50 News Websitesvia


The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year. You can also subscribe via our feed.

The Gilbane Conference on Content, Technology, and Customer Experience helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and computing technologies to produce superior customer experiences for all stakeholders.

How to choose a new CMS

First of all, choosing a new CMS, or any other enterprise software, should only ever come after a critical and comprehensive analysis of business requirements, strategic objectives, current technology infrastructure, existing and expected operational processes, and a determination of service provider involvement. And once you’re ready to start looking at the options you need to pay attention to the employee, partner, and customer experience from the start if you want to ensure adoption and success. The whole process is less obvious and sure to involve way more effort than you anticipate.

Below are a selection of four conference sessions and two workshops at the upcoming Gilbane Conference that will be especially relevant to anyone considering a new CMS product, platform, or environment.

P2. Aligning Technology with Strategy – Harvard Business Review

The Harvard Business Review Group launched a redesigned site in November 2014, a big step forward for the company in terms of both strategy and technology. The team adopted new technologies for the both the front end and back end that were not only designed to push our capabilities forward, but chosen in close collaboration with business stakeholders with a deep understanding of where our business is heading. HBR’s goals are similar to any other magazine/publishing/media company, to grow the business by creating and retaining subscribers and simultaneously meet the changing needs of digital advertising as print revenues potentially decline. As the primary place where more and more people and clients engage with us, has become the center of our strategy. The old site served us well for years but our new technology choices now allow us to form the direct relationships not only with our audience, but more importantly with each subscriber. Topics we’ll cover in our talk will include: advantages of modern UI frameworks and why we built our own, migrating from traditional relational databases to a big data/nosql database.

The presentation will consist of at least three parts: setting the stage for change, evaluating options for new technologies to meet the need, choices made with a retrospective on lessons learned.

Wednesday, December, 2: 2:40 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
Moderator: Kevin Newman, Director of Technology, Harvard Business Publishing
Fred Lalande, Technical Production Manager, Harvard Business Publishing
Daigo Fujiwara, Web Developer, Harvard Business Publishing
Matt Wagner, Web Developer, Harvard Business Publishing

T4. Benchmark Your WCM Environment

Join Real Story Group for a fast-paced, hands-on session where you will assess your existing WCM environment in a series of structured Q&A exercises. Then find out how your situation stacks up against your peers’.

Thursday, December, 3: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Tony Byrne, Founder, Real Story Group
Jarrod Gingras, Senior Analyst and Managing Director, Real Story Group

T5. When and How to Move to a New CMS / Digital Platform

Replacing a content management system has always been a daunting task, but is now more difficult than it ever. As CMS’s have matured they have taken on more functionality, much of which overlaps with other systems thus forcing choices about which system should be responsible for which function. The marketing technology landscape and the variety of technology stacks it suggests are possible is scary indeed — even though your own existing environment provides some constraints. The speakers in this session are consultants who have been through this with many clients and have some great advice to share.

Thursday, December, 3: 9:40 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Moderator: Barb Mosher Zinck, Content & Product Marketer, MarTech Analyst, Publisher, BMZ Content Strategies / Digital Tech Diary
Rob Martinez, Director of Professional Services, NorthPoint Digital
When to Abandon your Existing Technology and Start Afresh
William Thayer, Principal Consultant Technologist, Avalon Consulting, LLC.
Strategies for Migrating to a new Web Content Management System

T6. CMS Alternatives – Bespoke to WordPress

When you need a content management system you have lots of options. In this session our speakers advocate for two alternatives that have been controversial choices for “enterprise-class” requirements. At one end of the spectrum, WordPress, the most popular “content management” system, is often thought of as too lightweight a solution. At the other end of the spectrum, building your own custom system means it can do whatever you want, but the cost of development and maintenance required is considered too high a cost. Both speakers are Gilbane conference veterans and know our audience so will be well prepared for any challenging questions!

Thursday, December, 3: 11:40 p.m. – 12:40 p.m.
Moderator: Barb Mosher Zinck, Content & Product Marketer, MarTech Analyst, Publisher, BMZ Content Strategies / Digital Tech Diary
John Eckman, CEO, 10up
Building a Better Author Experience: WordPress as a CMS platform
John Petersen, Programmer, Sutro Software
Throw Away Your CMS

Also see these pre-conference workshops for deep dives:

Workshop C. Insiders’ Guide to Selecting the Right WCM

Tony Byrne, Founder, Real Story Group: Tuesday, December, 1: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Workshop D. Foundations for Best-Fit WCM Service Provider Selections

Cathy McKnight, Partner and Principal Analyst, Digital Clarity Group: Tuesday, December, 1: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Multichannel or omnichannel, you’ve got multi-challenges

Whether you prefer to focus your customer experience strategy on the “all” of “omnichannel” or the “more-than-one” of “multichannel”, you have a lot digital, physical, organizational, and operational decisions to deal with. Whatever your terminology preference, below are four relevant sessions with ten presentations at the upcoming Gilbane Conference that will provide you with plenty to think about.

