Posts tagged with ‘publishing’

How to Think Like a Digital Disruptor

New on theFJP.org:

James McQuivey, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, defines a digital disruptor as someone who knows how to use digital tools to do things better, faster or cheaper than before. Digital, he explains, reduces the barriers to entry in the publishing world, which allows anyone to be an author or publisher, be it a start-up or an adjacent business that never considered publishing before.

Some digital disruptors, however, are more likely to be successful than others.

A blogger with a large following, for example, has a successful digital customer relationship that he remains engaged with, which puts him far ahead of a traditional publisher struggling to build a relationship with its customers. An app developer remains engaged with his product by continuously updating it to ensure his customers remember it’s there. In this video, James walks us through how successful disruptors think: opportunistically.

See also James’ article for the FJP, What Will Rise from Journalism’s Ashes.

For more FJP interviews with media industry experts, visit theFJP.org.

Being in media is terrifying right now. Whereas in the old days, you wrote something and then a fleet of people printed it and handed it to X hundred thousand people so they would read it, now, the fleet is gone. You are alone out there in the ocean and there’s not much that anyone can do for any given story to make sure that people read it. […] We do not control the distribution of our work. Period.

Alexis Madrigal (via theatlantic)

FJP: Others think that change is awesome.

(via nusca)

Two years ago, we set out to create a revolutionary product that people would love. The Daily delivered great original reporting, excellent design, and custom interactivity to users every day. Although we have over 100,000 passionate paying subscribers, unfortunately we have not been able to build a big enough audience fast enough to make our business model work.

Memo to staff from The Daily’s editor in chief Jesse Angelo and publisher Greg Clayman.

The News: The two-year-old iPad only newspaper will shut down after releasing its December 15 issue.

The Issue(s): Basically, being locked into the iPad. Yes, the Daily had a hundred thousand subscribers, and yes, it built out a robust social media presence but going iPad only for the meat of its content was too much too soon. There were just too many people locked out (and locked in) for it to thrive.

Another way to put it is this thought from Trevor Butterworth, a former weekly columnist for The Daily:

So, The Daily meets its doom on December 15. The editorial section, et moi, bit the dust over the summer, so not much of a shock. The single biggest failing? You can’t create an entirely new brand and take it behind a paywall after 4 weeks, while limiting its footprint on the Internet, and then expect people to buy it. Where was the marketing?

Second, it simply added more average-reader content to a market saturated with free average-reader content. It didn’t have the courage to be cool, quirky, nerdy, obsessive or snarky. Its demise is a wake-up call for those who confuse cool technology with being cool - and those who think more of the sameness is going to produce a paying customer base for a mainstream media product.

Branding is not about growing inequality but growing equality. In the old world there were a few big-name hotshot star journalists, and a lot of regular hacks pushing anonymous news. In future more and more journalists will be stars — some big stars shining all over, some smaller but maybe brighter stars twinkling to some important niche audience. And if a journalist has no twinkle whatsoever — then it’s time to find something else to do.

Saska Saarikoski, Brands, Stars and Regular Hacks — a changing relationship between news institutions and journalists (PDF).

Saarikoski, a former culture editor at Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat, conducted surveys and interviews with editors, publishers and reporters about the issues raised by the branding of journalists. The result is this recent report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

In which Neil deGrasse Tyson helps Superman find his way home.

Gendered News
From entertainment to finance to politics to sports, the Guardian Datablog explores how women and men are published in leading UK news sources, and how often articles by gender are shared across social networks.
In the interactive they’ve produced, you can sort across different criteria as well as drill deeper into specific publications and their sections.
At a macro level, UK news publishing is much like what we see in the United States: it’s dominated by men with less than 30% of news articles published by women across the Daily Mail, Telegraph and Guardian.
Drill down a bit, or look at gender participation by subject area, and you see women dominating topics like “lifestyle” and “entertainment” and men dominating, well, most everything else.
But the Datablog isn’t just looking at who gets published, but who gets heard.
You would think it’s one and the same but with the decline of the newspaper front page — and the Web site home page — as a conversation driver, it’s the social ecosystem of readers and their sharing habits that drives audience engagement and interaction.
Via the Guardian:

