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Jason Fell

Of Cooks and Goats: Hard Lessons of Online Copyright

Jason Fell Editorial - 11/14/2010-18:14 PM

In terms of online copyright issues, if you thought the Cooks Source fiasco that went viral recently was completely ridiculous, then what happened with—yes—Dairy Goat Journal should prove nearly as disturbing, although perhaps slightly less weird.

I’ll get back to the goats in a moment. First, for those who somehow missed it, a small Western Massachusetts-based cooking publication called Cooks Source was jettisoned out of obscurity and came under fire this month after writer Monica Gaudio discovered that a story she wrote in 2005 was repurposed by the magazine, without Gaudio’s consent, or attribution or payment to her. Gaudio subsequently contacted Cooks Source and received a response from editor Judith Griggs. Here are a couple bits pulled from Griggs’ arrogant yet ignorant response, published on Gaudio’s blog:

“But honestly Monica, the web is considered ‘public domain’ and you should be happy we just didn't ‘lift’ your whole article and put someone else's name on it! … If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio.”

Unbelievable. Anyway, in the days following, the story became news all over the Web (covered by NPR,, The Economist—even by Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald). On November 4, Cooks Source shut down its Web site as well as its Facebook fan page, which was overrun by nasty comments. The publication said all the negative attention hurt its business but that it was going to donate $130 to the Columbia School of Journalism, at Gaudio’s request.

Now, on to the goats. Although it didn’t make national headlines like the Cooks Source ordeal, a similar situation unfolded recently at Countryside Publications’ Dairy Goat Journal. On November 10, Suzanne McMinn took to her blog about a photo of hers [pictured, top] that she says she took in 2008. According to McMinn, the photo was published in the November/December 2010 issue of Dairy Goat Journal [pictured, below the photo] as well as its Web site without her permission, attribution or payment.

McMinn said she contacted Countryside Publications publisher Dave Belanger (Countryside also publishes Countryside & Small Stock Journal, Backyard Poultry Magazine and sheep! Magazine), requesting several things, among them a $2,100 payment for the “unauthorized” use of her photo. After McMinn was supposedly rebuffed by Belanger over the phone, angry comments began flooding a write-up we did about Belanger (we didn’t publish most of the comments). I assume many of the same people also contacted Countryside directly with their frustrations.

I contacted Belanger, too, that same day, to find out what was going on. After playing phone tag, I sent him an e-mail telling him about the comments and why I was contacting him. Although he didn’t respond to my e-mail, I noticed the following day that a new post was up on McMinn’s blog. It said Belanger “wanted to make it right” and agreed to send McMinn a check for $2,100.

So, both debacles ended happy, mostly. But even though publishers like Cooks Source and Countryside Publications are operating with limited resources (our profile of Belanger described Countryside as a “lean operation”), the lesson to be learned or re-learned here is that there is no excuse for ripping off someone else’s content without credit. Not even in this willy-nilly Internet world where content is mostly freely accessible online.  

[Images via]

Jason Fell

Cathie Black as NYC Schools Chancellor: HUH??

Jason Fell Consumer - 11/10/2010-12:00 PM

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement yesterday that he had named Hearst Magazines chairman and former longtime president Cathie Black as chancellor of New York City Schools had a number of people in the media industry, as well as a few NYC-based parents, scratching their heads. Granted, Black had a lot of success overseeing Hearst, one of the largest consumer magazine publishing companies in the country. But how does that qualify her to lead NYC’s public school system?

Just look at this morning’s NYC newspaper covers [pictured]. As the New York Daily News pointed out, Black—a Manhattan resident—sent her two children to private school, in Connecticut. And, not to mention, the New York City Department of Education consists of more than 1,600 schools that serve about 1.1 million students each year. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there may be a few more moving parts there than at Hearst.

No doubt about it: Black has a BIG challenge ahead of her. One can hope that she will swiftly squash all the nay-sayers with positive results among NYC’s schools. (As am New York says: ‘Don’t screw it up.’)