C2. Making Omni-channel Work

“Omni-channel” is a succinct way to refer to the core problem of marketing transformation since it is typically used to include digital and non-digital channels as well as all their related support systems. Used in this way the term represents an ideal that may not often be attainable, but that is no reason it should not be a target to strive for. What does this mean in the real world? In this session our three presenters will look at: what is being done at an organization on the path to omni-channel, some common early mistakes organizations make when planning for omni-channel, and some ideas and strategies for dealing with the growing impact of connected devices.

Wednesday, December, 2: 2:40 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
Moderator: Melissa Webster, Program VP, Content & Digital Media Technologies, IDC
Kevin Novak, CEO and Founder, 2040 Digital
Moving to Customer Centricity in the Omni-Channel
Jake DiMare, Digital Strategist, Agency Oasis
Successfully planning for Digital Transformation
Loni Stark, Senior Director of Strategy and Product Marketing, Digital Marketing Business, Adobe
Connected Experiences: From websites to wearables to wherever

C3. Holistic Customer Experiences Require Fundamental Change

As we say in this year’s conference description, “A modern customer experience must be holistic and seamless. Holistic in that customer communications be consistent within the company and across all touch points and channels, and seamless so that transitions between customer interactions are smooth and frictionless. This is a continuous process that requires an unprecedented amount of collaboration and integration between internal and external facing organizations and systems.” In this session two industry analysts look deeper into the fundamental changes required in the supply chain and internal business systems.

Wednesday, December, 2: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Moderator: Jeff Cram, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-founder, Connective DX
Matt Mullen, Senior Analyst, Social Business, 451 Research
Beyond Engagement and Experience; The Converged Enterprise and the Dynamic Supply Chain
Connie Moore, Senior Vice President Research, Digital Clarity Group
The New Customer Experience Imperative: Moving From Digital Transformation to Business Transformation

T7. Modern Multichannel Strategies

Implementing COPE (Create Once Publish Everywhere) is not easy, but for years organizations have built systems to accomplish or approximate multichannel publishing. Is this still the best approach? Or is there a newer model needed to support the more interactive web and mobile experiences? This session includes lessons-learned from COPE implementations as well as a proposal for an enhanced model of COPE for a modern customer experience.

Thursday, December, 3: 11:40 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
Moderator: Jake DiMare, Digital Strategist, Agency Oasis
Chris Schagen, CMO, Contentful GmbH
Multi-channel content modeling: Learnings from 3 COPE projects
Andrew Blackmore, Solution Principal, National Customer Engagement, Slalom Consulting
CDSE – An Evolution of COPE for Maturing Brands

T8. How to Plan for Complex Multichannel Projects

Multichannel projects that aren’t complex are already rare, and the complexity is increasing. When planning for such projects it is helpful to look at successful results for repeatable patterns. This is not easy to do if you only have experience with one or two similar projects. All three presentations in this session provide some level of pattern analysis on relevant projects that will allow you to consider a much broader range of scenarios in your own complex project planning.

Thursday, December, 3: 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.
Moderator: Barb Mosher Zinck, Content & Product Marketer, MarTech Analyst, Publisher, BMZ Content Strategies / Digital Tech Diary
Martin Coady, Managing Director, Technology, VML
Reusability – the Myth and the Reality
In Koo Kim, Senior Vice President, NorthPoint Digital
Patterns of Successful Digital Projects
Jeff Hansen, Content Solutions Lead, SingleStone
Designing a Flexible Content Architecture to Enhance both Customer Experience and Author Experience

The future of tablets

[Note: This was posted elsewhere on May 6, 2014, so is obviously a bit dated. I’m re-posting here because I want to test the new Medium API, and to encourage me to write more about tablets given Microsoft’s new Surface Book.]

The future of tablets isn’t what analysts thought a year ago, or even last fall

The market for PCs continues to decline (but at a slowing rate: IDCGartner), yet tablet growth is also slowing forcing many analysts to scale back their forecasts. Smartphone growth is slowing as well.

