Great design is making something memorable and meaningful. -Dieter Rams
The true beauty of auto engineering lies not in the elegant design and pristine exterior of a car, but in the powerfully intricate system of parts that make the experience of driving a car far more pleasurable than looking at it. While sexy curves may appeal to an audience of passer-bys, it's what's under the hood that really brings the car its caché.
As a media company founded on the principles of good technology, we have a deep appreciation for the guts of a product: the processes, algorithms, nuts and bolts that power amazing experiences. However, in the digital publishing world we've been underwhelmed by the inner workings of today's content management systems - the engines behind this new media paradigm. There is a consistent frustration from editors and publishers that they can't evolve their sites fast enough, can't connect with their readers deeply enough and can't distribute their content effectively enough.
It's never been easier for an individual or small group of writers to start publishing and build an audience, thanks to lightweight platforms such as Tumblr, WordPress and Blogger. But when that publication starts to grow and has to worry about managing outside contributors, optimizing distribution for social, content syndication, A/B testing, mobile browsers and tablet applications, it gets infinitely more difficult. Enterprise CMS solutions are often out of reach to these grass roots publishers so growing publications are left to build on top of what they know or build a custom system from scratch. It ain't pretty.
Where some see challenge, we see opportunity. Quality editorial and ad experiences - experiences that are predicated on beautiful interfaces, compelling content, deep social interaction - require new publishing tools to support them. And that is why we're investing in Orion, SAY's next-generation digital publishing platform.
Orion is built for SAY's publications - sites that have a strong editorial voice and feature engaging photo and video content, sites that are designed to drive audience engagement and display beautiful, premium advertising. Orion is not a general-purpose content management system, but is designed to meet the needs of a modern digital publishing team.
This new system helps site designers make beautiful publications through a modern set of tools that amplify instead of hamper the skills of today's front-end developer. It can support multiple editors and dozens of contributors seamlessly, creating a new level of editorial collaboration. Orion offers built-in tools to help editors and writers craft well designed stories effectively throughout their site and makes it easy to produce web, mobile and tablet versions of publications. It gives editors and publishers access to metrics about what's happening behind their sites to help them adjust tactics and grow audience, and enables them to attract and engage new readers with deeper social and community experiences. In other words, we think it's kind of a big deal.
Value in media today is generated at the intersection of technology and content, function and beauty. That is why we built Orion. And that is why as we expand our portfolio of talented and passionate content creators, we'll continue to fine tune what's under the hood to create the best possible digital media experience for everyone - creator, advertiser and consumer.