ASTD faces the content-crisis with community engagement

Following the ASTD Annual Report Meeting tonight at #ASTD2012, I see that the issues for ASTD are quite similar for two of the companies I have been hanging around with in Belgium recently:

  • One of them is a leading provider of training (not Kluwer) focused on delivering expert content and who also prints books
  • The other is a leading publisher

Now, its important to note that ASTD is in good shape financially: In 2012, with good membership and a mixed revenue-stream ASTD made 2.6 million in net profit.

Also nice to see is ASTDs vision/mission, which is in line with my own: “Make the world work better”

…and they have great values: Communication, Teamwork and People


Sounds great, no? So what’s the issue?
Simple: Bloody generation Y and Social Media ! (again)

ASTD (like both of the companies noted above) publishes books.
People don’t buy books like they used to.

ASTD (like both of the companies above) delivers content.
People can find their own content (easily).


On a strategic level, ASTDs answer is quite straight forward.

To face the competition from SoMe tools, ASTD must:

  • Engage members more – go to them, get them involved, create partnerships and relationships based on dialogue
  • Enrich content and offers to offer an added-value on what is freely available elsewhere
  • Relevance, relevance, relevance – ASTD will filter, makes-sense-of and curate content to improve the link to members’ reality
  • Offer endurable and scalable products and services

To make this work, ASTD will work around the idea of interest-based communities, led by community managers. Those managers do not necessarily need to be experts, but people who can create trustful dialogue with community members.


If you’re in the business of content, this is good food for thought!


Thanks for reading
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Posted on May 7, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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