In the meantime, anonymous media blogger Dead Tree Edition has some important (er, more tongue-in-cheek) advice for Black as she readies for her big transition. Here’s his piece, reposted by permission here:

9 Differences Between a School System and a Publishing Company: Lessons for Cathie Black

One is full of spoiled brats. The other has lots of children.

That's one of the differences between publishing companies and school systems that Cathie Black of Hearst Magazine will need to keep in mind as she makes the transition, announced today, from a career running newspaper and magazine companies to becoming chancellor of New York City Schools.

Here are eight more subtle distinctions between a publisher and a public school systems she'll need to keep in mind:

1. School systems are not-for-profit agencies by design. Newspapers are no-profit organizations despite all their efforts to be otherwise.
2. For schools, the largest inflow of funds is from state and local governments that always seem to be screwing them out of some money. For magazine publishers, the largest outflow of money is for postage, which also involves an indifferent bureaucracy that always seems to be screwing them out of money.
3. For a school system, a new student means more state and federal aid. For a publisher, a new subscriber means less net revenue (because the marketing charges more than the subscriber pays).
4. Schools have math classes that make kids feel like idiots as soon as they open a textbook and try to understand algebra. Magazine publishers have blow-in cards that make newsstand customers feel like idiots as soon as they open a copy and see they could have saved 90% by buying a subscription.
5. Public schools offer free education to all. Publishers charge some customers for their content, then give it away to others on their Web sites.
6. School systems issue diplomas of dubious significance. Publishers issue statements of “paid” circulation.
7. Schools are often judged by meaningless metrics, such as how their sports teams do and what proportion of the students take SATs. Publications have their own meaningless metrics, like awards and newsstand sales.
8. Schools are run by principals. Publications are run by advertising salesmen, who have no principles.

Jason Fell

Does This Cover Push the Ad/Edit Line Too Far?

Jason Fell Editorial - 11/04/2010-12:14 PM

I’ve seen my share of advertisements on magazine covers over the last couple years. I’ve seen corner page-peels, belly bands and ad “windows” of varying sizes. I’ve also seen false, glued-on covers and gatefolds.

Something like this, however, I haven’t seen.

The cover of the October 7 issue of Canon Communications’ EDN magazine [pictured right, top] features the EDN nameplate as it usually would, but the remaining two-thirds—which normally is devoted to editorial—is all advertising. The space is shared by an ad from a company called Avago Technologies and a corner page-peel ad from Digi-Key Corp (which also has a full-page ad inside the magazine).

In fact, the Avago cover ad is actually a cover wrap. A variation of the front advertisement is featured as full-pagers on covers 2 [pictured right, bottom], 3 and 4. The “real” editorial cover [pictured below, left] faces cover 2 and is printed on the same heavy, glossy stock as the Avago cover (the true cover also features the Digi-Key page peel ad).

Now, I’m not a stickler about ad/edit rules like some people in this industry. If a publisher can make a few extra dollars selling cover real estate to an advertiser then more power to them. The trick, of course, is executing it in a way that doesn’t interfere with the editorial message. But here, editorial has been pushed completely off the page.

Having never seen a cover treatment like this before, I pinged the folks at the American Society of Business Publication Editors to get their collective opinion. Here’s their statement:

"A full-page front-cover ad that includes a magazine's logo, whether a ‘false cover’ or not, goes against the grain of ASBPE's Code of Preferred Editorial Practices and clearly undermines editorial credibility. It may also cast doubt on a publication's objectivity by suggesting that the magazine supports or endorses the advertiser's product or service.  Moreover, selling to an advertiser what is traditionally regarded as editorial space may lead readers to suspect that editorial content inside the covers has been sold."

I reached out to Ron Wall, who managed EDN at Canon until Canon was purchased by UBM recently and was moved under a new UBM Electronics operation (Wall now serves as senior vice president, managing the non-electronics Canon magazines under UBM Canon). He told me his team never thought that putting the EDN logo above the Avago ad would cause any confusion or suggest that EDN was endorsing the advertiser.

