Content Aggregation, Video Key to Attracting Web Users, Panelists Say
In a late-morning panel discussion titled "The Aggregators," Ira Becker, senior vice president and general manager of 1Up Network, told the more than 200 attendees gathered at the Sheraton in New York that cultivating all the content of Ziff Davis’ gaming magazine titles, and some original content into a single 1Up Web site had better than anticipated results. "We’ve been growing like a weed," he said. "We’ve gotten nine million unique users from all over the world."
Dan Orum, CEO of IDG Entertainment, said his company also has aggregated the content from its magazines, as well as original content, onto a single Web site. "It’s a one-stop shop for game-buying information," he said. "It’s an information rich product page where you can put your content and aggregate the content from the Internet."
Both IDG and 1UP offer users video content as well. A panel discussion later in the day focused on the need to give users interactive, including video content, on Web sites. ESPN magazine has built a Web site that aggregates content from the magazine and ESPN television networks, including video clips, said Keith Clinkscales, senior vice president and general manager of ESPN Publishing.
The company also offers "reality based" video on its Web site of the editorial decisions made at the magazine, as well as video content from television and other sources. He showed a clip of a photo shoot with discussion from the editors as to how the sports figures were chosen for the shoot. "We’re showing them the sausage before its made and it’s not always pretty," he said. "But people need interactive content so bad it kind of takes on a life of its own."
Similarly, 1Up has created a reality show based on its staff, which Becker says has been very well received. "It’s about the people who come to work at 1Up. They’re working, playing games," he said. "It’s a little bit irreverent. But it’s what people want."
Panelists in both sessions said publishers needn’t worry about the Internet or video being the death of magazines. The key, panelists said, is for publishers to offer users content on the Web that complements their magazines and to offer better quality journalism in their magazines. "I don’t think video will be the death of magazines," Clinkscales said. "I do think it raises the bar."