What does your audience care about? In “Lost & Found: The Next Generation of Alumni Donors,” Fran Zablocki looks specifically at alumni and why many of them don’t give. But his suggestion–focus on what interests them, not on what you think is important–hold true far beyond the world of alumni associations and university development.

Brian Solis talks about how “Social media is about social science not technology.” He points out that too many marketers don’t ask their audience about what they want, or how they benefit–which means that too many marketers are making decisions based on guesswork, not data.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that tablet ownership among college students has more than tripled, and that in a sharp reversal of last year’s results, they prefer electronic texts to print editions. So is this a new trend? And how if you’re in the business of producing materials for college students, what do you do about it?

And it’s not just college students. Encyclopaedia Britannica is no more–at least, in its traditional print format. People want instantly updated information at their fingertips, and there’s no way to provide that in print–plus, at more than $1,300 a set, it’s something of an aspirational item. The only problem is that fewer and fewer people are aspiring to it.

So what does your audience want? And are you sure?