“In fact,” he says, “our big concern was to make sure readers understood that this was still EDN and not a catalogue. We thought we were doing a better service to our readers to include the EDN logo at the top.”

Wall explained to me that the idea with the extra cover came from the client. “The world we’re in now, with ads all over Web sites, etc., advertisers are looking to get as much exposure as they can with the audience—whether it’s in digital, custom or print,” he said. “It’s gotten to the point where instead of building something and then trying to sell it to a client, its more about listening to what the client wants and then building it.”

I can’t say whether or not EDN subscribers noticed or cared much about the cover. Wall tells me his team hasn’t received any blowback from angry readers. For the record, he also says they haven’t heard from any competing clients who are anxious to do anything similar.

So, what would you think if this magazine landed on your desk or in your mailbox? Does it cross the line or is it just a sign of the times? Please leave your comments below.

Jason Fell

Uh, Oh! New Yorker Fixes Paywall Privacy Glitch

Jason Fell emedia and Technology - 10/27/2010-21:34 PM

The New Yorker subscribers got an unusual e-mail Wednesday explaining that the magazine had reset the passwords for those who never bothered to change the default user name/password they were assigned when they subscribed. Why? It turns out different default settings were needed to keep non-subscribers from being able to access the archive for free.

Here’s what happened: The New Yorker set the default usernames and passwords for subscribers to its digital edition and archive as that subscriber’s e-mail address. Sounds harmless enough, right? But according to a pair of reports from Flood Magazine, subscribers who were too bored/lazy/busy to change their default settings made their accounts vulnerable to being accessed by anyone who knows or could guess their e-mail address.

The New Yorker moved quickly to remediate the problem. Here’s a portion of the e-mail it sent to subscribers:

When you signed up for the digital edition, the default password for your account was your e-mail address (which is also your username).

If you never changed the default password, we reset your password and sent you a message with the new password this morning. We strongly recommend that you now change this password, if you have not already done so.

If you already changed your password, you can continue to use the digital edition with the password you created.

But the Flood Magazine reports also claim that anyone who visits The New Yorker’s digital archive and types “a few lines of code” in the browser’s JavaScript console can bypass the paywall and access the entire archive (The New Yorker has digitized every issue it has published since it launched in 1925).

I’m not sure how much truth there is to this part of the supposed security flaw (in fact, I’m not even sure what the heck Flood Magazine is) but I can say one thing for certain: This is nutty. What average reader is going to go to all the trouble to pull up the paywall code and re-write part of it, or spend time plugging in the e-mails of friends and family members they think might be subscribers, all to gain free access to–what? The years-old long-form stories and cartoons in The New Yorker?  You have to wonder why the tech-master coders at Flood were so intent on cracking this paywall code, and especially so long after the wall was erected. Also, you might wonder why publisher Condé Nast, or its paywall vendor, didn’t spot this vulnerability sooner.

I don’t mean to knock on The New Yorker too much here. It’s certainly one of the most well-regarded magazines (we all know it wins National Magazine Awards year after year after year) and it clearly took steps to fix the security glitch once it was brought to light. But come on. Shouldn’t we have better things to do than dig up ways to scale The New Yorker wall?

Jason Fell

Anderson News CEO Still Claiming Collusion

Jason Fell Audience Development - 10/21/2010-08:21 AM

It’s been a little under two years since Knoxville, Tennessee-based magazine wholesaler Anderson News suspended normal business activity and eventually went out of business. The mega shut down came as the result of Anderson and fellow distributor Source Interlink announcing separate 7-cents-per-copy price hikes for publishers, and those publishers ultimately balking and refusing to pay.

Now, in a 4,300-word piece published by the Knoxville News Sentinel, Anderson CEO Charlie Anderson talks predominantly about navigating the challenging future of CD sales at Anderson Merchandisers as well as the world of digital e-commerce service Liquid Digital Media.

