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Ebony.com’s Kierna Mayo on Digital vs. Print

kierna-mayo_articleKierna Mayo has been in the business of reinvention for well over a decade. After co-founding Honey magazine back in the ’90s, which struck a chord with a lot of young, hip-hop-loving African-American women, she hopped from one major mag to the next, until setting her sights on all things digital.

Today, Mayo is the editorial director of Ebony.com, a site that “felt and operated more like an afterthought as opposed to a key component of the editorial output of [Ebony],” said Mayo. Now, thanks to an eye-catching redesign, headed up by Mayo and her team, Ebony.com’s traffic has increased by over 500 percent.

As part of the “Digital Media” week of Mediabistro’s Profit From Your Passion series, Mayo discusses how she became known as the go-to girl for reinvention and what skills she transferred from print magazines to digital:

Creating and re-imagining websites seems to have become a sweet spot for you. What sensibilities did you bring over from magazines to the online world?
I brought my entire skill set, including my intuitive sense about audience and visual impact. Those are very important magazine skills when you’re a packager — someone in charge of cover lines or selecting the strongest image. I did have to unlearn this notion of a three-month window to create, develop and refine. The three-month window can become a three-minute window online. I often encourage peers who’ve made careers in the print world not to be intimidated by the crossover to digital. I feel like I deal in the alternate universe with magazine purists on one side who are conditioned to holding their bylines in their hand as opposed to clicking on them.

To hear more from Mayo, including how she handles Internet trolls and her thoughts on aggregated content, read: So What Do You Do, Kierna Mayo, Editorial Director of Ebony.com?

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