Online, who gets heard is determined by an ecosystem of actors: individuals sharing on Facebook and Twitter, link-sharing communities, personal algorithms on Google News, and citizen media curators. Newspapers only offer part of the information supply; we readers decide who’s heard every time we click, share or use our own voice…
…Of course, the reach of an article is much more complicated than likes and shares. What gets seen is often dependent on the time of day and the influence of who shares a link.
The definition of likes and shares also changes. Since our measurements in early August, Facebook’s counters have been changed to track links sent within private messages. This year, newsrooms experimented with Facebook social readers and tablet apps to grow their audiences. Bernhard Rieder’s network diagram of the Guardian’s Facebook page illustrates yet another social channel for news. Publishers sometimes can’t agree on what their own data means.
Despite these limitations, data on likes and shares offer the best outside picture of audience interest in women’s writing in the news.

Read through for analysis and more about the methodology and tools used to suss out the data. As usual, the Guardian also lets you download the data so you can work with it yourself.
Image: Screenshot, UK News Gender Ranking: What They Publish vs What Readers Share, via The Guardian. Select to embiggen.

Gendered News

From entertainment to finance to politics to sports, the Guardian Datablog explores how women and men are published in leading UK news sources, and how often articles by gender are shared across social networks.

In the interactive they’ve produced, you can sort across different criteria as well as drill deeper into specific publications and their sections.

At a macro level, UK news publishing is much like what we see in the United States: it’s dominated by men with less than 30% of news articles published by women across the Daily Mail, Telegraph and Guardian.

Drill down a bit, or look at gender participation by subject area, and you see women dominating topics like “lifestyle” and “entertainment” and men dominating, well, most everything else.

But the Datablog isn’t just looking at who gets published, but who gets heard.

You would think it’s one and the same but with the decline of the newspaper front page — and the Web site home page — as a conversation driver, it’s the social ecosystem of readers and their sharing habits that drives audience engagement and interaction.

Via the Guardian:

Online, who gets heard is determined by an ecosystem of actors: individuals sharing on Facebook and Twitter, link-sharing communities, personal algorithms on Google News, and citizen media curators. Newspapers only offer part of the information supply; we readers decide who’s heard every time we click, share or use our own voice…

…Of course, the reach of an article is much more complicated than likes and shares. What gets seen is often dependent on the time of day and the influence of who shares a link.

The definition of likes and shares also changes. Since our measurements in early August, Facebook’s counters have been changed to track links sent within private messages. This year, newsrooms experimented with Facebook social readers and tablet apps to grow their audiences. Bernhard Rieder’s network diagram of the Guardian’s Facebook page illustrates yet another social channel for news. Publishers sometimes can’t agree on what their own data means.

Despite these limitations, data on likes and shares offer the best outside picture of audience interest in women’s writing in the news.

Read through for analysis and more about the methodology and tools used to suss out the data. As usual, the Guardian also lets you download the data so you can work with it yourself.

Image: Screenshot, UK News Gender Ranking: What They Publish vs What Readers Share, via The Guardian. Select to embiggen.

Futurecast
Yes, we know that news organizations write about events before they happen. Usually though they don’t publish them beforehand.
Image: Screenshot, the Associated Press publishes their Vice Presidential debate roundup almost two hours before it takes place.

Futurecast

Yes, we know that news organizations write about events before they happen. Usually though they don’t publish them beforehand.

Image: Screenshot, the Associated Press publishes their Vice Presidential debate roundup almost two hours before it takes place.

News Kids Can Use?
Publishers of a popular Tunisian children’s magazine called Qaws Quzah (“Rainbow”) will be prosecuted for including instructions on how to make a Molotov Cocktail in a recent issue.
The Ministry for Women and Family Affairs said the article “encouraged violent and terrorist thoughts.”
Via the BBC: 

The publication carried a picture of a burning glass bottle to illustrate the history and uses of petrol bombs.
The piece appeared in the magazine’s so-called Knowledge Corner.
"It is an improvised weapon that is often used in riots and acts of sabotage because it is easy to make and use," the article explained.
The ministry for family affairs said the magazine was endangering children’s lives by encouraging the use petrol bombs “in acts of vandalism or terrorism”.

Image: The “Knowledge Corner” of Qaws Quzah with an article about the history and making of Molotov Cocktails, via the Daily Mail.

News Kids Can Use?

Publishers of a popular Tunisian children’s magazine called Qaws Quzah (“Rainbow”) will be prosecuted for including instructions on how to make a Molotov Cocktail in a recent issue.