But Anderson also looks back at the downfall of the magazine business. Asked by the paper if he had to do it all over again, he says he wouldn’t have done anything different. “I didn't believe that publishers would actually get together and collude, so I didn't cover that in my plan—I just don't think reputable business people ought to consider that option—but otherwise I knew the business had to change; I knew the business had to get better because it wasn't fair to call on stockholders to continue to fund a losing business. So we did what we needed to do at that point.”

Here’s another interesting snippet from the Sentinel report about the final days before the big shut-down, for which Anderson says “77 percent of all our associates were able to keep their jobs”:

At the end of the month, his largest customer called and asked him to meet with a Time Inc. executive. On Saturday, Jan. 31, Anderson flew to New Jersey for the meeting. 'I negotiated with Time Inc. and I struck a deal and I shook hands and I went home,' he says.

The following Monday, the Time executive told him 'senior management had changed their mind and they've decided they weren't going to ship us any more magazines. At that point, a ripple effect happened and we lost 80 percent of our supply.

'So I went from Saturday afternoon thinking that I had saved the company to Monday afternoon saying the company is going to go out of business.'

Anderson called his father, who told him—and he imitates the voice of a stern father—'to get as many of our associates hired as possible.

'So I called our competitor [News Group]—who I had felt like had participated to help hurt us—and I said, ‘I will sell you my assets if you employ my people.' I also agreed not to sue him for what they had done. He took the deal and hired most of our people.

Click here to read the full report. It’s worth reading, when you have the time.

Also worth reading/re-reading are our reports. You’ll find those in the related links below.

Jason Fell

What's in a Name?

Jason Fell B2B - 10/15/2010-14:23 PM

Until recently, it had been mostly quiet at e5 Global Media, the private equity-backed media startup led by CEO Richard Beckman that acquired Nielsen Business Media’s eight media/entertainment industry brands late last year, including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek and Back Stage magazines.

First came news that The Hollywood Reporter was transitioning from a weekday trade paper into a glossy weekly, and that former Us Weekly editor Janice Min was taking over as editorial director. Then, earlier this month, Beckman landed another big hire in Newser founder and Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff as editorial director of e5’s AdweekMedia group.

Now, the next big thing on tap is a name change. According to a memo sent to staffers, e5 Global Media is being renamed as Prometheus Global Media, a name Beckman says “carries more weight and gravitas in the marketplace.” A new corporate Web site,, also is in the works.

A new name makes sense. Since the big acquisition last year—the company is backed by Pluribus Capital Management and financial services firm Guggenheim Partners—e5 has been working on a plan not only to create a corporate infrastructure that’s separate from Nielsen’s (its offices are still in the Nielsen building at 770 Broadway in New York City, many employees still have a Nielsen e-mail, etc.) but to start from scratch, in a sense, to revitalize a portfolio of well-regarded, if not tired media brands.
As one knowledgeable source told me: “Come on, these brands cover music and Hollywood. They need some sexing up.” That same source says the new name is being greeted internally as a welcomed change that helps show that the company is “united and moving forward.”

Why Prometheus?

What Beckman’s memo is missing, however, is an explanation of the meaning behind the new name. Prometheus, of course, was the Greek mythological character who was credited with stealing fire from Zeus and giving it to men. Zeus then punished Prometheus and had him bound to a rock where an eagle would eat out his liver (which would subsequently grow back) each day for eternity.

How that relates to media … ?

Then again, what did e5 stand for? I’m not sure that we ever got an explanation about that one, either. (While I'm at it, what the heck does "Red 7 Media," the name of FOLIO:'s parent company, mean? We actually explain it here.)

Some media observers took to Twitter to poke fun at the new name. “Better than Sisyphus Global Media, I suppose,” read one tweet. “Pretentious Global Media is what I'll call it,” says another.

To a degree, I’m reminded of Cygnus Business Media, which announced a new corporate architecture this summer around four affinity groups. Associated with the changes, Cygnus also unveiled a new logo and tagline: “Because the world is changing very fast.” FOLIO: readers had some things to say about that. See some comments here, and here.

