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FOLIO: Personalities -- The Blog People Page


Matt Kinsman

Comparing Open Source CMS

Matt Kinsman emedia and Technology - 08/07/2008-09:08 AM

Open source content management systems aren't just the ticket for smaller publishers trying to ramp up their Web infrastructure on a tight budget. Larger publishers are opting for open source CMS as well with platforms such as Drupal and Joomla. Below, FOLIO: contributing editor Rory J. Thompson compares Drupal and Joomla with enterprise CMS TeamSite.

A number of popular publications, including Fast Company, Us magazine and MacLife [as well as FOLIOmag.com] all use Drupal for their online presence. Drupal is relatively turnkey and makes some interactive elements such as polls readily accessible.

"Drupal has gotten to the point where it's a sophisticated software platform for both trade publishing and in the ‘Web 2.0' space," says Paul Maiorana, director of technology and production at Fast Company. The business publication updated its Web site this past February, and looked to Drupal for the user-friendly features if offered, including "community, social networking, blogs, groups, etc.," he says.

"It enabled us to get to ground really quickly," Maiorana says. "Out of the box it's a powerful piece of software, and the developer community is large. We have a small tech staff in house, so we were able to leverage different disciplines" offered by the software. "We worked with a few different Drupal teams to choose the best in each discipline."

The only drawback that Maiorana saw was in manpower. "Drupal developers are in pretty high demand, so weren't able to staff up as quickly as we would have liked," he noted, although the updated site is now fully staffed.

Joomla is used by Las Vegas Sports Magazine when the 6,000-circ publisher launched its online presence in January 2007.

"Once you set up Joomla, if you know Microsoft Word, you can update the site as needed," says Web developer Rob Kristie, founder and CEO of RosieDog Creative, who built the site, LVSportsMagazine.com. "It literally took only about two hours' worth of training" to bring the publishers up to speed on managing the Website, he says.

"Once you get to know it, its great," Kristie adds.


  Drupal Joomla TeamSite
Audit Trail Yes No Yes
Drag & Drop Content Free Add-On No Yes
WYSIWIG Editor Free Add-On Yes Yes
Database Replication Limited No Yes
Advertising Mgmt. Free Add-On Yes Extra Cost
Content Scheduling Free Add-On Yes Yes
Multi-lingual Content Yes Free-Add-On Yes
Discussion Forum Yes Free Add-On Free Add-on


SOURCE: CMSMatrix.org


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Matt Kinsman

Movie Bloggers Call for Boycott of Variety, Hollywood Reporter

Matt Kinsman emedia and Technology - 07/17/2008-12:41 PM

Few industries have as many (or as widely-read) blogs and independent sites as the entertainment industry. Now Variety and Hollywood Reporter have drawn the ire of several independent movie blogs, which claim the sites have taken news from the blogs without attribution and are now calling on the blogging community to stop providing links to the trade sites.

Collider.com editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub called for the boycott, which has been joined by Moviehole.net, Latino Review, ScreenRant.com, IESB.net, Bloody-Disgusting.com and FirstShowing.net, after he claimed Variety picked up what he says was his scoop about a sequel to the movie "300." While acknowledging that much of the news found on the blogs comes from Variety and HollywoodReporter.com, MovieBlog.com writes: "So here's an ironic thing. Many traditional media outlets will often belittle and criticize the new emerging online movie community for not having explicit codes of etiquette and conduct ... and yet now many of them are engaging in the violation of this most simple and important rule of GIVING CREDIT."

Many of the blogs supporting the boycott are filled with comments from readers supporting the stance and talking of the irrelevance of big media but some other bloggers aren't so sure. "Movie sites have been ripping off Variety and Hollywood Reporter for well over a decade now," wrote FilmRot. "How many articles a day do you think get quoted, reprinted in whole, unattributed or attributed without a link - all from the Hollywood trades?"

Publicly, Variety has been dismissive of the boycott. "Print still holds its own," Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart told MTV.com. "With all the [Internet change], the circulation of Variety is just where it was 30 years ago."

