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Hearst Grows Hits with Syndication, Social, and SEO

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Mike Dunn, the chief technology officer for Hearst Corporation, attended the recent Streaming Media East conference to discuss the ways "old media" has adapted to digital publishing. Judging from his red carpet interview, old media knows a lot of new tricks.

Search engine optimization is a huge part of his job. As Nunn explains, focusing on SEO results in better traffic which means more revenue from ads. But SEO is a constantly changing area.

"SEO is strictly Google site maps, Bing site maps, making sure that you have your CMS producing the best practice from a traditional index-based search criteria today, and in the future those search environments and those social platforms will start to adopt semantic technologies because it will just help them do a better job," says Nunn. "As a publisher, we need to make sure we're participating in that, so we're involved in a lot of standards, we're involved in making sure that, from a media perspective, we're able to change what we're doing."

Change is a difficult process in a large organization. As Nunn explains, it's easy to change a piece of hardware. What's difficult is changing the workflow that goes into using that hardware.

Hearst has chosen to avoid paywalls and keep content accessible. It creates videos in-house, licenses other content, and syndicates its videos to other sites.

Whatever systems he implements, Nunn knows to keep an eye on the future and to stay flexible. 

"We're going to produce content and we don't know where that content is going to end up," Nunn says. While it's going to mobile devices and connected TVs now, new outlets will certainly crop up. 

"We want to make sure our content is ready for whatever nodes are going to be out there," he adds. 

To view the entire red carpet interview, scroll down.

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