The Ministry for Women and Family Affairs said the article “encouraged violent and terrorist thoughts.”

Via the BBC

The publication carried a picture of a burning glass bottle to illustrate the history and uses of petrol bombs.

The piece appeared in the magazine’s so-called Knowledge Corner.

"It is an improvised weapon that is often used in riots and acts of sabotage because it is easy to make and use," the article explained.

The ministry for family affairs said the magazine was endangering children’s lives by encouraging the use petrol bombs “in acts of vandalism or terrorism”.

Image: The “Knowledge Corner” of Qaws Quzah with an article about the history and making of Molotov Cocktails, via the Daily Mail.

The Humble eBook Bundle
Humble Bundle, a San Francisco based startup that allows buyers to set the purchase price for “bundles” of DRM free video games, albums and ebooks, has a new bundle for the offering.
The Humble eBook Bundle contains ebooks by Cory Doctorow, Paolo Bacigalupi, Lauren Beukes, Mercedes Lackey and Kelly Link. If you pay more than the current average price, you get two more books, Old Man’s War by John Scalzi and Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Format is your choice of DRM free PDF, MOBI, and ePub formats.
We’ve seen this set-your-price model before, most famously with Radiohead’s download release of In Rainbows. What’s nice about Humble Bundles though is that not only do you get to name your price, you also get to set how the money is distributed between the creators (in aggregate), charity and to Humble Bundle itself.
Past charities have included Child’s Play, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, charity: water and the American Red Cross. The company claims they have sold over $19.2 million worth of Bundles since 2010 with $6.4 million of that going to charities.
Currently, the eBook bundle has over 31,000 sales, total payments of close to $380,000 and an average purchase price of $12.19.
Linux users, on average, are paying the most.
Image: Screenshot, the Humble eBook Bundle. Select to embiggen.

The Humble eBook Bundle

Humble Bundle, a San Francisco based startup that allows buyers to set the purchase price for “bundles” of DRM free video games, albums and ebooks, has a new bundle for the offering.

The Humble eBook Bundle contains ebooks by Cory Doctorow, Paolo Bacigalupi, Lauren Beukes, Mercedes Lackey and Kelly Link. If you pay more than the current average price, you get two more books, Old Man’s War by John Scalzi and Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Format is your choice of DRM free PDF, MOBI, and ePub formats.

We’ve seen this set-your-price model before, most famously with Radiohead’s download release of In Rainbows. What’s nice about Humble Bundles though is that not only do you get to name your price, you also get to set how the money is distributed between the creators (in aggregate), charity and to Humble Bundle itself.

Past charities have included Child’s Play, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, charity: water and the American Red Cross. The company claims they have sold over $19.2 million worth of Bundles since 2010 with $6.4 million of that going to charities.

Currently, the eBook bundle has over 31,000 sales, total payments of close to $380,000 and an average purchase price of $12.19.

Linux users, on average, are paying the most.

Image: Screenshot, the Humble eBook Bundle. Select to embiggen.

Cypherpunks
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is coming out with a book next month, co-authored with Jacob Applebaum, Andy Müeller and Jérémie Zimmerman.
Via OR Books:

Assange brings together a small group of cutting-edge thinkers and activists from the front line of the battle for cyber-space to discuss whether electronic communications will emancipate or enslave us. Among the topics addressed are: Do Facebook and Google constitute “the greatest surveillance machine that ever existed,” perpetually tracking our location, our contacts and our lives? Far from being victims of that surveillance, are most of us willing collaborators? Are there legitimate forms of surveillance, for instance in relation to the “Four Horsemen of the Infopocalypse” (money laundering, drugs, terrorism and pornography)? And do we have the ability, through conscious action and technological savvy, to resist this tide and secure a world where freedom is something which the Internet helps bring about?
The harassment of WikiLeaks and other Internet activists, together with attempts to introduce anti-file sharing legislation such as SOPA and ACTA, indicate that the politics of the Internet have reached a crossroads. In one direction lies a future that guarantees, in the watchwords of the cypherpunks, “privacy for the weak and transparency for the powerful”; in the other lies an Internet that allows government and large corporations to discover ever more about internet users while hiding their own activities.

Cypherpunks

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is coming out with a book next month, co-authored with Jacob Applebaum, Andy Müeller and Jérémie Zimmerman.

