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What’s your next big project?

Most publishing companies are full of plans and ideas, but are the right projects being prioritised?

By James Evelegh

What’s your next big project?

Is it something to set the pulse racing? A launch perhaps? The introduction of a pay wall? A redesign? If so, then I imagine you’re pretty excited.

Would you be equally excited if you were told that sorting out your tagging was to be your next big project?

Probably not. As Tom Jackson, director of data technology at News UK, concedes in an article in the upcoming May / June issue of InPublishing magazine, “metadata tagging is not often the first thing that puts a spring in the step of journalists and broadcasters.”

But, his article - ‘How tagging makes the digital world go round’ – makes a persuasive case for pushing tagging right up your priority list.

Put simply, the success of practically every initiative that depends on segmenting content – for instance, for creating different content channels, providing users with targeted content recommendations or personalising their experience of your site – depends on accurate, consistent and meaningful tagging.

This means creating a comprehensive and intelligently crafted taxonomy for your content – which in itself is a challenging exercise – retro-tagging all your previously published material and creating workflows and systems to ensure that all future content is correctly tagged at the time it’s created.

The bad news is that setting up such a system is hard work. The good news is that it’s worth the effort. Once the word is done, it will open up a world of exciting new possibilities.

In the article, Tom quotes News UK’s data strategy director, Will Sach: “Data is not the new oil; it’s the new renewable energy source.”

Jackson adds, “News UK is using data to power many of its new capabilities and good tagging of content underpins much of that new energy source.”

You can catch James Evelegh’s regular column in the InPubWeekly newsletter, which you can register to receive here.