The Digital Signage Insider

15 Digital Signage Blog, News, Magazine and Forum Sites You Should Be Reading

Published on: 0000-00-00

From the number of websites, blogs, magazine articles and ads out there, anybody that's new to the digital signage world might think our industry is a whole lot bigger than it actually is. In fact, when I consult for venture capitalists, holding companies and others looking to stake their claim in the digital out-of-home advertising space, the small size of the industry frequently comes as a big surprise. Where does all of the hype come from? I'd argue that much of it is generated by us -- members of the industry -- and then picked up and expanded by media people who either don't have the desire, the experience or the inclination to moderate things. Let me give you a few examples of this trend and how it impacts all of us.

Digital Signage Blogs

Let's start with digital signage blogs, a subject near and dear to my heart. In our tiny industry, which most analysts agree generates about $1.3B a year right now, there are no fewer than 70 blogs. Many of them -- perhaps a third -- are now defunct, probably because eager authors found out how difficult and time consuming it can be to keep a blog updated regularly. Of course, their articles and posts will be on the web adding to the noise level for all eternity, or until somebody shuts their servers off. Whichever comes first. Of the rest, about a third post very infrequently. That leaves about 30 or so blogs that do regular posts (at least one post every two weeks). But here's the rub: of those 30, there are only maybe a half dozen that are any good. The rest regurgitate press releases with minimal commentary (and even less insight), or trade "stories" back and forth in hopes of attracting some Google AdSense dollars. So while there are some great thinkers and contributers out there, they have to shout over an overwhelming amount of noise to be heard. In my experience, 99% of the stuff that's worth listening to can be found here on the WireSpring Digital Signage Blog and on Digital Signage News (my two babies), and then from Dave, Adrian, Rob, David, Craig and the Minicom folks. For tangential news, I also follow Raffi, Lynn and Jayne (sorry if I missed anyone obvious).

Industry News Sites and Magazine Publications

Advertising, customer experience, store design and merchandising are established topics that have big companies and long-running publications behind them. Digital signage, being what it is, kind of fits into all of these categories, so we're featured in all of them along with sites and magazines about signage, digital printing, billboards and offbeat marketing practices. The problem is that you would have to read thousands of pages to sift out just a few useful nuggets of digital signage information. For publications (online and print), I follow Marketing At Retail magazine, and I'm a huge fan of POPAI's daily SmartBriefs clipping service. I also read far too many websites to bother listing here, though I can tell you that almost none of them are specific to the digital signage world. (MediaPost and MediaWeek are two of my favorites.)

Social Networking and Forum Sites

This topic really bothers me. Social media and networking has been around for what, five years, and forums have been around for much longer. And in that time, we've managed to make the same exact mistakes as we have with every other medium we've worked on. Social networking sites like LinkedIn -- which I admit I don't use as much as I probably ought to -- could have become the de-facto sharing and exchange sites for our industry, since they're member-neutral and unbiased. But somehow, there are at least seven -- SEVEN -- digital signage-related groups on that site alone, and at least another five on Facebook. (I was born before 1980, so I don't think I'm allowed to sign up for a Myspace account, hence no commentary about digital signage activity there.) So instead of starting well-informed conversations that will be joined by dozens or hundreds of industry veterans, folks looking for advice have to post the same questions and topics across all of these different venues. Beleaguered readers then have to decide when and where they want to leave a response. It's absurdly inefficient.

Managing Information Overload

There's certainly a lot of room for improvement when it comes to managing the flow of digital signage news and hype on the web. My current system involves using clipping services, automated trackers and a bunch of web 2.0 glue to monitor about 150 different sites every day. And that still leaves me and my staff with having to personally monitor about another 100 that don't fit nicely into our automation scheme. For the volume of work that's actually getting done out in the industry today, that seems like an awful lot of manual labor. And again, the signal-to-noise ratio is very low. So of the 100 interesting-looking articles we might come across on any given day, chances are that only four or five will be legitimately new and useful. There must be a better way.