[Heinrich Füger's "Prometheus brings Fire to Mankind" image via Wikimedia Commons]

Jason Fell

Battle of Editorial Credibility vs. Sponsored Content Continues

Jason Fell Sales and Marketing - 10/14/2010-11:39 AM

Over the last couple days, I’ve heard a lot of talk about crossing the editorial line as it relates to publishers accepting sponsored content.

At day one of AdweekMedia’s Social Media Strategies conference, which I attended, Huffington Post chief revenue officer Greg Coleman said the site sees itself as a “social media ad agency.” He said sponsor-generated content appears on the site (I take his word on that, although I haven’t seen any) and that it’s marked as such. He was asked to talk about how much these sponsored posts are generating for the Huffington Post, but he declined to comment.

Then last night, I read the PBS/MediaShift piece about Forbes pushing advertorials as part of its major renovation and design online. Forbes’ soon-to-launch Advoice is expected to allow advertisers to post blogs to—for a price. According to chief product officer Lewis DVorkin, Forbes editors will in no way be associated with the paid blogs, and Advoice is just another piece in the site’s social-focused structure. “In this case the marketer or advertiser is part of the Forbes environment, the news environment," he told Ad Age recently. "Marketers need to reach the audience. This is where publishing is headed."

The MediaShift story goes on to reference a GigaOM report that suggests that Forbes could risk losing reader trust by posting sponsored blogs, especially near the site’s original editorial content, and trigger a “giant ethical morass.” “Ironically, blurring the line between advertising and editorial content can actually damage the brand that those advertisers are so eager to rub up against, defeating the whole purpose of the exercise,” GigaOM’s Matthew Ingram writes. “It’s not surprising that Forbes is looking for alternative ways of raising revenue, but it should be careful not to sell its soul at the same time.”

He’s right—it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Forbes is trying to squeeze more money from its advertisers, especially since the print magazine is reporting a 9.6 percent decline in ad pages through the third quarter (last year, pages fell more than 30 percent). And, besides, publishers have been running advertorial sections in print forever. They’re also continuing to expand into marketing services.

As it hasn’t launched yet, I haven’t seen Forbes’ Advoice, but let’s put down the picket signs for a minute. While I’m not a proponent of ceding edit space to advertisers (I’m an editor—why would I be?), I am a fan of publishing companies making more money if the execution is right. (In fact,’s blog page features “NXTBLOG,” which links back to posts written by Nxtbook, one of our advertisers.)  What’s the problem, from a consumer perspective, as long the sponsored content is clearly labeled and doesn’t eat up space that should dedicated to hard news?

Beyond the careful edit execution, the real trick will be to successfully monetize it. I asked Forbes what the cost structure is for advertisers who want to post to Advoice. Is it a per-post fee or do they pay a one-time fee and get to post as often as they want? How many advertisers has Forbes signed on so far, and how many does it aim to have over the next six months or so?

A Forbes spokesperson said the company isn’t doing any more interviews about Advoice until its launch date gets closer (about mid-November). We’ll keep you posted.

Jason Fell

Brown, Huffington Lampoon Guardian’s ‘Bitter Rivalry’ Report

Jason Fell Editorial - 10/11/2010-10:32 AM

The boxing gloves go on, then they come off. Or, perhaps they were never on in the first place.

Tapping into the growing fervor and fascination surrounding the speculation that Sidney Harman’s Newsweek and Barry Diller-backed Daily Beast (run by celeb, power editor Tina Brown) could soon merge, the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper last week ran a piece alleging a monumental rift between Brown and Huffington Post founder/top editor Arianna Huffington.

Citing one anonymous media executive who allegedly is “familiar with both women,” the Guardian piece says Huffington and Brown “simply cannot stand each other,” and claims that Brown launched the Daily Beast, and is seeking to merge with Newsweek, in “wounded” attempts to catch up to Huffington’s success.

Ouch. Talk about uncovering some real back room-type media gossip. Nice work, Guardian.

