E-show dailies: Good idea or not?

Prescott Shibles, a very savvy guy in all things tech, really hates the Folio Show's electronic show dailies.

I have to say I agree with him on this one. The whole idea of plopping a print product—be it a show daily newspaper, a magazine, or a conference brochure—on the Web and expecting it to have the same impact as it would in print is, basically, silly. Web and print are two different things entirely. We read them differently, we expect different things of each, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

If you're going to do an e-product, take advantage of what the media has to offer. Include links to surveys for each session where attendees can vote on the burning questions they want the speaker to discuss. Let people comment on the site, the venue, let them ask questions, contact speakers and organization leaders involved in the show. Let them download a podcast that'll whet their appetite. Create an interactive way for attendees to meet each other ahead of time, to contact exhibitors, all that good stuff.

Much as I love it, print is a one-way street, for the most part. The Web is a busy intersection. Take advantage of what it can do.

Update: B2B consultant Paul Conley makes a great point about digital editions of show dailies—that the whole point of them is just to make the print edition available to non-attendess quickly. But why not give them a whole lot more than that, in a form that's not so cumbersome (blogs, anyone)? And he makes another great point about how the writing (and the writers) themselves must work differently when it comes to the Web, and not just write the same way they would for a print show daily.

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