Do you have any tips for keeping track of the important news in our industry? Lots of people would love to hear about it if you're willing to share a few secrets!

PS: With the holidays fast approaching, this will be our last blog post of the year. From all the folks here at WireSpring, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. If there's any topics you'd really like to see us cover in January, please leave a comment below.


Comments   

0 KioskGuy 2008-12-17 21:29
Great read Bill! I'm following some of those blog now too, thanks to you. What clipping service do you use? I'm finding myself so overwhelmed by the number of sites to read, that a consolidator would be great.
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0 Bill Yackey 2008-12-17 22:19
Not to be self-serving, but there is one site on the Web "specific to the digital signage world - DigitalSignageToday.com! The site is news-oriented, so all of the information is facutal and straight from the sources. Also, the site provides more than just news - features, commentaries, webinars, videos, photo galleries, and more.
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0 Lionel Tepper 2008-12-17 23:18
Not to be to self-serving too... but... Digital Signage Universe covers news and information for the industry as well. We are the only site that offers extensive coverage on creative content development, and we have the largest and most complete Directory of the industry. Our Directory also includes many of the news sources that you mentioned and a lot more! http://www.digitalsignageuniverse.com Happy Holidays!
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0 Denis 2008-12-18 09:33
My turn :) For all french-reading people, i would recommand to have a look at : http://www.ooh-tv.fr/ Currently in beta, we are launching next february. Thanks a lot Bill for your insights and happy Holidays to all of you !
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0 Sidra Muoio 2008-12-18 13:14
Great list Bill! - Looks like everyone is pretty much following the same sites. I would have to add aka.tv and screens.tv which I like to follow for more Global coverage. I agree with you on Linkedin being something to spend more time on, if we had it. I have personally made some great industry connections there. My advice for clippings is Google Reader - I love this tool!
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0 Bill Gerba 2008-12-18 13:36
Hi Sid, You know, I do still read aka.tv, but my feeling is that the quality and quantity of commentary has dropped in the last year or so. I would definitely recommend screens.tv, though (which is where former aka editor Barnaby Page left for, so maybe that's the reason?) With regard to feed readers, my current reader of choice is [[http://www.bloglines.com|Bloglines]], a web-based reader similar to Google Reader, but without Google looking over your shoulder at everything you read. On the desktop I've had good luck with [[http://www.feedreader.com|FeedReader]]. We also use a large number of in-house tools for gathering and parsing the news. James Van Etten used to run a pretty good, free digital signage clipping service feed, but it seems he hasn't updated it since October. We've also had some success using services like BurrellesLuce and CustomScoop.
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0 Lee Kent 2008-12-18 15:00
Great read Bill; as the community Coach of www.TheRetailTradeCenter.com, i would like to encourage the digital signage crowd to look a making that their main home. You can set up feeds from your favorite blogs directly into the center so all can read. you can set up multiple groups that are topic specific but all in the same place. You can even tag your favorite articles with a predetermined code then let everyone's favorite web pages be fed to the group. You can add wikis and google docs for collaboration. I know this is a shameless plug but you asked! :) we're new and we would love to work with you.
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0 Emilio Alonso 2008-12-18 15:13
From the depths of the Spanish markets I emerge to point out the BDSE ("Blog de Digital Signage en Espaol"). http://marketingdinamico.wordpress.com Just a newcomer, but the only independent DS web source in Spanish I think. I don't want to sound self serving either, but I didn't start the conversation... :-) Thanks a lot for the list. I'll update the feed immediately.
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0 Bill Gerba 2008-12-18 15:15
AH HA! So **THIS** is what you have to do to get people to actually leave comments -- let them promote their own stuff!! For some reason that should have been more obvious to me :) In all seriousness, thanks, particularly to the foreign-language bloggers, since there's no way I could possibly write a complete list.
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0 Aaron 2008-12-18 18:08