Still, Bart tells MTV.com there's still an opportunity for the trades and the blogs to come together. "I think we'll grow together. I really do and I think to some degree we want it. I would like to have us develop a blog of blogs, where we get a highlight reel of the best blogs that deal with the entertainment media. I think that will happen before long, and I think that would ameliorate some of these concerns."

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Matt Kinsman

Editors Expect To Be Paid More for Doing More Online Work

Matt Kinsman Editorial - 07/10/2008-10:56 AM

Many publishers have struggled with salespeople blowing off online sales because the commission rates don't stack up to print (although with print sales slipping, online is looking better and better to those few salespeople who hadn't considered it worth their time).

Editors for the most part haven't received more compensation for additional online work, but according to the FOLIO: 2008 Editorial Salary Survey, the drumbeat for more pay for more work is growing. "I'm doing more and busting out of traditional comfort zone," said one respondent. "I expect to get more for that and won't rest until I do."

Another respondent recognizes that online, editors can now be judged with hard numbers--typically traffic--however that can ultimately lead to some poor editorial decisions. "The movement of ad dollars from print to online has the potential to impact my future compensation increases," says one respondent. "Online can be measured more directly, so as an editor, I'm evaluated as much on clicks and editorial quality and maybe more so!"

Below are some highlights from the survey on editors' increasing workload and their increasing expectations.

1. Compared to 2007, how much do you expect your total compensation to change in 2008?
Increase: 64%
Expect It to Stay the Same: 31%
Decrease: 5%

2. Have You Taken on Additional Responsibilities?
Yes: 72%
No: 16%

3. If yes, how well do you feel you have been compensated for these additional responsibilities?
Very well: 8%
Well: 15%
Fair: 27%
Not so well: 23%
Not well at all: 27%

4. Are You Currently Looking for Job?
Yes, actively looking: 13%
No, but strongly considering it: 25%
No, not considering it: 61%

[NOTE: The full FOLIO: 2008 Editorial Salary Survey, conducted by Readex Research, will be released with the August issue of FOLIO: Magazine and will include title-by-title breakdowns for editorial director/editor-in-chief, editor/executive editor and managing editor/senior editor.]

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Matt Kinsman

And Now for Something Completely Different: TechTarget's 'Open Leave' Policy

Matt Kinsman B2B - 06/17/2008-10:58 AM

How does unlimited vacation time sound to you? For readers of FOLIO:, who have become accustomed to the almost weekly tally of layoffs and cutbacks in the publishing industry and for whom the phrase "work-life balance" has become as silly as "feng shui," it sounds too good to be true.

All except for employees at TechTarget, which is one of the reasons the Framingham, Massachusetts-based tech publisher earns a perennial spot on Boston Business Journal's "Best Places to Work" list. The publisher does not restrict full-time employees to any particular number of sick, personal or vacation days. "TechTarget maintains an ‘open leave' policy respecting employees as professionals," says CEO Greg Strakosch. "This policy gives the employee flexibility and control over their schedules, providing excellent work-life balance."

Of course, with revenue up 18 percent in 2007 and up 30 percent in the first quarter of 2008, TechTarget can afford to be a little magnanimous. Still, it's a nice change from layoffs and cutbacks—or from the publishing CEO who I overheard sniff that editors who expected to get compensated for doing print and online should be thankful they aren't in coal mining.

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Matt Kinsman

What a Blue Chip Advertiser Wants From You (Hint: More Community)

Matt Kinsman - 06/12/2008-10:23 AM

Brands are interested in becoming part of the conversation both online and in print, according to IBM vice president of marketing Edward Abrams (who stressed that doesn't mean violating editorial autonomy but didn't offer an example). "Magazines are important from that independent, authoritative perspective," said Abrams, who spoke at the recent ABM Spring Meeting. "How do I get embedded in a way that's less an advertising approach? I'm not talking about crossing the church-state line but how do we participate?"

That means publishers need to approach information channels differently and in some cases, give up control. "We need to understand the customer mindset," says Abrams. "You've all heard a lot about social media but what does it mean? IBM is the largest community on LinkedIn. It's a community on Facebook. These are the types of things we are looking for you to help with. IBM great at manufacturing but not communicating. Publishers more capable. That's the magic bullet that will differentiate the b-to-b market."

