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.
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...
While some associations work with custom publishers to produce their magazines, the publications they create are not marketing-based vehicles for a particular brand. To use a custom publishing study to explain habits of association magazine readers seems like a stretch. Itâs comparable to a keynote at an ABM meeting presenting a research study done on the habits Conde Nast readers. I was surprised SNAP did not choose a more relevant topic for a session that sets the tone for the entire conference.More... More...
I ended up spending much of the time not in the sessions, but trolling the reception areas looking for that big story. It didnât come.
My view of show dailies is pretty emphatic: They need to NOT be about the sessions and speakers that everyone sees and hears anyway. They need to be about the buzz. They need to be conversations starters. As in, âCan you believe the management team at Penton is getting $12.5 million?â Or, âDid you hear VNU may be changing its name?â Etc. This is the lifeblood of a good daily in this spaceâPeter Craig called our daily a ârag,â but heâs wrong.
This is especially true of the TMM, which is all about high-level networking, with a bit of content mixed in. Itâs about CEOs, CFOs and suppliers, especially bankers, brokers, lenders and private equity.
So anyway, I spend the day Wednesday looking for the next big breaking story, and didnât get it. And near the end of the day, I reset my thinking. What ARE people talking about, if not the next big deal? And smart lenders like David VanderLugt of Goldman Sachs, Seth Rosenfield of BMO Capital Markets, David Harrington of GE Capital and others led me to the story: The world of b-to-b publishing is awash with easy money, which is helping to fuel all the M&A activity over the last year or so.
What the heck, rates are at historic lows, and lenders are willing too extend far out on the limb, providing much of the leverage for private-equity buyers. But some lenders are talking now about excess, about the climate not being sustainable. Once one or two loans default, they say, watch out.
Not to say more deals are coming fast: Look for Ziff Davis too be broken up in the months ahead and perhaps for Advanstar to come out again next year.
Meanwhile, some of the other blogs were weighing in on the conference, including a brief but typically insightful and humorous post from Rex Hammock and the ABMâs own Steve Ennen on Mediapace.
And Iâm hoping my capable colleagues Matt Kinsman and Bill Mickey will be weighing in soon on the actual sessions. More...