I also enjoy digitalsignageforum.com and signidustry.com.
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0 Yashod Bhardwaj 2008-12-22 19:02
Excellent article Billlots of feedback and some still coming in. At Strategy Institute given that we produce five annual digital signage summits (senior level ones) we often work with a number industry publications/ blogs & associations and below is a list the one we find work best with us (list alphabetically)... AKA.TV AudienceCount.com Broadsign's Digital Signage Digest Dailydooh Digital Content Producer Digital Signage Forum Digital Signage Insights Digital Signage Magazine Digital Signage News Digital Signage Universe Digital Signage Update Digital Signage Weekly DigitalSignageToday.com Ettens Daily CLIPPINGS POPAI ScreenMedia Magazine | SCREENS.tv Sign Industry Sign Media Signs of the Times / Signweb Traffic Audit Bureau for Media Measurement - TAB WireSpring Technologies, Inc. Sorry if I have missed someoneHappy Holidays!!!
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0 Bill Gerba 2008-12-26 16:39
Hi Yashod, At one point in time or another I've followed almost all of these (hadn't thought do add the TAB site - good idea!), and to be frank I think there are quite a few that are good for little more than selling ad space or trying to grab some google AdWords. And then there are those -- like the Ettens blog -- that were good, but stopped updating so they're kind of dead now. Great list, though. Thanks for sharing!
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0 Aaron Wykoff 2009-01-02 00:41
Thanks Bill, especially for the reminder to use Bloglines. I need to unclutter my email inbox with many of the newsletter sources you mentioned above, and move to other newsfeed sources. Muchas gracias!
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0 Jayne 2009-01-26 23:32
Thanks for the mention, Bill. I'll see you at DSE in Vegas!
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0 Roi 2009-02-11 21:45
Hi Bill, im a Wirespring Blog reader since 2003 or 2004 (i cant remember exactly...). Here you have the digital signage blog in spanish weekly. http://digitalsignagecreativo.blogspot.com And if anyone need press release or want to know more about digital signage projects in Spain... Thanks for your posts, have inspired a lot of new ideas.
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0 Bill Gerba 2009-02-12 21:32
All, Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. Are there other foreign-language sites that should be listed (whether I'd be able to follow them or not is another matter entirely:)
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0 bloggingnews01 2009-03-09 15:09
Hii !,.. Thanks Bill, especially for the reminder to use Bloglines. I need to unclutter my email inbox with many of the newsletter sources you mentioned above, and move to other newsfeed sources. Muchas gracias! Great Job!,.. [[http://www.bloggingnews.net|Blogging News - Blogging News Information You Can Use]] Thanks
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0 bloggingnews01 2009-03-09 17:38
Hii Frenz!,.. You can even tag your favorite articles with a predetermined code then let everyone's favorite web pages be fed to the group. You can add wikis and google docs for collaboration.I agree with you on Linkedin being something to spend more time on, if we had it. I have personally made some great industry connections there. [[http://www.bloggingnews.net|Blogging News - Blogging News Information You Can Use]]
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0 resus digital 2010-03-07 20:59
Good article, i keep track of the news using my Iphone and the news app, you can program it to on send news from blogs sites and news groups about digital signage.
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0 collin 2010-08-18 11:38
My business is able to get high profits with effective advertising. Thanks to Av planners for providing a digital signage idea to promote our product. The content of the signage is very creative and attractive. - [[http://www.avplannersinc.com/il-chicago| chicago digital signage ]]
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0 Stefan 2010-09-25 05:47
Doeas anybody know how we can get more involved with digital signage in South Africa. As you will see from our website, http://www.signcompany.co.za we are still way behind!
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0 flori 2010-10-23 08:50
d-le bugle spunetii va rog imbecilului de la pdl sa se duca dracului ca ne calca pe nervi imbecilul asta nu are creer de loc sa dea Dumnezeu sa-i ia dracu cat mai repede ca ne duc de rapa de tot daca nu-l opriti arunc televizorul si va dau in judecata si cer daune nu ne mai torturati cu idiotii astia Bill's note : I think this is a spam comment, but it could potentially be some angry Romanian. Here's the rough translation: It's Ishta spunetii "Please imbecilului bugle of the operation to go down the drain that trample on our nerves sap that is not creer the place to give God Fuck them as soon as we go running down if he stopped pin television and will give them to court and ask us not damage the idiots these guys with more tortured