Maybe, or, uh, maybe not. Whether intending to squash the squabble rumors, or simply trying to poke some fun at the Guardian report, both the Huffington Post and Daily Beast this morning posted what they say is an exchange over IM between Huffington and Brown—obtained, of course, by “an unnamed media executive.”

TBrown: The cat’s really out of the bag now. How the hell were they able to track down that “unnamed media executive” who is so “familiar” with both of us?

AriHuff: Got to hand it to The Guardian. We are sooooo busted. What’s really sad is that this is exactly the type of fearless, extremely well-sourced investigative reporting that sites like ours are putting out of business.

Ha. I guess that’s what the Guardian gets for using s single anonymous source to “pull the curtain back” on a supposed bitter rivalry between two media-savvy editors. (The story also inaccurately reported that the Huffington Post hired New York Post media columnist Keith Kelly—the Guardian subsequently removed that bit several days later, without annotation.)

Anyway, click here (or here) for the full IM transcript. Funny stuff.

Jason Fell

Magazine Industry’s Top Young Innovators: A Call for Nominations

Jason Fell Consumer - 10/07/2010-13:06 PM

Who says publishing is an old person’s game?

On the contrary, as the magazine industry, and media in general, evolves into avenues beyond print and traditional advertising models, a crop of fresh, young talent is surging to the top, leading their companies in their respective fields of work and innovation.

For the November issue, FOLIO: will be profiling 13 of these rising stars, looking at how they’re redefining traditional roles such as editorial, sales, production, design and audience development, as well blazing a trail in new types of positions in social media and e-commerce.

And every one of them will be younger than 30.

While we have a pretty solid idea of who we’re going to write about, we don’t want to miss anyone. So, we want to hear from you! Tell us who you think is deserving enough to make the list and, most importantly, why. Just fill out the form below.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Although I technically am still “under 30” I unfortunately will not be eligible to make this list. So, I regret to say that you’ll have to hold those nominations…]

Jason Fell

‘Change is Only Good if Your Life, or Your Business, Sucks’

Jason Fell Association and Non-Profit - 10/06/2010-15:03 PM

As consumer magazines continue to dig their way out of the economic recession, several hundred top managers across the industry gathered in Chicago early this week for the MPA’s American Magazine Conference to talk about the issues facing their business and the tactics for overcoming them.

The speaker lineup included Barnes & Noble CEO Howard Shultz, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, Wired creative director Scott Dadich, "The Facebook Effect" author David Kirkpatrick, Oprah Winfrey and many more. Much of the discussions surrounded the impact of e-readers and tablets—especially Apple’s iPad—on the magazine market. Other conversations focused on not focusing too much on the iPad and its impact on the industry.

During the event’s kick off, incoming CEO Jack Griffin outlined five industry goals he called “principles of success.” (See more about those here.) Hulu’s Kilar discussed the success he’s seen in media while VivaKi chief strategy and innovation officer Rishad Tobaccowala (great name, great keynote) talked about how the future of magazine/media “does not fit in the containers of the past.”

And while all the content was going on, there was a decent amount of chatter happening behind the scenes on Twitter by attendees. Here, I’ve assembled a collection of some of those Tweets (including some of my own) that I thought captured the best sound bites and perspective. See them below, in reverse chronological order.

[Image via MPA]

@SaraOhrvall: Best #amc2010 advice by @oprah: "If you want to start a successful magazine, you need a powerful initial. Like an O." What about S?

@jwfell: When asked what she knows for sure Oprah laughs. "I'm always on deadline. I don't know anything for sure." #AMC2010

@HSKsearch: "Stay connected to the people whom you are serving and where they are!" Oprah on how to thrive as a business #amc2010

@mpamagmedia: Oprah #amc2010 Being true to yourself is what makes a brand.

