Times are tough all over for content producers but especially for freelancers in the magazine industry. It's easy for "traditional brands" to rail against the miserly fees paid out by newcomers like AOL's Patch, but the fact is that as cash-strapped publishers prioritize the bills they pay (pay-roll, printers, rent, etc.) it's also easy to shuffle faceless freelancers to the bottom of the deck.
I received this letter from a veteran freelancer who wants the industry to know that he understands the financial woes out there, but says freelancers still deserve respect (and that includes timely payment). The letter is running in FOLIO:'s February issue but I wanted to offer it up to the audience here.
For freelancers, how More...
A recent MPA panel debated who should be in control of social media at magazine publishers-edit, sales, marketing or even IT, which may ultimately bear the costs of social media. It's a similar dispute to the way various magazine departments squabbled over prime Web site territory 10 years ago when they realized that yes, this Internet thing does have legs on the business side.
I pulled some of the Facebook responses to FOLIO:'s article about who ultimately should be the gatekeeper of social media, and listed them below. Considering the audience, it's not surprising that most seem to feel edit should be in charge. However More...
Isn't this what got so many publishers in trouble in the first place?
AMI, which just came out of bankruptcy last month, has $50 million in free cash primed for acquisitions, with Maxim at the top of the list, according to WWD.
Penton Media CEO Sharon Rowlands, who brought the b-to-b publisher out of bankruptcy in March 2010, told FOLIO: that last month's acquisition of Nation's Restaurant News could be just the start of several new acquisitions, including print, events More...
The Atlantic is going back to the drawing board on its idea for a premium iPad App (dubbed The Atlantic Premium). The original concept would have offered a daily bundle of its online content for a monthly fee (The Atlantic sells single issues on the iPad for $4.99). However, publisher Jay Lauf tells paidContent that "We felt that we missed that first wave of iPad magazine releases and we wanted to do something a little different, a little more special."
As of now The Atlantic isn't sharing any details but they aren't the only ones rethinking their approach. With the flood of magazine apps hitting the mar More...
Would you start a speech to a business audience with the dictionary definition of some word, as in "Webster's defines âprocrastination' as..." etc?
You wouldn't dream of it. The clichÃ© to end all clichÃ©s, right?
Well, bad news. The "list" article is dead, too. I am declaring it dead with my very own list which, if we're at all lucky, will be the very last one to appear on the Internet. Ever.
No. 10: It was a dumb idea when magazines did it to death 10 years ago. Now look where they are.
No. 9: You don't really have 10 good ideas. You have maybe two, three at a stretch. Why push it?
No. 2 through No. 8: See reason No. 9.
(Drumroll, please. More...
On the face of it, Internet technology should be a b-to-b publisher's best friend. Sure, the Internet effectively put an end to the long and lazy golden age of publishing (1493-1993, RIP) when we used "ink" and a composite of mulched tree to disseminate information.
But that same Internet is making our lives as publishers easy in so many other ways, right?
Take recent efforts by Google and Apple to resell e-subscriptions to publications (in case you missed it, Google is rumored to be launching a digital newsstand, an attempt to one-up Apple's iTunes subscription service). These offerings will supposedly provide publishers with an exciting and ubiquitous new sales channel for their products.
Except... they won't More...
Maybe it's a true vote of confidence for magazine apps, despite recent reports of their sales drop-offs. There are now more than a few digital newsstands in production or existence, but are we watching a market being made or fractured beyond recognition?
That might be an irrelevant question. Like their physical world counterparts, publishers could simply populate specific newsstands with apps until sales performance dictates resource allocation. Or, since we're talking digital content here and presumably cheap and easy distribution, the outlet might not matter so much as making sure all bases are covered.
In the meantime, Apple More...
All Things Digital's Peter Kafka has an interesting video interview with Tony Haile, founder of Chartbeat, a real-time Web analytics firm that just introduced Newsbeat, which Haile touts as the "first publisher-focused analytics service."
Rather than focus on driving overall SEO for an entire site, Newsbeat offers individual editors the ability to see how their stories are performing and make tweaks to headlines or links to boost performance (most smaller publishers we're aware of already offer editors ac More...
Let me tell you something funny about my dad: He laughs at me because I can type.
Seriously. Being able to touch-type, in his world, is akin to knowing how to operate a forklift or crank a leaf blower - skills for another class of person. Back in his day, only secretaries bothered with typing. If my dad needed to say something in print, he just rattled it off to a waiting secretary or spoke into a recorder.
He's a young guy, my father, a relatively early baby boomer. He's in touch with the Internet and has a cellular phone, but he maintains that typing is not a skill he would ever need.
Of course, in my line of work typing is like playing a musical instrument. Essential, beautiful a little bit, if it's done right. Frank More...
A study released earlier this year advocates sponsorships over advertising as the best way to monetize podcasts. The Association for Downloadable Media along with Edison Research report that podcast listeners HATE radio style ads but relate much better to "this content is brought to you by" sponsorships. The study says that it helps if the podcast host makes the sponsorship announcement.
When podcast listeners were asked about traditional radio style ads their response was negative with 62% saying they "generally dislike" them.
But when the same audience was asked about sponsorship plugs instead 67% responded they "Don't mind them and occasionally find them useful." Sponsorships seem the way to g More...
The publishing industry has seen a flood of ideas for new companies over the last two years, some driven by former publishing executives who want to leave the corporate grind behind and try to make it on their own, while others came from people forced into an entrepreneurial role due to downsizing.
Many of these startups are tapping into a new approach, leveraging community and technology for an economical launch. However, some are finding that while technology makes launching easier, that doesn't necessarily make fulfilling the business plan any easier.
Technonomy, a new media business launched earlier this year by a trio of form More...
What do you know? How do you know it?
Once upon a time - roughly when dinosaurs walked the earth, in media years - you knew what you knew because a cranky, literate, funny newspaper editor told you what you knew. This goes all the way back to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, but the tradition of the gatekeeper only recently expired.
A lot of tears have fallen over the easily predictable death of newsprint (the machines, the ink, the trucks, all that money!) but far less over the end of the gatekeeper. We love our movie images of the rough-ân'-gruff boss-editor type, so well-played by Robert Duvall in The Paper, and of course embodied by Ed Asner's Lou Grant from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Yeah, I'm old, I get it. See "di More...
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