Below, Abrams highlights eight key points publishers should focus on:

1. User generated content. "The customer is in control. We need to find ways to facilitate that. User dialogue is crucial to online success and as publishers, that's scary. Ceding control is scary."
2. Trust in ability of the audience to be self-policing. "They will bring us back to center if we let them."
3. Peer-to-Peer Interaction. "It's where we're going."
4. Transparency and openness. "They can smell BS a mile away and they call you on a problem."
5. Low barriers to entry. "Offer enough choices that customers can participate and be comfortable."
6. Collaboration. "Are we allowing customers to share ideas? We need to work with each other to solve problems."
7. Connecting. "Connect people to information. We have everything the marketplace is looking for. We have to make sure people have access to information."
8. Investment. "We have to understand we will attract people first and make money later. We don't make a penny on Facebook but we could make a lot of money down the road. Business-to-business buyers are people and people are community-driven."

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Matt Kinsman

When Audio Pays More Than Print

Matt Kinsman emedia and Technology - 06/05/2008-10:04 AM

It's tough being a freelancer, even as opportunities seem to expand as publishers look to slimmer staffs and more outsourcing. Freelance fees have gone through almost a de-inflation-in the 1990's, the typical rate for a b-to-b freelancer was $1 to $1.50 per word. That rate still holds today.

But freelancers who can meet the demand for multimedia articles may find themselves in the money. The typical rate for a slideshow is $150 while podcasts are $750, according to Meg Weaver, founder of Wooden Horse Magazines Database.

Scientific American is paying more for multimedia elements. "Podcasts are much better paid than stories," says editor Peter Brown. "It's a factor of 10."

Interested in building your audio know-how? Try Audacity, a free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for MAC OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.

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Matt Kinsman

Nielsen’s New Corporate Values: ‘Integrated, Open, Simple’

Matt Kinsman B2B - 05/05/2008-14:17 PM

NOTE: FOLIO: editors are in California this week, filing reports from American Business Media’s annual Spring Meeting.

LA QUINTA, California—Incoming ABM chairman and Meister Media CEO Gary Fitzgerald opened the ABM general session by saying, “It’s time for leaders to lead.”

For Nielsen Co. chairman and CEO David Calhoun, that means establishing a new series of corporate values to direct the company in “The Google World.”

“We chose a set of leadership values that’s what changes the nature of a company. Sounds soft but it’s measurable. Didn’t pick value changes we thought we were good at.”

Those values include:

1. Integrated: “Advertisers want to put things together,” says Calhoun. “There’s a notion that integrated data will save the day. We gave our people a blank check and have them working on how to integrate processes. This isn’t about saving a buck but how to begin to put data together. This is measurable and our leaders know they are accountable.”

2. Open: “If your values preclude you from looking at the models of others, you will lose,” said Calhoun. “Proprietary systems were the world we used to aspire to but that’s the world we need to crush.”

3. Be Simple:
“It’s getting harder every day in the Google World but if you can provide clarity in an open environment, you will win,” Calhoun added. “We aren’t going to budget our way to change. We all have to get a clear view and a lot of emotion behind it before it’s real.”

FOLIO:'s Spring Meeting Coverage:
The New Must-Have Skills for B-to-B Media: Project Management
Publishers on Redefining the Role of Print

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Matt Kinsman

Chat Forums Mean Taking Your Lumps

Matt Kinsman - 05/02/2008-11:57 AM

Few topics spark industry response like lay-offs and hiring freezes, and there's been a lot of that lately: see TV Guide, F+W, Cygnus, Penton.

And that industry response, as you can expect, has been caustic, especially towards publishing company leaders. Some of it is fair, some of it is not, but it is what the industry is thinking.

The FOLIO: edit policy for story comments reads: "We encourage lively, open discussion and posts, and only ask that you refrain from personal comments and remarks that are off topic. We reserve the right to edit/remove comments." That means no personal attacks. Harshly criticizing a CEO's strategy? Fair game. Calling that CEO an "idiot?" Out of bounds and we try to stay on top of it. This has to be civil, reasoned, business conversation. We won't tolerate people hiding behind anonymity and throwing grenades.

