Project: Two.Point.Oh – Giving a Public Face to MPub Graduate Work
On April 5th, students in the 2012 cohort of the Master of Publishing program made the final presentations for their PUB607 Publishing Technology Project course. And as with years past, the project groups—and the achievements they made—were considerable.
In the Project course, three groups of six students each work for six weeks on a piece of applied research and development. Past years’ projects have covered everything from data management to XML production to social media campaigns. This year’s groups were mostly web-oriented, but with three very different approaches.
Our second group, Two.Point.Oh, were charged with developing a production and marketing strategy to introduce our body of MPub project reports to a wider audience (currently, they sit on library shelves and in the institutional respository, but nothing more). Originally, this project was going to be a careful re-packaging (via a substantial editorial process) of the very best of the project reports, released as a publisher’s series. But the Two.Point.Oh team began with some audience research, and they came to the conclusion that what’s really valuable about the project reports is their currency; that is, the new ones coming out each term need to get out to their wider audience as soon as possible. Think of this as a version of Chris Anderson’s advice, “In a Long Tail economy, it’s more expensive to evaluate than to release. Just do it!”
The substance of the Two.Point.Oh strategy then became how to present the work (both graduating Project Reports and MPub course papers) on our website, tidily tagged and categorized, featured and recommended by faculty where appropriate, and aligned to current topics in the news (“interested in Agency Pricing? Here are recent MPub writings on the topic…”). And then a social media strategy aimed at keeping these reports in the public eye ongoingly, and not just once or twice a year. Furthermore, the Two.Point.Oh plan involved a set of strategies for making sure graduate student work is prepared properly, a plan which included students producing their work in multiple formats (e.g. ePub via the simple-to-use Pressbooks.com) and being responsible for the first line of tagging and heading-based SEO.
Indeed, the faculty have embraced this as a guiding plan going forward; the incoming Project Reports from the class of 2012 will go through this process and hopefully on to wider readership.
Interested to know more? Read the Two.Point.Oh project documentation (PDF)