Daily Buzz: Smart Insights From ASAE’s #TEC19

From social media to technical debt, a lot of smart thoughts on tech came out of DC this week. Also: why you should Marie Kondo your content.

This year’s ASAE Technology Exploration Conference (TEC) was held at the convention center in downtown Washington, DC, a shift from its recent stint in National Harbor, Maryland—which means that it was a little easier to get to with public transit.

But even if you weren’t able to make it this year with the easier commute, you should know that we made it and have been picking up on some of the key threads. Among them:

Social media has shifted the power dynamics between organizations and individuals. Speaking Wednesday during his keynote presentation, Wired editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson explained a lot about the modern technology landscape, big and small. But of the many thoughts he shared in his 40-minute presentation (which ended with an interview with Associations Now editor-in-chief Julie Shoop), one of the most insightful was the idea that individuals have more authority in a social media world. “One trend that I think is very important in your world is that one thing that social media has done is it’s moved power a little bit out of organizations,” he said. He cited the NFL, media brands, and Hollywood studios as institutions where individual voices have begun to overtake organizations in terms of power and influence.

The risks of lingering technical costs. A major thread that ran through the conference on Tuesday was the risks posed by technical debt. But organizations struggle to solve it, said Matrix Group Product Manager and Chief Maxximizer Tanya Kennedy Luminati, who described the pressure to go with “the devil you know vs. the devil you don’t know.” But properly managing technical debt can lead to new opportunities, she said.

E-commerce is increasingly moving to mobile. In a Tuesday session, Innovexa Solutions founder Yousif Hassan noted that by 2021, 55 percent of all e-commerce transactions will take place on smartphones. Hassan said this creates a perfect engagement opportunity. “When you think about that,” he said, “you can picture how your members are basically going to be engaged with that platform.”

Did you attend? Have any notable highlights to share? Let us know in the comments below.

Is It Time for a Content Cleanout?

Associations with a storied history also come with a wealth of content. But it’s possible to have too much of a good thing—which means it might be time for a content declutter, especially if your organization has plans to revamp its website.

“Even if it was valuable, [the older content] was keeping the newer stuff from popping up in search,” said Meena Dayak, vice president of integrated media and communications at the American Public Power Association, describing a redesign of the APPA website  in an interview with Association Success. “It’s literally like you walk into your house and there’s so much clutter you can’t see the new furniture that’s shoved against the wall.”

For some associations, a Marie Kondo-style cleanout might be necessary. In APPA’s redesign project, Dayak’s team decided to rid the site of content more than two years old.

But for others, an archival system might be more appropriate. Dayak suggests figuring out who needs access to the content and letting that guide how and where you store older information.

Other Links of Note

Under pressure? Fast Company explains how to train your brain to work better in high-pressure situations.

Content is about more than words on a page. The HubSpot blog shares new editorial rules to guide your content strategy in 2020.

Getting involved on college campuses might be the best way to woo Gen Z. BizBash shares how some brands have successfully approached the campus scene.

Innovexa Solutions founder Yousif Hassan. (Zoeica Images)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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