How the Internet of Things Changes Publishing – Annabelle Short | Guest Post

Anyone today can tell you how connected we are to the internet. After all, most of us keep our internet access at our fingertips. The internet isn’t something used solely for necessity anymore, either.

Once upon a time, the internet was utilized mainly for finding information. Over time, though, it has become continually more involved in keeping us connected through messenger apps and letting us share our own lives through social media.

The amazing part is that we are not only connected to each other with technology anymore. In fact, the connectivity in our lives runs without us opening a browser. Instead, there is a connection between the devices we use. Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home are just a few examples of how the items we own are connected to one another to make our lives easier.

It isn’t just our personal lives that are touched by the internet of things. One of the areas that is the most closely associated with is business. Each industry has been and is being touched by technology in a way that is beneficial to that industry. Today, we are going to take a look at how the publishing industry has been changed by technology, specifically, the internet of things.


What Exactly Is the Internet of Things?

The first step in learning how the internet of things is affecting publishing is to understand exactly what the internet of things is. As we noted before, it has to do with the interconnectivity of our things rather than us, as people, with the internet. However, this definition is broad and doesn’t explain exactly what the internet of things is.

The internet of things is defined by an object being connected to the internet. At its most primitive level, this can be considered as items such as your cell phone being connected to the internet.

The capabilities of your smartphone are just the start of the internet of things. In today’s world, we have refrigerators that send grocery lists to our phones and devices that allow you to lock your house doors. These trends and devices are only the beginning, though, and only show signs of growing in the future.

An important factor to these devices is their ability to connect to the internet. While Wi-Fi works for items in your home or office, many items depend on wireless data plans. Just like the devices that use them, these data plans are consistently developing to offer more to users of these devices.

The latest version of these data plans is the use of a 5G network. One example of this type of innovation lies with Charter Communications. Recently, they began testing their 5G network in 6 different cities. From this testing, it has been predicted that the Charter 5G network will provide some of the fastest and most reliable service for industries like the publishing industry to power their devices with.

It is predicted that 5G network will outperform existing networking technologies, like Earthlink Internet, and dramatically improve quality of internet connection.


Publishing Online

When people think of publishing, the thought usually automatically goes toward publishing full-length novels and books. In reality, though, the time and effort that goes into web publishing is growing every day.

The internet of things effects this greatly. The main reason is that it changes how readers consume information online. Instead of sitting at a computer and reading full articles now, the internet of things has made readers expect convenience and quick answers.

At the minimum, many people consume online articles and blog posts on their smartphones. This means that these articles can’t be too terribly long or winding. Even more so, though, this means that those publishing online need to make sure their content can format to fit a mobile device. If the content only loads in desktop view, they will probably click away because the post or article is difficult to read.

For those consuming content through an even more advanced piece of technology connected with the internet of things, the content online might need to be even further condensed. For example, if someone asked their Alexa device a question, Alexa would answer them with an excerpt from online content – not a full article. As such, a publisher needs to make sure their content is optimized so that they still get traffic from users accessing their content through devices like home assistants.

This might seem that it’s the writer’s issue. However, as a publisher, concerns about where to publish and how to format the work they are publishing are concerns that are crucial to understand for publishers.


Publishers Must Anticipate the Future

When a publisher is publishing a piece, they need to think ahead. For instance, longer articles that are made to be read on a computer might not translate into an age when people are getting excerpts of answers when they ask Alexa something.

As we looked at previously, the way that people are consuming the content being published is changing rapidly. If a publisher wants to keep their content relevant, they need to think ahead. For example, in this age, a publisher needs to keep their published work easy to consume and quick. This is because the internet of things has made readers expect convenience in everything they do – especially if they are looking at content through an internet connected device.


It Isn’t Just About the Content

A big part of a publisher’s job is to make sure the content they produce is seen. After all, they won’t make any money if they continuously publish content that no one sees.

This used to be a bit different. Publishers would schedule ads and events such as interviews with authors and book signings to drum up excitement for upcoming releases. Past that point, publishers would hope potential readers would find the book on the shelf, sometimes taking an extra step to get bookstores to create displays to advertise the books they published as an interesting new release.

Now, though, content isn’t often found by reading magazines or exploring bookstores. In fact, the content publishers are concerned with now aren’t even full-length books. This means that publishers today have to change the way they promote content.

Social media plays a huge role now. For example, where publishers used to hold book signings in the early 2000s, today might be replaced with a Twitter Q&A with the author.


Now is a Time to Lead

As a final point, what does all this mean? There are many fine points as to how the internet of things changes publishing but what’s the big picture?

The big picture is this: you have to stay ahead. You can’t simply follow every technology trend as it comes, you have to be aware of the changes happening in the industry and jump onto these ideas quickly. In addition, you will need to see these trends starting and innovate ideas based upon them.

You have to do this because we live in an age of constant innovation. If you don’t make these innovations, someone else will and your services will quickly become antiquated. To keep yourself and your business at the forefront of the publishing industry, you need to not just put up with but embrace new technology and the internet of things.



Annabelle Short is a freelance writer/blogger. She splits her time between London and Los Angeles and also works as a lead project manager. Annabelle has experience in management consulting, SEO and startup development. Annabelle is a mother of two, and in her free time she likes to sew and make crafts with her kids.

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