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Bill Mickey

A Call for Nominations: The Folio 100 and 30 Under 30

Bill Mickey Consumer - 07/22/2014-16:06 PM

 

The FOLIO: 100 is now open for nominations.

In case you don't know, the FOLIO: 100 is the magazine and media industry's best-known and most prestigious list of innovators, entrepreneurs and market shaker-uppers.

Nominate a colleague—either at your company or at another one—that has made a quantifiable impact on a product, group, company or even the industry at large.

"Quantifiable impact" is important to emphasize. Vague explanations about why a person deserves to be on the list won't cut it. The FOLIO: 100 represents just about everyone on the org chart, but a nomination has to include measurable results.

Also, the FOLIO: 100 is equal opportunity. It's not reserved for senior executives. There's plenty of innovation and influence on the front lines, so be sure to give recognition where it's due. The more the merrier.

From editors to sales, audience development, design, production and digital—the FOLIO: 100 intersects consumer, b-to-b, regional, enthusiast and association publishing—big and small.

Click here to fill out our easy—and free—nomination form. Nominations are due August 15. 

And here's last year's FOLIO: 100 to get you in the mood.

The list-makers will be featured in the October issue and feted at an awards luncheon at MediaNext on October 21.

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Additionally, FOLIO: is also taking nominations for its 30 Under 30 list, our list of some of the brightest individuals under the age of 30 who are executing on some of our industry’s most innovative ideas.

The deadline for 30 Under 30 nominations is August 15. Click here to enter your nomination.

 

 

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Bill Mickey

Get the Recognition Your Content and Design Deserve

Bill Mickey Design and Production - 06/12/2014-15:59 PM

 

FOLIO:'s annual Eddie and Ozzie Awards are coming up quickly—don't let this early summer lull fool you. In fact, the final deadline to enter is Friday, June 27.

So after June 27, that amazing November-issue cover your creative director built, or the blockbuster feature package your editors labored over, officially won't get industry-wide recognition if you miss the deadline.

And this is an industry of fan boys and girls. We're all watching what everyone else is doing. So the Eddie and Ozzie Awards, which feature an army of 300 judges who pour over more than 2,000 entries, is the best and biggest forum to get your hard work recognized and honored.

I can't tell you how many times my team and I have heard the phrase "it's all about quality content" when we're talking to publishers about a new initiative. And it's true. Technology may change, new trends emerge, but at the end of the day, it's the content and its design that matter to the audience.

The Eddie and Ozzie Awards are your chance to let our industry know your brand has one of the best teams behind it.

Good luck and enter here.

 

 

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Bill Mickey

Are You a Technology Company or a Media Company?

Bill Mickey B2B - 10/29/2013-13:30 PM

 

The relationship between magazine publisher and technology is becoming ever more complex. For some, technology is so central it's easy to begin to think that it's what defines you. The issue calls up the classic argument: What's more important, content or technology/delivery?

At this week's MediaNext conference in New York one session attempted to tackle that question, though the two presenters came at it from different perspectives.

Blair Johnson, senior vice president, business development, at Cygnus Business Media, noted that the technology that social networks, and advertisers themselves, were creating were beginning to disintermediate the company. "The disruptions were allowing the brands to go directly to the consumer," he said. "If we can't get [technology] right for ourselves, how are we going to get it right for our advertisers?"

For Cygnus, which subsequently built a proprietary CMS, created an integrated database and began aggressively using responsive design, the idea was technology would not only enable new business, it would keep advertisers from going off the reservation. In addition to its capabilities, it became a calling card.

"If all we are is a company that talks to an audience, then we're at risk," he said. "We need to be a partner that has technology on the bleeding edge that can best help our marketing partners."

That sentiment was echoed later during the lunch keynote from Glam Media founder Samir Arora, by the way, who made no bones about describing Glam as a technology company.

But Johnson's co-presenter put the focus back on content. "Unless you're literally licensing software, please don't call yourself a technology company," said John Siefert, CEO of Virgo Publishing. "If you're a media company, that's not what you do. You're creating content and then people are advertising around that content. For us, the software that runs our business is critical, we would not exist without it. But what we are is a media company that creates content."

Siefert warned that industry trends can be prematurely exaggerated into mission-critical strategies. "People become so focused on the sex appeal of the technology that they don't focus on the content and how it works inside that technology."

