The Agency welcomed Junko Yoshida, editor in chief of EE Times, to our “Lunch Bucket” series last week.
While EE Times has always catered to the engineering community, how the media property serves this audience has changed.
In short, it’s a two-pronged approach, offering free access to www.eetimes.com and a relatively new paid product called EE Times Confidential.
EE Times Confidential delivers the type of analysis and insights associated with a market research firm. As a monthly service, it’s targeted at the executive level as opposed to the bench engineer.
Junko rightfully pointed out that her team has the brainpower and experience to go beyond writing stories. With EE Times Confidential, they now have a forum to share critical thinking not readily available in the public domain.
As a subscriber to the service, the Agency can vouch for it being first-rate.
The cornerstone publication EE Times has also undergone changes.
As Junko explained, the readers of EE Times represent a unique resource in their own right. With this in mind, the publication is striving to harness the smarts of the readership by cultivating a community. This means a story is the beginning, not the end, triggering dialog between the readers and the EE Times editorial team.
And it’s not just two-way dialog; i.e., going back and forth between the readers and the publication.
Call it “mesh dialog,” since the discussion can also be between readers.
The microprocessor wasn’t built overnight and Junko acknowledged this community-building is a marathon. Still, you can see in the chart below that in the second half of last year the concept generated good traction, almost doubling the number of readers who posted comments.
But the hard numbers don’t tell the total story.
Many readers are posting comments that could be bite-size articles in their own right. It’s not TechCrunch where you find more than 50 percent of the posted comments coming from yahoos who are “narrative challenged.”
As a result, it behooves communication professionals to facilitate their companies’/clients’ participation on the site as opposed to solely depending on news releases.
As Junko noted, EE Times depends on a lean editorial team, so they can only cover major announcements:
- Junko Yoshida, EIC
- George Leopold, EIC for EE Times Confidential
- Nic Mokhoff, EIC for Digital-only EE Times Specials
- Dylan McGrath, Editor of www.eetimes.com; Daily Newsletter
- Rick Merritt, Editor at Large, EE Times-branded Conferences
- Mark LaPedus, Semiconductor Editor
- Peter Clarke, European News Director, Owner of Silicon 60
When asked how EE Times determines whether to allocate resources to a news announcement, Junko said the litmus test is simple: Will the news materially impact major players and the industry overall?
Junko addressed a range of topics during the Q&A session. I think it’s fair to say her comment that “the American dream has moved to China” created the greatest stir in the audience. She pointed out that numerous fabless semiconductor companies have sprung up in China with the same entrepreneurial spirit found in the U.S.
The most recent edition of The Economist tackled the broad topic of innovation in China with the kicker:
“Beware of judging China’s innovation engine by the standards of Silicon Valley.”
The story goes on to say that China’s sheer size will protect it from the commodity trap:
“No one can outdo Chinese companies when it comes to adapting advanced technologies to the purses and preferences of 1.3 billion Chinese consumers.”
Certainly, this perspective could be applied to the fabless chip companies in China that Junko referenced.
One final tidbit revealed by Junko –
The EE Times editorial team is not above “bitching about the weather,” with Junko using the following photo to make the point.
Needless to say, we enjoyed both Junko’s insights and sense of humor.