24 Observations from the Magazines 24/7 Conference
Digital bullet points.
The Magazine Publishers of America held its fifth annual digital magazine conference, Magazines 24/7, in New York today. Read our full report here. Below, some additional observations.
1. No Wi-Fi. At the Digital Magazine Conference. Wi-T-Fi?!?!
2. More than 250 attendeesâ€”a good sign for an association that was recently forced to cancel its signature event, the American Magazine Conference.
3. During his opening keynote, Avinash Kaushik, Googleâ€™s â€śanalytics evangelistâ€ť (sweet job title), eviscerates Newsweek.com in a critique of the site. â€śI went on there, I did the pollâ€”what the hell was that?â€ť
4. Question: â€śWhat is the goal of a blog?â€ť Google Evangelistâ€™s answer: â€śTo inspire irrational loyalty.â€ť
5. The Knotâ€™s Carley Roney, speaking on a panel called â€śRaising the Digital Bar in a Down Economyâ€ť: â€śWeâ€™ve moved beyond weddingsâ€”weâ€™re a life stage media company.â€ť
6. Corporate spin alert: Hearst EVP and general manager John Loughlin said the company has been outsourcing technical work on its Web site to Vietnam, India and Poland, for â€ścost and efficiency.â€ť â€śWeâ€™re upscaling the jobsâ€ť in the U.S. If the economy turned around today, he said, â€śweâ€™d still pursue this.â€ť
7. Adweek editor Jim Cooper, moderator of a panel entitled â€śAre Paid Sites the New Black?â€ť on his resistance to them: â€śIâ€™m a conditioned traffic whore, and a cheapskate.â€ť
8. Surprisingly not much mention of Twitter, although there were some attendees tweeting.
9. Perhaps more surprising, virtually no mention of digital magazines.
10. Lots of talk of mobile â€śapps,â€ť particularly for the iPhone.
11. â€śThereâ€™s been a reticence among magazine publishers to trust the audience,â€ť says Geoff Reiss, GM, Newsweek Digital.
12. Reiss: â€śWeâ€™ve successfully completed the first step in a 12 Step program: Weâ€™ve identified the problem.â€ť
13. Rodale executive vice president and group publisher MaryAnn Bekkedahl, on charging for online content: â€śPeople have been talking for a long time about how the consumer is in controlâ€”I think itâ€™s time we should take back control, and set the policies.â€ť
14. Bekkedahl adds: â€śThe 23-year-old on an iMac in the cafĂ©â€”people are beginning to realize that isnâ€™t great content. He doesnâ€™t have the experience.â€ť I think 23-year-olds, even those at Rodale, might have a lot to say about that.
15. Not every advertising deal should be integrated, says Digitas SVP Jordan Bitterman. â€śThere are so many signoffs, not everyone [at an agency] is going to be on board. Sometimes itâ€™s not worth it.â€ť
16. How would you monetize Facebook, if you were in charge? â€śDataâ€”they are sitting on more data than MRI or anyone in the magazine business, and itâ€™s updated weekly, daily, even hourly. Thatâ€™s extremely valuable.â€ť
17. Some refreshing honesty. Hank Boye, publisher, Harvard Business Review, on charging for premium content: â€śIt may not work. Weâ€™re not sure where itâ€™s gonna go.â€ť
18. Eric Patterson on IDGâ€™s Game Pro launching its own video game label: â€śWe know weâ€™re blurring the lines [between church and state].â€ť
19. Three digital trends, according to Razorfishâ€™s Domenic Venuto: aggregation, data, and social influence marketing. â€śData is the new creative.â€ť
20. Domain names are still important. Meredith digital VP Dan Hickey says the company paid $5,000 for Mixingbowl.com, and they view the branding return on that investment â€śpriceless.â€ť
21. Dumbest (perhaps unintentionally) quote of the day, courtesy of MySpace sales and marketing president Jeff Berman: â€śSocial networking has existed since the beginning of society.â€ť
22. Getting magazine publishers to put the Web first in terms of priority is not only a good idea, says Forbes editor Paul Maidment, itâ€™s essential to their survival.
23. Playboy has created a slick trailer for a short called Playboy Interns, replete with product placement, specifically for mobile phones. Who has the time to watch this?
24. Back to the Google evangelist dude: â€śAdvertising and subscriptions are not going to save your business. Customers will.â€ť
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