He pointed to marketing automation technology as one area where many publishers are potentially devaluing their audience. "We've gotten to the point where we're way too reliant on automating the process of lead-gen, instead of listening to the audience and engaging. We've over-teched it. We want to be thought drivers for our audience instead of just looking at them as leads."

The way out of that trap, suggests Siefert, is to put process before technology. "A lot of times technology defines the process," he said. "What we try to do is define the process and find our build technology to support it." 

 

 

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Bill Mickey

The FOLIO: 100 Goes Live

Bill Mickey Consumer - 10/10/2013-13:59 PM

 

It took a little longer, but I'm sure you'll find it worth the wait—the FOLIO: 100 is now online, and will be hitting your desk in print in the October issue.

The list of magazine media's most innovative and entrepreneurial thinkers—and some of the biggest trends that inspire and influence them—has been greatly expanded from its roots as the FOLIO: 40, which used to appear in the April issue.

Like it does every year, the list recognizes executives, managers and even junior staffers who have had a major impact on their company or the industry at large. Now there's just more of them.

The reason behind the expansion of the list sits squarely among the trends that are impacting magazine media. The very definition of a magazine publisher has changed so much—from the products it creates to the way it builds its audience—that a list of 40 innovators seemed positively quaint.

The industry itself has also expanded to include digital, mobile and social entities that intersect magazines in crucial ways. To not recognize individuals from those sectors, and many others, would be a glaring omission.

Some of the list-makers will probably seem obvious, but many more are folks you've likely never heard of, making the FOLIO: 100 a true reflection of our wide-ranging coverage of magazine media in every corner of the market.

The FOLIO: 100 Awards Ceremony

This year, too, marks the debut of a special awards ceremony we'll be holding in conjunction with FOLIO:'s MediaNext event. It's a chance for us to salute the FOLIO: 100 list-makers in person—a prospect we're very excited about. For more on the awards breakfast, visit the MediaNext site.

 

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Bill Mickey

PopSci Turns Off Article Commenting

Bill Mickey Consumer - 09/24/2013-14:25 PM

 

Widely touted as a major engagement booster, article commenting features have nevertheless remained a prickly issue for many publishers, and it boils down to this: Are the trolls and spam worth the effort? Bonnier's Popular Science doesn't think so.

Suzanne LaBarre, PopSci's online content director, announced this morning that the site has decided to turn off its article commenting feature. How this went over with the site's visitors is unknown because, well, there are no comments.

But according to LaBarre, the issue goes way beyond the typical annoyances of managing inappropriate or spammed comments—science itself is at risk.

Civility, or the lack of it, is one thing. Redirecting an article's conclusion is a whole new ballgame.

Citing a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison that found uncivil comments not only had a polarizing effect on readers, they also changed interpretation, LaBarre pulled the plug to protect the science community at large.

"If you carry out those results to their logical end—commenters shape public opinion; public opinion shapes public policy; public policy shapes how and whether and what research gets funded—you start to see why we feel compelled to hit the 'off' switch," she says.

The phrase "it's a scientific fact" doesn't seem to carry the weight it used to. "Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to 'debate' on television," she continues.

LaBarre says the often politically motivated nature of the rogue commenting chips away at an article's conclusion, hijacking the conversation into an anti-science framework and creating debates out of thin air. 

"And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science," she says.

Nevertheless, LaBarre says readers will still be able to interact with each other and the brand, just not in such close proximity to the stories. The brand's social platforms will be the new conversation hubs and there will still be the occasional story that has the commenting feature turned back on.

 

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Bill Mickey

Folio:'s 15 Under 30 Nominations Are Open

Bill Mickey Consumer - 08/22/2013-14:35 PM

 

 


 

While the evolution of the magazine media business often rests on the shoulders of experienced executives, the younger generation is a constant source of innovation and change.

Here at FOLIO:, we're always on the lookout for new ideas that change the way magazine publishers do business and in that spirit it's time once again to turn the spotlight on the younger set with our 15 Under 30 list. 

With this annual recognition franchise, we profile selected rising stars and innovators across traditional publishing roles, never-before-seen positions in new lines of business, and market-shaping start-ups.

Last year's list featured a cross-section of talent responsible for ad ops, editing, technology and design.