@jwfell: Oprah "wrestles" with appearing on the covers of O, wonders if she will stop. #AMC2010

@JLBurke: Oprah: in the beginning was the word. Interesting Biblical phrasing. #AMC2010

@JLBurke: Oprah's new network founded in excellence of O magazine #AMC2010

@petercipollone: Time CEO Jack Griffin is a fellow lefty...taking written notes next seat over. #amc2010

@EllieBehling: Mags need to think more about making content Facebook sharable -- even down to the postage picture, says Facebook Effect author #AMC2010

@HSKsearch: What a change: magazine publishers focused on readers and distribution, very little talk of ad revenue this year #amc2010

@richgor: Must-have tool, says Dadich of Wired: Canon 5D, digital SLR that also shoots HD video. #amc2010

@richgor: Hercik of SI: editors overflowing with iPad ideas, asking "can we...?" "Usually the answer is no.” #amc2010

@maxapotter: and they will. RT @EllieBehling: The reader should forget what platform they're using. -- William Lynch of Barnes & Noble #amc2010 #magazine

@richgor: Hercik of SI: for weekly mag, we design print and iPad app at same time, close iPad production one day after print. #amc2010

@jwfell: Lynch: B&N not pulling back on physical magazine newsstands. Plan to move them closer to digital areas, cafes. #AMC2010

@jessicakleiman: You need to be careful not to follow the latest shiny object, says B&N's William Lynch when asked about the iPad, but I'm a fan. #AMC2010

@HenkScheenstra: Tobaccowala: Media companies should think of DAD. What if: your business/ products were Disaggregated, Accelerated and Distributed? #AMC2010

@jwfell: Tobaccowala: While tech evolves, people 'still want to talk,' to discover; they want content that's curated and easy to find. #AMC2010

@HenkScheenstra: Rishad Tobaccowala (Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at VivaKi) best key note of the day #AMC2010

@jessicakleiman: Leadership is a task, not an identity @rishadt #AMC2010

@jwfell: VivaKi chief innovation officer Rishad Tobaccowala: key to evolution is a biz model completely diff from what's made $ in the past #AMC2010

@SaraOhrvall: The truth of today at #amc2010? Rischad Tobaccowala at Vivaki: "change is only good if your life, or your business, sucks."

@jwfell: Want to know what your brand really stands for? Hulu's Kilar says search your co. name on for what ppl r saying #AMC2010

@SaraOhrvall: Hulu CEO about Huluplus at #amc2010: "Trust your belief. Don't act according to research, it will always result in free rather than paid."

@jwfell: Can't the same be said by us all? Hulu CEO: "I consume more media today than any other time in my life." #AMC2010

@mpamagmedia: New blog post on research from MagazineRadar on the story behind the mag ad rebound #amc2010

@jessicakleiman: I see a lot of iPads at American Mag Conf #AMC2010

@emediavitals: "Learn to use the 'new.' Social media needs to be authentic." Robots don't do compelling social media. #amc2010

@emediavitals: Long tail: 65% of MPA member advertising is coming from 20% of advertisers. Not the 80/20 rule. Oppty: target small advertisers. #amc2010

@EllieBehling: Adobe's Dan Baum says publishers have to stand up to mobile delivery platforms.“Don't succumb to the walled garden world.” #amc2010

@jwfell: On tablets: When was the last time our industry has seen such a burst of focus and creativity?

@jwfell: Jack Griffin: embracing new tech, rev streams, magazine industry biz model desired by "everyone else"

Jason Fell

New Yorker Eds: Writing for iPad Like Producing TV After WWII

Jason Fell Editorial - 09/27/2010-13:21 PM

For a lot of publishers, creating an app for Apple’s iPad is like blazing a new trail—in more ways than one. Among them is Condé Nast’s The New Yorker, which debuted its app today. While it has had a Web site for nearly a decade and a digital edition for some time now the magazine, arguably, is still most regarded for its print product. And the editors know it.

