“There’s a disconnect between the creation of our journalism and the consumption of it,” said assistant masthead editor Clifford Levy, who spearheaded the experiment. “This is vitally important for us.”
That thinking has become increasingly commonplace among publishers, which have seen mobile traffic overtake that of desktop. The result: Publishers are ginning up new ways to infuse mobile-first thinking into their content-creation strategies and overall organizations.
For many publishers, the most popular solution is to offer writers mobile previews of their stories both before and after publishing. This gives them a clearer idea of how their stories will look on mobile screens and reminds them of what the primary content-consumption experience actually is.
“That’s crucial,” said USA Today Sports content director Jamie Mottram, adding that the feature was a result of a mobile-only experiment For The Win ran in mid-2013.
But building mobile-specific tech can only do so much if there isn’t a mobile-focused culture around it. Quartz, which also built mobile-specific tools into its CMS, has also gone as far as to build mobile into its overall editorial strategy. Its stories are written “to be sucked off the screen of a smartphone in a swaying subway train,” according to its style guide.
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