There is a lot of discussion, mainly from an investor point of view about why: saturation, price points, supplier market share, etc., that are relevant for both business and consumer markets. Recently the focus has been on iPads because of Apple’s earnings call but the trend is not limited to Apple.

Why aren’t tablets taking more share away from PCs?

Given the phenomenal growth of tablets the last few years, their computing power, and the large overlap of general use cases shared with PCs (email, browsing) it did seem that tablets were on track replace PCs in large numbers. But the use case overlap was not large enough to support the forecasts. Tablets are tweeners, fighting for space between the superior communications of smartphones and greater productivity of PCs. Being in the middle is not normally a desirable spot for a product, but tablets excel at information and entertainment consumption and this middle is a pretty big and happy place to be.

What do we use PCs for? For years we have been using PCs for some combination of productivity, information / entertainment consumption, and communication. PCs were largely designed and most useful for productivity, whether business or personal, and that’s why we bought them. As PCs evolved and became capable and appealing for information/entertainment consumption and communication we bought more of them. And at some point whatever motivated us to buy a PC, our actual use of them flipped – we now spend a higher percentage of time using our PCs for information / entertainment consumption and communication than we do for productivity. And of course this is the domain of tablets and why they have taken as much of the PC market as they have.

But tablets are simply not as good as PCs for a large number of productivity applications. Until they are this will act as a governor on tablet growth and allow for a shrinking but still large market for PCs.

In The iPad Is a Tease Jean-Louis Gassée points out that:

So far, Apple’s bet has been to keep the iPad simple, rigidly so perhaps, rather than creating a neither-nor product: No longer charmingly simple, but not powerful enough for real productivity tasks. But if the iPad wants to cannibalize more of the PC market, it will have to remove a few walls.

I would say Gassée’s post is from the point of view of a user who would like to replace his PC with an iPad but can’t, that this is a larger cohort than enterprise users or even power users, and that this is the best way to think about the productivity penalty portion of slowing iPad sales.

What would make a significant dent in the iPad’s productivity penalty? Microsoft Office support alone is necessary but not sufficient. A better solution for text entry than accessory keyboards, smooth and rapid app switching, and easy file access would each make a big difference. See below for links to other thoughts.

There is also a maddening and ironic side effect of using iPads for industry applications where they are productivity enhancers. For example, I used to be able to choose between an iPad (mostly research and entertainment) and a laptop (mostly work) for most trips, but a couple of my current projects include working with apps that only run on the iPad. I can’t be productive without having both an iPad and a laptop. Even in the office I often need both within reach. Unfortunately this situation is likely to get worse as more iOS, (and Android!) productivity apps appear.

Watch out for smartphones

Benedict Evans suggested another avenue for inquiry in a tweet:

.@asymco @gassee posit: slow iPad sales are worse news for the PC market: implies phones can take the greater share of PC use cases

— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) April 21, 2014

I don’t know Benedict, but I picture him smiling devilishly as he composed that tweet. As well he should have.

The more types of computing devices there are the more complicated figuring out use case fit is going to be.

The future of tablets

The future of tablets seems promising in the near term since neither PCs nor smartphones can match their information and entertainment consumption experience and tablets will get better at aiding productivity. The better they get the more market share they’ll take. And of course we haven’t seen all the new industry apps where the tablet form factor and interface is a net productivity advantage.

On the other hand, the right kind of user interface – perhaps a high resolution holographic interface not dependent on form factors for projection – would free us from our quaint categories of PCs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, glasses, and be truly disruptive. Once computing power and user interfaces become independent of physical size all bets are off.

Further reading on iPad growth:

The iPad’s Curse — Ben Bajarin

iPads and Tablet Growth – Benedict Evans

Don’t Give up on the iPad – Ben Thompson

How Apple Could Continue to Own the Enterprise Tablet Market — Tim Bajarin

The Astonishing, Disappointing iPad – MG Siegler

Gilbane Advisor 9-30-15 – Mobile web 2X app traffic

Mobile browser traffic is 2X bigger than app traffic, and growing faster

Mobile browser traffic is actually twice that of mobile app traffic, according to a just-released Morgan Stanley report… This appears to fly in the face of recent, strong, and repeated evidence that the app is winning, capturing 80-90 percent of our time on mobile.

Using comScore data, Morgan Stanley says the web is winning… comScore says the app is winning… Both are right… The problem is terminology and the exact focus of each study. Morgan Stanley’s study is focused on unique visitors… while comScore’s report is focused on actual user time spent.