In a note to readers, the editors say they are “at once delighted and a little bewildered” by the launch of the app. They also liken creating content for the iPad to producing TV shows after WWII, when so few people owned televisions. Here’s an excerpt from their note:

The New Yorker  will be available on the Apple iPad, on Mondays, wherever you happen to be. Print remains, by miles, our most popular form; unlike a Sunday newspaper, say, the print magazine is still a beautiful, portable, storable, slide-it-into-your-bag-able technology. This is not the first time we have brought The New Yorker to our readers digitally. Our Web site,, has been around, and evolving, for nine years; it’s also possible to subscribe to the magazine on electronic readers like Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. We even offer a digital edition, which includes a replica of every issue, going back to the first, in February, 1925.

This latest technology, however, provides the most material at the most advanced stage of digital speed and capacity. It has everything that is in the print edition and more: extra cartoons, extra photographs, videos, audio of writers and poets reading their work. This week’s inaugural tablet issue features an animated version of David Hockney’s cover, which he drew on an iPad. There is also a short film starring Jason Schwartzman and directed by Roman Coppola. It is billed as an instructional video to help you use the New Yorker application on the device, but we should caution that taking your iPad into the shower, as Schwartzman does, may void the warranty.

We’re at once delighted and a little bewildered about this latest digital development and our place in it: delighted because of the quality of what the tablet provides and the speed with which the magazine can be distributed, but bewildered, too, because we’d be liars if we said we knew precisely where technology will lead. These are early days. Right now, editing for the iPad feels similar to making television shows just after the Second World War, when less than one per cent of American households owned a television. And yet the general flow of things is clear: the digital revolution is already both long-standing and swift; there will be many more iPads sold; and competitors will inevitably follow. Some may even be roll-up-able. (Readers longing for digital scent strips will have to be patient.)

Truth is there still are a lot of unknowns surrounding the device and how publishers will be best able to leverage it. As the Wall Street Journal points out, publishers still aren’t able to sell subscriptions to their magazines via the iPad. "It is important to the New Yorker that we have offerings that allow long-term relationships with the consumers," Condé Nast President Bob Sauerberg says in the report. "Obviously, we don't have that in place for the moment with Apple. We are very keen to do that."

While the waiting game continues (to find out when Apple will figure this out), publishers keep pushing their magazines on the iPad, selling individual copies and hoping the inherent value to readers and advertisers is worth it in the meantime.

For those of you who haven’t already downloaded the app, or having been dying to see a moustached Jason Schwartzman in the shower or pantsless on a couch, see below for the video unveiling:

Jason Fell

A Look at the ‘Gourmet Live’ iPad App

Jason Fell emedia and Technology - 09/23/2010-18:12 PM

Back in June, Condé Nast said it planned to bring back the Gourmet brand as "Gourmet Live," a digital product developed in HTML5 that would be available across multiple devices and platforms. And it delivered. The innovative app for the iPad hit Apple’s iTunes store today. Chock full of stories from the magazine (which Condé closed down last fall), recipes, videos and slideshows, Gourmet Live is free and content is available without registration.

However, Condé says users need to sign in to Facebook or Twitter in order to access the app’s interactive features. It’s this social aspect that Condé says sets Gourmet Live apart from other apps on the market right now.

“Condé Nast is the first content company to launch a digital product powered by social gaming mechanics making Gourmet Live profoundly different in the way that users engage with the experience,” Condé Nast Consumer Marketing creative marketing director and Gourmet Live general manager Juliana Stock tells me. “Social sign-in, via Facebook and Twitter, allow users the option to share their activities within Gourmet Live if they want, such as earning a collection of recipes about pasta after reading a story about Eatly or a collection of grilling tips and recipes after reading an article about tailgating.”

Stock says that in drawing inspiration from “the popular and the familiar,” Gourmet Live offers a clean reading experience as well as “a shelf that organizes rewards and history, similar in user interface to insta-paper and iBooks.  Gourmet Live hosts all the components of a memorable meal: great company—your friends on social networks, high quality ingredients—the content and programming, and beautiful presentation—all these pieces coming together.”

You be the judge. If you don’t own an iPad and/or haven’t already seen the app, check out the video demo below. .”