Publishing Technology Wire | 10.02.07
Time Inc. Switches Publishing Software Systems
Publishing giant Time Inc. has agreed to use WoodWing USA’s Smart Connection Enterprise publishing system for a number of its titles. “Smart Connection Enterprise is very unique in that for most customers, it works right ‘out of the box’, with very little specialized configuration,” WoodWing CEO Brian Kruger tells Folio:. “It also, however, as in the case of Time Inc., allows a very savvy technical staff to adapt the solution specifically to its own needs. Time Inc’s IT staff is fantastic, and they have people on board that are very, very good at optimizing production workflows, and they saw Smart Connection Enterprise as a perfect ‘tool box’ from which to work.”
The Smart Connection Enterprise system operates on a three-tier architecture that maximizes scalability and modularity, Kruger explains. Tier one is the client application which communicates protocols over the Internet protocols to optimize performance. Tier two, the application server, contains the business logic so clients can access and control source code. The SQL database layer in tier three holds the content in industry-standard databases, such as Oracle, MS SQL Server or MySQL. “We allow the customer to use whatever database they want. We are not tied to a proprietary system," Kruger says.
CNN Money Ramps up Video Offerings to Keep up with Competition
Fortune and Money will begin providing several hours of video news a day to parent company Time Inc.’s CNN Money Web site, up from the 15 daily minutes of programming they currently contribute. The financial titles also are in early stages of considering an online social networking project for small business owners. Currently, the group competes with Dow Jones, which is being bought by News Corp. News Corp is said to be considering plans to make WSJ.com free, which would further increase competition for ads and traffic.
Texterity Patents New Digital Magazine Formatting System
Texterity has received a patent for its Published Web Format (PWF) system, which will make digital magazines readable without the use of Flash plug-ins and other downloaded software. The PWF technology has enabled them to launch the first digital magazine interface and portal designed for the Apple iPhone. Texterity president Martin Hensel said in a statement that, through this technology, digital magazine text will be sharper, graphics more vibrant, and features like ad server technology, social media and blog networking, audio and video, Instant Messaging, and Search engine access to subscription content will be available for integration.
Playboy Pushes Free Content, Downs Paid Circ by 13%
In two seemingly counterintuitive strategies for revenue growth, Playboy has redesigned its Web site to draw attention to its free, rather than paid, Web content while reducing its paid print circulation by 13%, from 3 million to 2.6 effective this January. “We were myopic in creating a gateway that would drive people into a pay area,” said Playboy media group president Bob Myers. “There is a very dramatic change in the way the consumer is consuming media.” Playboy is expecting this push to free content to greatly increase online traffic and, thus, ad revenue.
New DoubleClick Mobile Integrates Inventory Management Across Digital Channels
DoubleClick Inc. has launched DoubleClick Mobile, which will allow media companies to use DoubleClick’s publisher solutions to sell and manage inventory across channels. The technology will integrate the processes of scheduling, targeting, selecting and delivering ads on mobile web pages with those of existing digital channels.
Martha Stewart Delves Into Social Media
Martha Stewart is developing a new social media site called “Marthapedia,” which will initially contain her conventional wisdom—content from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia—before opening up to public adding of tips and information. Editors from Omnimedia will monitor the site to see, as Stewart said, if the public’s ideas are better than her own.
STACK Offers 800 Videos and Online Social Network
STACK, which serves the high school athlete market, is ramping up its digital platform with the launch of STACK.com and STACK TV. This “performance portal,” as they call it, will include 800 branded videos featuring stars like Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, and LeBron James as well as content from STACK magazine and MySTACK, an online social network for high school athletes. According to co-founder Nick Palazzo, these digital steps will take to the next level their relationship with the 2.5 million readers reached with each print issue.
Hearst Targets Canadian Ad Market through Partnership with Rogers
Hearst has reportedly partnered with Rogers Media, whose publications include Canadian Business and Today’s Parent, to reach their target digital audiences in the Canadian market. As a result, Rogers becomes exclusive sale agent for Hearst’s participating digital properties in Canada, which include cosmopolitan.com, marieclaire.com, goodhousekeeping.com, quickandsimple.com, and others. Hearst and Rogers will cross-promote each other’s print subscriptions and drive traffic to each others’ sites.