Tell us who you think deserves to be on the list by filling out our simple online form. Our list-makers will appear in the October issue.

The only catch? All nominees must be younger than 30.

The deadline for nominations is August 30. Good luck and thanks for participating!

Nominate!

 

 

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Bill Mickey

Rolling Stone's Latest Cover: Terrorist Vs. Rockstar

Bill Mickey Consumer - 07/18/2013-16:18 PM

 

One of the more striking elements of Rolling Stone's latest cover story image is how Dzhokhar Tsarnaev looks like the kid next door. In a sense it has achieved a goal magazine publishers either embrace or run away from, attracting loud and impassioned criticism which leads to an enormous amount of coverage in mainstream and social media.

Some of the discussion focuses on giving an accused murderer the celebrity treatment—an aspect that's not to be downplayed. Rolling Stone does have a dual cover story approach that alternates between its celebrity coverage and more serious investigative pieces, but it appears many only remember its celeb covers. At least that's what CVS, Walgreens and other retailers have decided when they banned the issue from their newsstands. The rest of the debate reminds us that the cover is an alarming, journalistic, but honest, depiction of a face of terrorism we're not used to seeing. A microcosm of this conversation is happening now at FOLIO:'s Facebook page.

Here's Rolling Stone's statement in reply to all the coverage:

Our hearts go out to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, and our thoughts are always with them and their families. The cover story we are publishing this week falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone’s long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage of the most important political and cultural issues of our day. The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens. –THE EDITORS

In the meantime, here's a range of outlets that have weighed in on the cover:

Boston.com
The Boston Marathon bomber is a rock star, says 'Rolling Stone'

The New Yorker
The Inconvenient Image of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Christian Science Monitor
Rolling Stone cover: Are stores going too far in pulling the magazine?

USA Today
Don't stone 'Rolling Stone' over Boston bomber cover

Slate
Rolling Stone’s Boston Bomber Cover Is Brilliant

Huffington Post
Rolling Stone Boston Bomber Cover Story: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Image Stirs Controversy, Boycotts

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Bill Mickey

ABM Merger with SIIA Officially Approved 83-3

Bill Mickey B2B - 04/29/2013-10:03 AM

 

At ABM's 2013 Annual Conference here in Amelia Island, FL today, membership cast their vote as the final step to approve the merger between ABM and SIIA. The vote came in at 83 for, 3 against, but not without a bit of drama.

During the vote count, Lebhar-Friedman's Roger Friedman stood to pay a heartfelt tribute to the ABM of the past, recognizing his own mentors and previous leaders of the b-to-b media association.

While acknowledging both the inevitability of the member vote in favor of the merger as well as the momentum of change in the b-to-b media industry, Friedman called this year's annual conference "bittersweet" as he took the opportunity to officially cast his vote against the merger.

"I know the merger is going to pass," he said, "but because of my conscience I am casting a negative vote. It's just my way to express my feeling over the whole process."

The objection came across as more of sentimental one, rather than a practical one—with Friedman taking the opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of some of the "old guard" b-to-b leaders who put so much effort into the organization and how it, in turn, educated its membership over its more than 100 years in existence.

His speech, which he admitted to writing at 3 am that morning, drew a standing ovation.

It also succinctly drew attention to the reason for the merger in the first—that the b-to-b media industry has changed so quickly that it's almost unrecognizable from what it was only a decade ago.

 

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Bill Mickey

How Cool Is Boston Magazine's May Issue Cover?

Bill Mickey Design and Production - 04/25/2013-15:43 PM

 

 

This is the cover for the May issue of Boston magazine. The story behind its creation is equally as awesome (the May issue was just days away from shipping when the bombs went off on that Monday; tweets and Facebook posts were employed to collect the actual shoes from runners.). Editor-in-chief John Wolfson provides the details here.

 

 

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Bill Mickey

Adding Video to Your Sales Pitch

Bill Mickey Sales and Marketing - 02/12/2013-14:09 PM

 

Bonnier's Popular Science is taking the venerable sell sheet one step further by including a video of the magazine's editor-in-chief Jacob Ward describing the upcoming issue's content highlights, marrying that with the magazine's pertinent demos. The sales team uses the video as an email enticement or brings it on a live sales call to add a dash of editorial celebrity when Ward himself can't come along.