But publishing company CEOs also need to realize that the two-way conversation they tout as the future of their organizations applies to them as topics too. You can send out press releases about "difficult decisions" and "positioning the company for the future" but that message only goes one way. Online, the rank-and-file can respond.

Nothing is more frustrating than an anonymous poster running off at the mouth, especially when that poster is wrong. We take our lumps too, from getting rightfully nailed for mistakes we make to being called both apologists for and prejudiced against the same company in the same story.

It's rough out there in chat land. But buried there in all the noise is the pulse of what the industry is really thinking. And we all need to pay attention.

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Matt Kinsman

Betrayed By an E-Mail Address

Matt Kinsman - 04/24/2008-12:57 PM

Yesterday, we got an inquiry from someone named "Kathleen Stephens," apparently an ad agency media planner, asking about FOLIO:'s newsletters. Kathleen was from a company called Quality Communications with a Yahoo e-mail address of qualitycommunications@yahoo.com.

"Kathleen" said she was representing a workflow solutions provider looking to target magazines. But we weren't sure because her e-mail address also had "M. Hertzog" on it. We thought that was an interesting coincidence, because our competing magazine, Publishing Executive, has a publisher named Mark Hertzog who might be highly interested in our demographics—enough, perhaps, to make an inquiry under an assumed name.

Below is the e-mail record of our exchange with "Kathleen." We haven't heard back.

From: Brad Herring
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 11:54 AM
To: 'M Hertzog'
Cc: Tony Silber
Subject: RE: enewsletters

Hi Kathleen,

Thanks for your prompt response. For some strange reason the name M. Hertzog has appeared in the "from column" of your previous 2 emails. Interestingly enough the Publisher of a competitive magazine (Publishing Executive) also shares this same name...small world.

Anyway, please feel free to give me a call and I will be happy to provide you with some detailed information on our newsletters.

Talk to you soon.

Brad Herring
Regional Sales Manager


-----Original Message-----
From: M Hertzog [mailto:qualitycommunications@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 11:29 AM
To: Brad Herring
Subject: RE: enewsletters

Company that provides workflow solutions -- it wants
to target magazine advertising workflow. What's the
total circ. of Alerts and Publishing Technology?

Kathleen


--- Brad Herring <bherring@red7media.com> wrote:

Thanks for your inquiry. The newsletters are hot
and we're running out of space! Please tell me the
name of your client as well as the type of services
that they provide so that I can make the appropriate
recommendations.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best,

Brad Herring
Regional Sales Manager

-----Original Message-----
From: M Hertzog
[mailto:qualitycommunications@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2008 9:12 AM
To: Brad Herring
Subject: enewsletters

Brad, we are looking into advertising in
enewsletters for a client (publishing services).

For FOLIO Alerts and FOLIO Publishing Technology:

What is the total circulation?
Is it all opt-in?
Any demographics?
What percentage are subscribers to Folio magazine?

Thanks.

Kathleen Stephens
Media Planning

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Matt Kinsman

Four Tips for Understanding Article Economics

Matt Kinsman - 04/10/2008-15:21 PM

Santa Monica-based Demand Media is one of those dot.coms traditional publishers should be paying close attention to. The network of more than 60 general and special interest sites such as eHow.com and Cracked.com draws more than 60 million unique visitors per month by leveraging user-generated content including articles and video (according to a Forbes article, Demand Media has paid out more than $20,000 to one contributor at ExpertVillage.com).

It's a model that's working. Demand Media generates about $150 million, is profitable and there is talk of prepping for an IPO in 2009. But the biggest takeaway for traditional publishers isn't so much how Demand has been able to leverage user-generated content as a viable business model but the way the company has developed algorithms that predict how content will perform in terms of driving traffic.

Before we get too far into this, no, they aren't sharing the secret sauce (partly for obvious proprietary concerns but also because partnering with traditional publishers is an easy meal ticket). But co-founder Shawn Colo does offer some general tips for publishers on how to take stock of their content. "You have to follow logic of ‘it's a search-driven world,'" adds Colo. "Editorial quality has nothing to do with findability but it has everything to do with keeping the audience engaged."