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0 resusdigitalsignage 2011-04-28 11:37
Digital signage is an optimal solution for communication within academic environments whether it is schools or universities. Resus Digital Signage offers premium digital signage solutions for various settings to promote your business in the best possible way!
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0 Gilbertkjc 2011-04-30 10:44
Retailers and Corporates can now make more sales with the help of Digital Signage and build your brand easily by saving money instantly!
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0 resusdigitalsignage 2011-05-02 13:06
We provide Digital Signage, Advertising Screens & Audio/Video Marketing Systems for all kinds of business marketing needs! Drop a line to us for more details Onelan allows the user to split the media display into two separate, independently managed zones containing separate playlists and connections allowing for separate schedule systems and displays.
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0 Digital Magazines-Other Edition 2011-05-27 09:29
Get latest [[https://www.otheredition.com/OEview?sub=1|digita l magazines]] for iPad, iPhone and PC/MAC available on Other Edition newsstand.
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0 SmartVM 2011-06-23 14:17
Very good testing of digital signage content. The digital signage content is very important during the effective ROI. So always make the content catchy for the users in respect of text formatting, color, video, flash etc. Thanks Peter Pal Disuja
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0 Peter Hill 2011-08-03 23:27
There is a lot to assess when doing digital signage correctly. Most importantly the software that drives it. There is a large difference in capabilities and how it can affect the outcome. I believe many businesses still under value an effective system and tend to go toward what is cheapest. It would be like a large business trying to do their brochures in Word using clipart! To implement properly it should be all part of a strategy Thanks Peter Hill
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0 Photo editor 2012-01-16 10:27
Thanks for posting! The blog is great, I've been reading it for several weeks already.
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0 DigitalSignageGear.com 2012-03-21 02:32
Great list, thank you for providing.
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0 Signage Website 2012-07-25 12:23
It is nice to see those signage. Thanks for sharing.
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0 Easy Signs Banners 2012-12-15 12:56
Thanks Bill, good blog.
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0 iCast Sweden 2013-11-29 13:13
Thanks for a great post! In Sweden we have about zero blogs or forums for digital signage. When I search for digital signage forums or alike I do not get any information sites at all. The search results are filled with companies and google-ads. So far it is a small industry with lots of companies with a turnover less than $1m.
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0 Digital Signage 2014-01-10 21:37
TouchPoint Complete Solutions, a leading digital signage solutions company that develops customized digital signage technologies and is constantly creating innovative communication solutions.
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0 Hospital Signage 2014-07-24 07:39
Good share on different signage solutions.
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0 Enamus 2015-07-14 13:32
Good articles
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0 Digital Signs 2015-11-06 06:09
Thanks for the post. Its really very good and informative article.
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0 Littleplum 2016-02-13 13:50
Surely this one signagehelp.com that has been around since 2008 deserves a mention?

I have asked numerous technical questions about Samsung Digital Signage and nearly always received a polite and informative reply.

Credit where credit is due..
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0 viorel 2016-04-14 07:55
Great list.
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0 warner 2016-06-04 05:38
Thanks for sharing information,it is very useful for me and also useful for who are looking
Hospital Signages in hyderabad
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0 Gaian Solutions 2016-09-12 11:49
Nice and informative post and I am following some of the blogs and forums you have mentioned.

Keep posting.
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