The idea came to Michael Gallic, associate publisher, marketing, the technology group, as Ward was taping his customary video introduction for the magazine's tablet version. Why not just ask Ward to hang around for another five or ten minutes to create a 90-second highlight reel of the upcoming issue? The first video sell sheet was created at the end of last year for the January/February issue.

"We're always looking for new ways to help the reps to get to the advertisers," says Gallic. "The standard way is the issue sell sheet—a PDF which gives an overview and relevant statistics, but in the video you're hearing about the content live from the editor and you can see the stats pop up. He's an engaging, personable guy who brings the editorial to life. Who better to hear what the issue is about than the editor himself?"

While they may not actually win the sale, anecdotally Gallic says the videos have been useful hooks to get the brand noticed. "The face-to-face calls are more difficult to get, but these video sell sheets are not only helping getting the call but getting the call back."

The team uses Adobe's After Effects to edit the videos, and Gallic adds that, with a slightly different content spin, they're morphing into a useful consumer marketing tool as well—particularly as a newsstand driver. "We'll run them on the website to drive people to newsstand. They're taking on a life of their own," he says.

Here's a video of Ward highlighting the upcoming May issue:

 

 

 

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Bill Mickey

The FOLIO: 100: A Call for Nominees

Bill Mickey Consumer - 02/07/2013-14:13 PM

 

 

The nomination period for the FOLIO: 100 is now officially open!

Yes, you read that right—we're expanding the magazine industry's best-known and most prestigious list of innovators, entrepreneurial thinkers and disrupters from 40 to 100. The more the merrier.

Starting now you can help shape the list by nominating a colleague—either at your company or at another one—that has made a meaningful, quantifiable impact on a specific product, group, company or even the market at large.

"Quantifiable impact" is the key phrase—this isn't a popularity contest, anyone from inside the org chart can make this list, just be ready to back up your nomination with some solid supporting info, which you can do here.

Remember, not every FOLIO: 100 list-maker is a top executive—innovation and constructive change often comes from the front lines and the trenches, let's be sure those folks get their due, too—from editors to publishers to sales, audience development, design, production and digital. All across consumer, b-to-b, regional, enthusiast and association publishing—big and small.

And now with the expanded list, we can include an even more diverse range of deserving go-getters.

Click here to fill out our easy nomination form. Nominations are due by March 4.

Here's last year's FOLIO: 40 to get you inspired.

We'll announce the 2013 FOLIO: 100 in April. Submit your nominations now and good luck!

 

 

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Bill Mickey

Moving from 'Magazines' to 'Media'

Bill Mickey Consumer - 01/29/2013-16:18 PM

 

Any company that's grown up targeting the magazine business the past few decades has no doubt had to come to terms with the new media landscape, particularly if its name is directly tied to print media.

Heck, we're mulling through this now with FOLIO:, which is still "The Magazine for Magazine Management."

The main associations that serve the industry have already rebranded, as did ABC recently.

MagazineRadar, a data service that has helped magazine publishers know more about brands and the people that buy them, got caught in the same dilemma. It's just rebranded itself as MediaRadar. Not a particularly big stretch, but it's definitely symbolic of the changes happening all around us.

As an example, the company has been tracking just over one million brands that are buying online ads and in the process of doing so has uncovered some interesting patterns in how those digital buys overlap, or don't overlap, print.

"The number-one discovery was the size of the online ad market is much larger than we understood," says co-founder Todd Krizelman. "If we just look on the consumer side of MPA titles, out of the people who buy MPA magazines, only a third of those are showing up on [the brand's] website. We're 20 years into the web and only one-third are buying on the same set of websites."

Surprisingly, there appears to be very little overlap, or integrated sales, going on.

In the third quarter of 2012, for example, MediaRadar found that about 9,000 brands advertised in the MPA-member consumer magazines it tracks. There were 12,000 brands that advertised on those titles' websites. But only 3,000 were integrated buys—leaving about 9,000 advertisers that were only buying digital with those brands.

There are some brands that have done particularly well through integrated buys, but that discrepancy is one reason digital-only publishers have done as well as they have, says Krizelman. "One of the reasons they've been successful is not that they've stolen clients, but exploited the knowledge that there's thousands of advertisers that buy only online."

 


 

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