1. Can your editors write a killer headline? Great. Now make sure they can write it for the search engines too. "Our staff editors spend a lot of time working on titling and making sure articles are optimized for search," says Colo. "For video, editors might go back in and edit the metadata to make sure they're optimized for search as well."

2. Collect and analyze as much data as you can, including keyword pricing. "You've got to have a lot of data to really prioritize which articles work well," says Colo. "It's a combination of a lot of things we as a company have built, a lot of what we've done on the registrar side, look at key word prices as a metric of how to determine value."

3. Give content the chance to mature. In today's "go-go" Web atmosphere, constant updates are mandatory. But does that reduce the chance of people seeing it? "We worked with a publisher who had an editorial calendar that they refreshed weekly," says Colo. "But they were changing articles just as they were reaching their maturity from a search perspective. Just as they hit maximum earning potential, they were taken off the site."

4. Context, not content is king, and that's true for social media as well. "Now that you have a community tab, that doesn't mean you have a community," says Colo. "You want to make sure people can comment within articles and you need to show profiles in a contextual way, not just have them off in this dark community corner."

 

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Matt Kinsman

Your Next Hire? Online Advertising Troubleshooter

Matt Kinsman emedia and Technology - 04/03/2008-10:41 AM

New titles are emerging daily with the shift to digital, such as "community editor," "multimedia asset manager" and "metrics analyst." Add to that list "online media optimization manager," a new position Hanley Wood developed to salvage underperforming campaigns and save thousands of dollars in potential digital makegoods.

Hanley Wood vet Martha Luchsinger, who has held positions including production operations manager and sales and data manager was tapped for the position late last year for her ability to analyze data complex data. She now oversees all aspects of Hanley Wood's online reporting and as it relates to performance and uses that data to identify issues and come up with solutions before a campaign runs off the rails.

For Hanley Wood Luchsinger has cut the online revenue loss due to under-delivery by 30 percent, saving thousands of dollars. For us, she warrants a place on the 2008 FOLIO: 40. And for the rest of the industry, she could be the model for the next MVP in your online department.

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Matt Kinsman

An Early Death Knell for User Generated Content

Matt Kinsman emedia and Technology - 03/07/2008-13:25 PM

Every year there's a new savior for magazine publishers. Last year it was video. The funny thing is, while many more publishers are doing video today (and some are even making money on it), the buzz has faded a bit. That's because enough publishers are doing it that they now realize video does require investment, it does require staff, and it does not usher in a wave of new revenue for everyone who tries it.

This year, it's all about user generated content and social media. However, a Newsweek.com article says user generated content may have peaked before it's really started. The article cites the continued inaccuracies of Wikipedia and scammers running rampant on sites such as Craigslist as reconfirming the power of the "expert." While most publishers cite the 80-20 rule for user content (80 percent of the feedback is generated by 20 percent of the users), the Newsweek article says the ratio is even more skewed, with 1 percent of Wikipedia users accounting for 50 percent of the contributions.

Yes, I'm aware of the irony of a struggling "old media" brand calling out what could be the defining media trend of the next decade, as well as limiting its examples to the shortcomings of Wikipedia and Craigslist. However, the article does represent further evidence that publishing CEOs need to stop acting like the front row at a Hannah Montana concert when it comes to the idea of user generated content and apply more critical thinking to their approach. "Some of our forums have been great while others have been failures," said Alec Dann, general manager of Hanley Wood Magazines Online, at the ABM Digital Velocity conference this week. "You have to have the staff to do it right, and a lot of b-to-b companies don't want to do that."

Ain't that the truth. One CEO-level attendee at ABM Digital Velocity said, "We're all moving to a relationship with the audience. I don't mean to say that our friends in editorial will become extinct, but ..."

Well, even if he doesn't mean that, plenty of other publishers (especially on the b-to-b side) are salivating at the prospect of eliminating that pesky editorial staff in favor of a few monitors of audience content.

Yes, social media and user-generated content are great opportunities (and I think they will be huge). Yes, editors need to redefine their approach and facilitate the two-way conversation. But user-generated content doesn't offer a quick fix or justify completely abandoning the backbone of your content strategy. User generated content is another tool for the toolbox.

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