Our biggest challenge is the same as everyone else's in this economy: survival first and prevailing second. The collapse in on-line advertising has hurt real bad and our market research side is struggling as well.
Second is to increase the visibility of the site among students, scientists, researchers and doctors. This may sound surprising, but getting professionals out of the e-mail cocoon and on to the Internet is harder than one would think. Take doctors . . . They spend all day going from patient to patient mainly writing things down on paper. The paper gets filed and rarely looked at again. This is in large part due the fact that there still isn't a computer interface that does not harm physician productivity and thus cuts their revenue. Their professional learning model is based on paper journals and conferences that are made attractive by designing them to make vacations tax deductible. This makes them one of the hardest groups to change, because they won't use the Internet professionally and thus incorporate Internet learning into their practice until the technology makes them more productive . . . and then they have to radically change their existing habits.
Once you get out of this world into the corporate world, you'd be surprised at how outdated the learning models are in many corporations. Many block Internet access for even researchers, fearing their employees will "just look at porn sites all day” as one CEO told me.
The good news is that our members are very positive. We have an amazing number of CTO and director level researchers accessing the site regularly. They are driving learning model change in their organizations, as pressures rise to get more out of their people.
We've held pretty steady with around 20% of weSRCH users having Doctorate degrees - one-third of these have MD degrees. So you can see that despite what I said, there are plenty of MDs thirsty for more modern learning tools. The bottom line for all is in their RoR (Return on Research), which starts with access to current information and faster learning cycles. The best companies have faster learning cycles and thus develop better idea, which drives better products and faster time to money. In the end the business of innovation is all about survival of the fittest and that is generally determined by organizations that learn faster.