Building Your Back-End Web Staff
Iâ€™m writing a story for the February issue on the division of online labor. Iâ€™ve chatted with some companies who are really taking care of back-end Web responsibilities the right wayâ€”Time Inc., New York Magazine, Advanstar. I have a feeling though, that most publishers, especially smaller ones, are doing it wrong.
Staffing your technology department can be pricey. Computer guys donâ€™t get paid peanuts. For example, an XML coder can charge $45 to $65 an hour to code content for various digital uses. But itâ€™s important for publishing company owners to face the reality that they are going to have to spend the money on hiring the right people to run their Web sites and e-media properties. That means building a department that is devoted entirely to creating digital products, that works directly with editorial, sales, marketing and circ.
Donâ€™t misconstrue the concept, either: IT and e-media are not one in the same. You donâ€™t want the guy that sets up your voicemail to design your Web site, itâ€™s just not a smart business move. At the bare minimum, publishers should invest in at least one strong e-media manager. That person may cost a pretty penny, but they will be well worth it. From there he or she can train college grads and give them the skills they need to drive your Web properties to their maximum capacity.