There is still a lot of confusion around this. It’s not as simple as mobile web vs app. Marketers need mobile strategies that cover both: a mobile web strategy for top of the funnel reach and growth, and an app strategy for increasing engagement with those further along in the “customer journey”. For details Read More

Adaptive Content, Context, and Controversy

Trying to decide between responsive design, adaptive design, or separate web and mobile sites? It is a big decision and the attendent debate is both necessary and well worth the effort educationally. Technical, marketing, and business stakeholders should all be involved and all would benefit from Karen McGrane’s accessible and useful perspective on the options. Read More

Marketing technologists, growth hackers, and regression to the mean

This predicted phenomenon — of marketing technologists being a temporary specialization that largely regresses back to the mean of what defines a “marketer” — seems analogous to the pattern we’ve seen with digital marketing and, possibly, what we’re seeing with growth hacking too.

For a while, digital marketers were specialists that raced ahead of baseline marketers with their unique knowledge and domain expertise. But today — even though we’re not there completely — we see the reunification of digital marketing into the standard definition of marketing. Digital marketing is just an implicit part of marketing now. … Although, important to note, it took 20 years. Read More

This free online encyclopedia has achieved what Wikipedia can only dream of

For all Wikipedia’s utility it is too often frustratingly incomplete and blatantly biased. This is not a knock on its hard-working editors or its laudable mission. Wikipedia it is a positive force in advancing education and its faults are mainly a result of its idealistic scope. Hopefully it will continue to grow and improve. There at least one example of a very successful model that should at least be applicable to other special domains…

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy may be the most interesting website on the internet. Not because of the content—which includes fascinating entries on everything from ambiguity to zombies—but because of the site itself… Its creators have solved one of the internet’s fundamental problems: How to provide authoritative, rigorously accurate knowledge, at no cost to readers. It’s something the encyclopedia… has managed to do for two decades … Unfortunately, all of the other current ways of designing an encyclopedia very badly fail to meet at least one of these requirements. Read More

The Fake Traffic Schemes That Are Rotting the Internet

If you’ve been following the topic you won’t be shocked, but will likely find some additional details in this report. If you are not familiar with what has been going on the report will open your eyes wide – where they should be if you are spending money on advertising. The infection by vertical domain is interesting too. Read More

Gilbane Conference 2015

Gilbane Conference 2014 bulb

Join us in Boston, December 1-3. Content, technology and customer experience.

Short takes

The Impossible Definition of Content Marketing… “Or we could just call it marketing.” via Percolate

Publishers & advertisers no longer in alignment… Popping the Publishing Bubble via Stratechery

His theory of diffusion causation could be applied to other cases – the Web for example. How quickly will ads disappear from the Internet? via Asymco

One publisher’s reaction to ad blockers… You Can Now Turn Off Ads On Techdirt via Techdirt

Data dwarfs… Why are we still calling them phones? via Quartz

This is a great start in improving citizen web experience. Introducing the U.S. Web Design Standards via

Adobe’s Plan to Make Your iPad as Good as Your Desktop makes sense for them, and Apple is helping. via Wired

Good advice for product managers and designers. Dark Forest At Night via Medium

If you use Flash you no-doubt already know that this already happened… Google’s Chrome Browser Will Begin Blocking Flash Web Ads via the Wall Street Journal


The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year. You can also subscribe via our feed.

The Gilbane Conference on Content, Technology, and Customer Experience helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and computing technologies to produce superior customer experiences for all stakeholders.

Gilbane Advisor 8-26-15 – Gilbane Program and ad-blocking update

Gilbane Conference 2015 program published

Join us in Boston December 1-3.
See the programworkshopsschedulevenue and register.

Maybe the backlash to intrusive web and mobile ads is finally coming. Maybe the combination of distraction, painfully slow page loads, and overly creepy tracking is about force a major change in how digital content is paid for. Then again, maybe most people will just put up with it — many may not even have noticed the gradual deterioration of the web experience. Either way, things are ramping up and this effects everybody. The use of ad-blocking is growing, and Apple’s imminent release of iOS 9 with support for ad-blocking could dramatically increase its use among a highly-prized demographic. We have chosen three of the many recent articles to get you up to speed quickly.

Ad Blockers and the Nuisance at the Heart of the Modern Web

First up, the New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo does a nice job summarizing the major points of view.

