Aaron Jones, CTO, IDG Communications
Top Innovators in Business Publishing 2013
By Charlotte Woolard
As CTO of IDG Consumer & SMB, Aaron Jones placed an early bet on responsive design. He led the development of a digital infrastructure that streamlines production and optimizes content for delivery to an evolving mobile market.
He and his team built a proprietary content management system to serve the established Macworld and PCWorld sites as well as TechHive, a site that debuted on the platform. The new model standardized formatting across the brands, employing responsive design to create content that can adapt to any device.
“We don't know the types of devices that readers will use,” Jones said. “A lot of things will come to market. We want to make sure our systems are prepared to handle those when they come onboard.”
The system earned an early win when Apple modified the iPhone screen, and the publisher didn't need to make changes to accommodate the shift.
Jones now serves as CTO of IDG Communications, where he is rolling out similar systems across a wider swath of IDG properties. “We're moving to an open-source approach to internal development for our distributed groups,” he said. “We're further enhancing the CMS backend, bringing on more developers and then publishing this same system out to more sites. We're going with responsive design for the enterprise sites.”
The company will relaunch nine sites in the fall, Jones said, and eventually will offer the system to Web properties across 97 countries.