We are so very lucky to belong to a vibrant ecosystem of technologists in New England. The IEEE Boston Section (that’s us), publishes a monthly magazine to IEEE members and makes a copy available to anyone interested in the events listed inside. The events are organized by more than 30 specialty groups and dozens of volunteers. There isn’t a week that goes by that doesn’t involve something from our almost 10,000 members. In every issue, we also publish an editorial that is, hopefully, relevant and insightful. Below is the editorial published in our magazine, the February 2018 Digital Reflector, that can be found on issuu.com, or by clicking the link (https://issuu.com/ieeeboston/docs/february2018dr)
Who, What, When, Where, and How…but mostly When
By Kevin Flavin
The Boston Section has had an Editorial Calendar for years, but we’ve never shared it with anyone outside the Editorial Board until now. It seems obvious now, but it wasn’t until a member of the team suggested that it should be made available to the public, never-mind the rest of the section. So, we are providing on the website on the Advertise With Us page (https://ieeeboston.org/advertise-ieee-boston-section/)
For those that don’t know what the editorial calendar is or what is does or even why it’s important, let’s take a step back and explain.
An editorial calendar defines and details the intention of a publication to cover certain themes, and provides an established timeline for participation and completion of the activities for a publication. For example, our editorial calendar defines the themes that are popular within our industries and the schedule to maintain a reasonable publication schedule for the compilation of articles, and other artifacts that make up the periodical. That may sound like a lot but basically, an editorial calendar details the what, the when, and the how for a periodical.
First, the editorial calendar usually only covers a year of activity. Typically, twelve months of coverage is the goal, however, it really depends on the publication. There are editorial calendars that cover multiple years, however those are rarer today because the pace of reader consumption is so fast and voluminous is much greater than ever before.
Second, our editorial calendar is theme based, which means in one month we’ll cover Blockchain, for example, and other months, we will cover STEM topics. The idea is that external content providers, e.g. guest articles, slideshows, infographics, will know which month to pitch their ideas to, and for us to solicit content from the thought leaders for those periodicals.
Third, the editorial calendar is built over time. The first one we did, so many years ago, was very light on topics and we sort of stuck to the topics, but not really. It was more of a ‘work-the-kinks-out’ kind of thing. Something was better than nothing. We now look at other editorial calendars of periodicals within our industries, capturing their schedule, and trying not to conflict with their schedules if possible, but also supporting their calendar and to build upon the momentum of the themes.
Our editorial calendar needs to take our own activities into consideration. For example, the High Performance Extreme Computing Conference (http://www.ieee-hpec.org/) is a strong influence on our timeline. We are highlighting this topic leading up to the month of the conference, as interest and attention of the attendees focus on the conference, we will try to provide them related content, articles of interest, news, etc.
In addition, our courses, both online and live courses, will be highlighted within the pages of the periodical, with articles from the speakers, as well as related content to the topic of the course. This part is new for us, and we are trying not to mess something up, but we hope it will be worthwhile to the members, and other readers of our Digital Reflector, as well as the IEEE Boston Section blog (https://ieeeboston.org/blog/). Yes, the editorial calendar provides guidance for the blog also.
What does that mean to you, dear reader, you may ask? Well, I am really glad you asked!
You, the reader, will know the topics in advance of the publication, giving you something to keep in your tickler file or to do list to check with that month’s issue.
Each issue will include information that may be important to your work or your personal development, or even tools that can help you give your technical minded children challenges (STEM) to advance their knowledge.
Providers will know when to provide information to reach you with the appropriate tools. This saves them time, and gives you a more efficient way to gather information that you need.
A significant intangible is supporting the momentum of a certain topic in the industry to coincide with external or third party activities.
While it is easy to link the Editorial Calendar, it’s also worthwhile to highlight the topics we are covering and when. (Remember, these are our intended timing of the topics)
March – BlockChain
April – Drones
May – 3D Printing
June – Virtual Reality
July – Augmented Reality
August – STEM, Robotics
September – Education, HPEC
October – Artificial Intelligence
November – Holiday, EOY
December – IoT and Tech (gifts)
Communications Team lead