Advertising sustains pretty much all the content you enjoy on the web … many of the world’s most useful technologies may never have come about without online advertising. But at the same time, ads and the vast, hidden, data-sucking machinery that they depend on to track and profile you are routinely the most terrible thing about the Internet. … Now, more and more web users are escaping the daily bombardment of online advertising by installing an ad blocker. Read more

The Ethics of Modern Web Ad-blocking

Next, Marco Arment takes a look at the ‘implied’ or ‘implicit’ contract between  publishers / advertisers and content consumers.

There’s no opportunity for disclosure, negotiation, or reconsideration. By following any link, you unwittingly opt into whatever the target site, and any number of embedded scripts from other sites and tracking networks, wants to collect, track, analyze, and sell about you. … That’s why the implied-contract theory is invalid: people aren’t agreeing to write a blank check and give up reasonable expectations of privacy by clicking a link. They can’t even know what the cost of visiting a page will be until they’ve already visited it and paid the price. Read more

Real-World Results of iOS 9 Safari Content Blocking

Even though iOS 9 is not released yet the beta versions have the content blocking feature and developers are building content blocking apps, so it is possible to see the effect on the user experience. Owen Williams has done just that with side-by-side tests of major publisher sites with and without one of the content blocking apps turned on. Note that iOS content blocking capability includes more than just ads. It will be interesting to see the final options for configuring, and how they end up being used.

Content blockers on iOS are a new type of app that’s able to block incoming content before it’s loaded by the system — it provides a list of sites and scripts to the operating system for blocking. Instead of requiring the browser to process what to block as the page loads, it’s performed on a system level before the page loads which increases speed significantly. … The effect of using a content blocker on iOS is, to be honest, something publishers should be deeply afraid of. I don’t really care about advertising actually appearing on sites, I just care about how fast the site itself loads over a constrained connection. Read more

6 Reasons Marketing is Moving In-House

Digital Agencies finds that in the past year there has been a dramatic spike in the number of companies who no longer work with outside marketing agencies — 27 percent, up from 13 percent in the previous year. This continues a trend The Association of National Advertisers first reported in 2013. … SoDA describes this trend as “alarming” … but stops short of fully explaining why it’s happening. After interviewing several ad agency executives and marketing leaders in a diverse group of businesses — pharmaceutical, high-tech, manufacturing, retail, sports, and others — I’ve found a few common themes that could help explain what is going on. Read more

Learning from PDFs

PDF seemed like a temporary diversion from the road to the future of electronic documents to many even when it was new in 1993. By then HTML and many other SGML based applications existed and the potential was clear but it wasn’t until the Mosaic browser was released, also in 1993, that the web revolution grew the legs for mainstream adoption.

In the 90s there was, largely uninformed, competition between PDF and HTML — there have always been important use cases for both. Our understanding and preferences for content consumption will continue to evolve as computing and information technologies change the landscape of options. Michael Andrews takes a thoughtful look at why PDF is still an important component of content strategy.

What can content strategy learn from PDFs? That some people want to interact with words, and HTML content doesn’t offer them good options to do that… The evolution of content experience is far from over, despite the proclamations that the future of content has arrived. Smart, flexible, modular content is powerful. But on the topics that matter most, people want to choose what’s important to them, and not have that decision made for them. Read more

A Visual Introduction to Machine Learning

Just what it says it is and very nicely done. This is the opposite of a typical insipid infographic. See more


Thanks to our hosting provider LuxSci for sponsoring this issue, and for 15 years of great customer service.



Short takes

Google analyzed their own app interstitial ad and got rid of it. They explain why in Google+: A case study on App Download Interstitials via the Google Webmaster Central Blog

Mobile:2015 UI / UX Trends… A quick look at what and why. via Medium

Useful background info on the evolution of native ads… Native advertising and sponsored content: Research on audience, ethics, effectiveness via Journalist’s Resource

For a little more technical detail content and page load speed see Why Are Web Pages So Slow? via Medium

Without a doubt Companies Need an Option Between Contractor and Employee via

As you might imagine this generated lots comments… Theft, Lies, and Facebook Video via Medium

DAM Industry Heat Maps – Market Share and Customer Satisfaction… a handy quick look. via Real Story Group

Web Content Management Round-Up… Summer news in the WCM space. via Digital Clarity Group


The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our conference community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals throughout the year. You can also subscribe via our feed.

The Gilbane Conference on Content, Technology, and Customer Experience helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and computing technologies to produce superior customer experiences for all stakeholders.