Independent Media

One more self-destructive act by the media

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In an attempt to increase advertising revenue, media organizations have pretty much declared that they’ll put ads anywhere.

Last year, the New York Times began putting ads on the front page – which raised eyebrows among media purists, but was a non-event when it comes to changing the reader experience one way or the other.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is in-text advertising (click for an example) –  contextual links embedded in news articles online, which unleash a ...

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But would you pay to read a digital magazine like THIS?

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I call them e-book people; they’re  publishing types who see a big future for media distribution – not just books, but also magazines and newspapers – through e-readers and tablet devices.

They include folks I know pretty well, like David Nussbaum of F+W Media (the consumer-special-interest giant that touches people who are into anything from creative writing to geneology to knitting or woodworking), to folks I know only by reputation, like Alan Meckler of WebMediaBrands (events and ...

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More magazines going mobile

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esquire-iphoneAccording to MediaBuyerPlanner.com, Esquire (Hearst) and GQ (Conde Nast) magazines are now being offered in an iPhone edition. You can download them for $2.99 per issue.

This small step forward isn’t going to offset revenue losses from advertsing. Nor is it going to revolutionize the way people read magazines.

But it may evolutionize the way we read magazines and newspapers. It’s a small step but a great step.

GQ and Esquire are ...

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R.I.P. E&P

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epAdd another surprise that’s not a surprise to the long list of publications that died in 2009: Editor & Publisher, the No. 1 title serving the newspaper industry itself, is folding at year-end.

E&P was such an institution – it’s been around since 1901, but existed under a different title since 1884 – that it’s hard to imagine a media world in which it doesn’t exist. That’s why it’s closing is ...

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Does Glenn Hansen have a death wish?

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In a recent article in Media Business magazine, Glenn Hansen, president and CEO of BPA (the dominant auditor of controlled circulation media) said this about his organization’s website auditing service:

“Our numbers are going to be lower than any other numbers that you get from any other source, whether Google or any commercial Web-analytics company.”

It’s impossible to tell from the article, but I infer that he was proud of this.

Several years ago – the last time I seriously looked into ...

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Dallas Morning News restructures, Armageddon begins

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If this were April 1, I’d write it off as a joke. But this close to Christmas, it might be a sign of the Second Coming.

The Dallas Morning News has reorganized; the people who generate editorial now report to people who sell ads.

Under the plan, editors of sports, real estate, entertainment, auto and travel now report to sales managers – who have been given a new title: General Manager.

In The Dallas Observer, a news blog, the extensive report includes ...

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The Adventure is over

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ngadventureNational Geographic Adventure has lost its passport. It’s the latest casualty in the 2009 media meltdown. Staff was told today that the magazine, a 10-year-old extension of National Geographic, would close, according to a report by Folio:.

Seventeen staffers will lose their jobs, the report says. The brand will continue online and with other affiliated products.

More on AOL’s content push

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This article in Media Buyer/Planner goes into more detail about AOL’s plan to differentiate itself with original content. With a staff of 3,000 journalists, AOL could differentiate itself simply by assigning them beats and cutting them loose to go report on stuff. It would be, by far, the largest deployment of journalists from a single U.S. media source.

But I don’t have much faith in the ability of algorithms to deliver pleasant surprises. By shackling its journalists to algorithmic results, ...

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More on AOL: It’s new content strategy is dead wrong

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A week ago, I wrote about the futility of AOL’s rebranding unless it figures out how to become more relevant to its audience.

This week I have to write about the futility of AOL’s effort to become more relevant to its audience.

The centerpiece of that effort, according to PaidContent.org, is a three-pronged approach to generating new content:

1.

Hire lots of journalists. It’s good news that AOL is trying to generate original content, and I’m pleased that it’s using ...

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The great search engine standoff

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Seth Godin is one of my favorite bloggers, and I quote him regularly. He’s been a source of clear thinking and wisdom for me since long before blogs existed.

But in today’s blog, he writes about News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch’s idea to control how news content is indexed on web sites. He got it wrong. He writes, in entirety (and you’ve got to admire Godin’s brevity):

Rupert Murdoch has it backwards

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