In my conversations with professionals in the festival sector I asked them about the types of devices they use most often and their preferences when it comes to reading research output. The following is a short summary of my findings regarding these topics.
The interviewees say that they mostly use their laptops and smartphones to read digital texts. One respondent indicated using an e-reader, while others print longer texts to read them. Most of the interviewees indicated that they prefer getting an update of new research via a newsletter. Other suggested options to answer this question included an RSS feed, SMS alert, a dedicated blog, and a printed folder. While these options were mentioned by different people, they shared their preference for the newsletter.
To take those updates seriously and to continu to dedicate time to them, it is important that the receiver trusts and values the sender. The preferences specified in the Update column reflect this: rather than just getting updates, they indicate that they prefer to get these updates from their own selected network, either in their workplace or on social media (specifically Twitter).
A strong preference was expressed for digital reworks of the original research report or article. The most popular suggestions for this form were a short, targetted summary (with the eventual possibility of reading the original report) and a digital ‘product’ with links, images and videos that allow for more exploration.
Within these digital reworks of research reports, the interviewees value functionalities like easy sharing to peers and a good search function the most. The users of these digital reworks would like to be refered to related content quickly and easily. While popularity of content is also considered to be a useful insight, questions were asked as to how this would be calculated. Instead of the amount of times a report is read or opened, there should be a more qualitative measure to popularity. Some of the professionals I spoke with would find it useful to have tools to highlight and annotate the information that is applicable to their reality. Lastly, when they read a report that they find especially useful, they often share it via email or in 1-on-1 conversations.
My next step is to order these preferences according to the types of publishing strategies and/or products that can be imagined for them. More on this will soon follow..