Independent Media

Everybody’s a publisher now

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I moved from the editorial side of the publishing business to the money side in 2000 and my timing couldn’t have been worse.

In my first month of selling advertising, it was my job to convince would-be advertisers why they should select my products as opposed to anybody else’s.

By the second month, I was answering a much more difficult question: Why they should advertise at all.

Even in 2000, at the height of the first internet bubble, marketers were figuring out how ...

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Sales of digital content improve thanks to some new tools

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As digital readers improve the online reading experience, people seem to be getting more comfortable with the idea of paying for online content. With that progress, what publishers need now is an effective and easy way to accept payment for content – whether they want to offer content on a metered, per-use or subscription basis.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire has, perhaps broken a barrier with the easiest access to online magazine subscriptions I’ve seen. That’s the strength of the Fire: it’s an ...

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The time has passed for revenue-enhancing digital products

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A small B2B media company contacted me to talk about enhancing revenue by adding some new digital products to its portfolio. The company already offers a digital edition, business directory, email newsletters, web-seminars and a number of other digital B2B staples. Non-monetized but just as important, it has a reasonable Twitter following, a large group on LinkedIn and a Facebook page that is basically just a placeholder.

I’m sure there are more products the company could implement. It doesn’t have any ...

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Advertisers will always go where the people are

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Alan Mutter, who calls himself the Newsosaur and whose opinions on the news business I deeply respect, points out that newspapers are now well into their sixth year of declines in advertising demand. In a recent blog post, he noted that annual newspaper sales hit $10.7 billion in 2006 – and now stand at $4.3 billion, about the same level as 1983. And they continue to drop.

While the drop in advertising isn’t new for newspapers, it hasn’t always ...

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The worst of both worlds

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I had breakfast with an entrepreneur who is at that point where his young business ought to be gaining traction. But he’s bogged down in building the next generation of software that supports the business.

The problem is that he and the software developer – to whom he has given equity in exchange for the development work – disagree on their vision for the 2.0 version. They’ve been deadlocked for six months as competitors begin to pop up around them.

I suggested he ...

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The royal engagement and authenticity in the media

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Why do the breathless reports of Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton have such a negative impact on me?

I have no ill will toward the couple; they are charming, attractive and – considering the circumstances – appear humble and likeable. In England, where the royal family is some kind of national treasure, I might understand such over-the-top, second-to-second pursuit of each detail as they proceed toward a royal wedding.

But here in America, Will and Kate are not our own; interest ...

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The Rules of Social Media Content

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Rule #1:
They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
(Attributed to many sources including Theodore Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr.)

Rule #2:
It’s not about what you say; it’s about what they hear.

Rule #3:
Fast. Short. Meaningful.

Rule #4:
An incomplete solution now is better than a complete solution later.

Rule #5:
Instead of giving a lecture, tell a story.

Rule #6:
You can’t educate ’em if you don’t entertain ’em first.

Rule #7:
You can keep ...

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Content: made simple

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In a longer interview on consumer media by iMediaConnection.com, Professor Henry Jenkins from USC’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism offers this breathtakingly simple explanation of the role of content – and a fair warning to those who would exploit it with hands of ham:

“… In a world with many media choices, consumers are actively selecting what content is meaningful to them and circulating it consciously to people they think may be interested. ...

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