Hachette-Filipacchiâs attempt to bring a gory photojournalistic magazine to the newsstands failed. Not a big surprise. The graphic-heavy, text-light publication is much more appealing to âscreenagersâ and very early 20-somethings than to the âolderâ print-reading set, which is why Hachette will keep the effort going online via its ShockU Web site and scrap the print publication. The effort serves as another reminder that young people want their news and entertainment for free âŠ
Merry Christmas from Time Inc. and VNU
Time Inc. rounded up 27 workers from its consumer marketing division this week like a herd of cattle and told them they were no longer needed. This is second December in row Time Inc. has said happy holidays with a layoff (last year it laid off 105 workers in mid-December), as the struggling company repositions itself for the digital age âŠ
Meanwhile, VNU said this week it will cut 4,000 jobs over the next few months as its new management team positions the company for growth.
While no one would argue that both Time Inc. and VNU need to cut costs and refocus their missions, Ann and Dave could have at least waited for the New Year to lower the boom on their employees âŠ
Disapproval strikes Time magazine's âYouâ cover
Time magazine caught a lot of flack this week from journalists and bloggers for its selection of âYouâ as the person of the year. Did Time take the easy way out in not selecting an actual person for the annual honor? Probably. But the idea is not totally misguided, if not also a little self-serving. After all, there wasnât a journalist in the world this year that wasnât a little unnerved by the uprising of so-called citizen journalism.
But just as Andy Warhol famously predicted that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes, he also made the often misused quote to describe the fickle nature of the entertainment-starved public. Translation: Citizen journalism is hot for now, but whether itâs hot for good remains to be seen âŠ More...
There is no doubt that custom publishing has become a huge money maker in the publishing industry. Brands are looking to make personal connections with their customer through the power of printed materials, as well as e-publications. Custom publishing budgets allocated for e-publications has risen 35.5 percent since first measured in 2001, according to the study.
Why is it that the marketers at these companies look to custom publishing so much? Custom publishers are experts in design, sales, writing and production. Itâs a no-brainer for these corporations to outsource to publishing industry experts, spending less than they would on an in-house staff while keeping all the hassles of publication production out of their hair. As long as new companies and organizations develop, and new products, services and programs are introduced, custom publishing will continue to grow.More...
Risk: Tip off competitors (although I'd argue that this would just as likely freeze them; after all the prior art would be obvious to all); Risks "scooping ourselves", robbing the final product of freshness.
3) âProcess as Contentâ*. Why not share the reporting as it happens, uploading the text of each interview as soon as you can get it processed by your flat-world transcription service in India? (This may sound ridiculous, but itâs exactly what wire services such as the AP have long done--they update their stories with each new fragment of information). After youâve woven together enough of the threads to have a semi-coherent draft, why not ask your readers to help edit it? (We did it here, and it worked great). And while youâre at it, let them write the headlines and subheads, not just for the site but also the punchier ones for the RSS feed and the one that has to work with the art for the magazine.
Upside: Open participation can make stories better--better researched, better thought through and deeper. It also can crowdsource some of the work of the copy desk and editors. And once the story is done and published, the participants have a sense of collective ownership that encourages them to spread the word.
Risk: Curating the process can quickly hit diminishing returns. Writers end up feeling like a cruise director, constantly trying to get people to participate. And all the other risks of the item above.
When youâre brainstorming, itâs always best for someone to present scenarios in one extreme or another â itâs one way of meeting in the middle. But itâs been interesting to see industry reactions. Some agree with Anderson, for different reasons. Others arenât so sure.
I guess Iâm in the second camp. Iâm all for finding ways to ratchet up reader and user participation wherever possible. Any way a magazine can get its readers to further absorb the brand and content into their daily lives is essential.
Yet I canât get my head around opening up content thatâs historically been created by a magazineâs editors to public participation for fear of two risks that Anderson already cites, but I find fatal:
1. Thereâs no way Iâd want my story ideas and sources exposed to the competition. Something Business 2.0âs editor, Josh Quittner, is drooling over at the expense of Wired.
2. If I, as a reader, participate in the creation of a story, whether by contributing ideas, sources or simply tweaking subheads, Iâll be burnt out on it by the time the story is finished. The novelty of participating is one thing, but what happens to the informational value of the story once itâs finally done if youâve already been exposed to every creative nuance?
Some of this is ideal for certain areas of online content creation, something Quittner points out. Yet, Anderson proposes his ideas for the whole operation â print and Web. More...
After working on the 16-page, ad-free newsletter, I too have a better understanding of the impact of live events. Kerry is passionate about the topic for a reason: Readers want more than just a page to read and a Web site to search. Face-to-face contact is what they yearn for and, beyond the pages of FOLIO:, there are no fully dedicated resources available to magazine event marketers looking for strategies on how to run their events better. Beyond that, magazine events can be huge revenue streams for publishers if they are executed correctly and tactfully. More...More...