Gigaom: The Value of A Business Research Site that Takes the Subscription Route

Introduction

I had heard of Gigaom, but until choosing it to review, I hadn’t followed it. When I visited the website for the first time, I must say I was impressed. If you’re interested in technology, and you want to learn more about subjects such as artificial intelligence (AI) or how to deal with silos (the knowledge one department holds that could benefit other departments), this might be a great place to start. But realize that Gigaom provides research and analysis to subscribing customers that are organizations. So to get the full value, your company needs to be willing to foot the bill for it (unless you’re independently wealthy). Yes, Gigaom is a subscription website, and it shows, but it can be an excellent way to do some preliminary or top-level research.

Layout and Content

Gigaom is attractively laid out with lots of white space. The type size is large enough that I could read the post titles without having to fiddle with my browser settings.

Let’s walk through what’s here.

The topmost menu has a dark background, and offers a subscription to Gigaom’s daily newsletter as well as links to their social media presences. This menu also offers a way to contact someone at the online magazine, sign in if you’re a paid subscriber, and a button to click if you want to become a paid subscriber. I usually have to hunt for these functions on other websites. Kudos to Gigaom for putting them right at the top. Make it easy for people to pay for your content.

The next menu has a white background, and lists the topics Gigaom covers, their analysts, events, reports, and Publisher’s Corner.

The menu below that has a dark background, and proclaims Gigaom to be “The industry leader in emerging technology research.” Right next to this declaration is a Subscribe button in bold orange. The alternating background to the top menus draws in the eye and makes things pop.

This website looks to be one of the more professional that I’ve seen.

The Topics section lists enough material to keep any self-respecting tech addict happily engaged. Want examples? I’m ready for you. How about AI, Data, Cloud, Work Technology, Internet of Things, and Mobile.

The Analysts section doesn’t merely list staff writers, but technological experts who are deeply familiar with their chosen industries. You can read mini-biographies of each. Refreshingly, the analysts are not all men. Gratifying to see.

The Events section lists upcoming webinars for which you may register. You may also see what past webinars covered. You sign up using a form, and then they contact you to give you the low-down.

The Reports section offers summaries of reports available for sale. Gigaom is a heavy-duty business website. Gigaom provides two ways to access these reports, which are written by their analysts. One way is to pay just for the report. These reports are not inexpensive, but they are written by industry experts, so you’re paying for their knowledge and experience.

The other way is to pay for a Gigaom subscription and gain access to all reports. I don’t know what the price of an annual subscription is. You would have submit a form, after which they respond with price information. Gigaom gives away little, and certainly not their pricing scheme.

Every page offers (1) a Sponsorship button for companies who want to sponsor articles, webinars, or other content, (2) a Services button should you want to engage Gigaom for consulting, research, analysis, or outreach, and a (3) Newsletter button should you want to set up a newsletter via Gigaom.

The Publisher’s Corner section contains posts by the publisher, Byron Reese. I like the friendly approach he takes.

The bottom of the home page offers a subscription function as well as links to Gizmodo’s presence on social media.

Conclusion

Gigaom is a nicely laid-out, heavy-duty business technology website. If you don’t work with AI, but you’re casually interested in it, I would advise you to steer clear. This site seems to be dedicated to helping experts stay current, not to helping newbies to become experts. As a consultancy they have a business model that includes publication of research and trends.They will give you a taste for free, but to get to the meat of things, you–or rather your employer– will need to fork over cold cash.

Have a job-related, business, or tech comm website you’d like me to review? Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, or email me at craig.cardimon@gmail.com. I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.

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