Via OR Books:

Assange brings together a small group of cutting-edge thinkers and activists from the front line of the battle for cyber-space to discuss whether electronic communications will emancipate or enslave us. Among the topics addressed are: Do Facebook and Google constitute “the greatest surveillance machine that ever existed,” perpetually tracking our location, our contacts and our lives? Far from being victims of that surveillance, are most of us willing collaborators? Are there legitimate forms of surveillance, for instance in relation to the “Four Horsemen of the Infopocalypse” (money laundering, drugs, terrorism and pornography)? And do we have the ability, through conscious action and technological savvy, to resist this tide and secure a world where freedom is something which the Internet helps bring about?

The harassment of WikiLeaks and other Internet activists, together with attempts to introduce anti-file sharing legislation such as SOPA and ACTA, indicate that the politics of the Internet have reached a crossroads. In one direction lies a future that guarantees, in the watchwords of the cypherpunks, “privacy for the weak and transparency for the powerful”; in the other lies an Internet that allows government and large corporations to discover ever more about internet users while hiding their own activities.

After 7 Years of Litigation, Google, Publishers Cut Deal →

Via the BBC:

Google has settled a seven-year legal spat with the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

The row blew up in 2005 over Google’s plan to scan and digitise books for a vast digital library.

The AAP said that the project could involve massive copyright infringement because it could make available digital copies of copyrighted works.

The settlement lets US publishers decide which works should, or should not, be in Google’s library.

This settles one of the main objections to the library project which planned to scan every book unless publishers and authors specifically objected…

…As part of the deal Google has also agreed to provide digital copies of the works that publishers and writers make available for the library.

FJP: That was a long time coming.

Amazon Studios Begins Work on Movies, Comics
Amazon’s original content arm Amazon Studios has just optioned the rights to a Kindle bestseller called Seed. Its author, Ania Alborn, is probably writing the script, though Amazon Studios provides writers the option to make the script writing process open source.
Amazon Studios is also working on a digital comic called Blackburn Burrow, and has hired Clive Barker to rewrite a script for Zombies vs. Gladiators. Looks like a lot of sci-fi and horror stuff so far.
Photo: Blackburn Burrow, Amazon.com

Amazon Studios Begins Work on Movies, Comics

Amazon’s original content arm Amazon Studios has just optioned the rights to a Kindle bestseller called Seed. Its author, Ania Alborn, is probably writing the script, though Amazon Studios provides writers the option to make the script writing process open source.

Amazon Studios is also working on a digital comic called Blackburn Burrow, and has hired Clive Barker to rewrite a script for Zombies vs. Gladiators. Looks like a lot of sci-fi and horror stuff so far.

Photo: Blackburn Burrow, Amazon.com

The Atlantic Tries Native Ads

Publishers are innovating in various ways across digital platforms. Digiday’s Josh Sternberg caught up with Jay Lauf, publisher of The Atlantic, to discuss how The Atlantic will generate digital revenue in the future:

The Atlantic, the venerable155-year-old publication, is doubling down on its approach to the new wave of digital advertising: native ads. Launched three years ago, Native Solutions creates ad programs that have the look and feel of The Atlantic’s content. The goal: help brands create and distribute engaging content by making the ads linkable, sharable and discoverable. For example, take a look at the work it did with Porsche on the image-heavy sponsored post, “Where Design Meets Technology,” which was shared 139 times on Facebook and 80 times on Twitter.

The Native Solutions programs has been so successful that it now accounts for half of digital ad revenue, which is up over 50 percent so far this year.

“A lot of people worry about crossing editorial and advertising lines, but I think it respects readers more,” Lauf said. “It’s saying, ‘We know what you’re interested in.’ It’s more respectful of the reader that way.”

Read the entire article at Digiday.

Meme 1, Newsweek 0
Tina Brown’s latest Newsweek cover does what a Tina Brown cover does best: combine provocative imagery with an inflammatory title that gets people talking about the magazine.
In this case, “MUSLIM RAGE” screams the headline with two intense men wailing in protest underneath.
The cover itself is meta, playing on the “Why do they hate us?” meme that runs through the American press. Glenn Greenwald, writing in The Guardian, captures the absurdity of the premise:

One prominent strain shaping American reaction to the protests in the Muslim world is bafflement, and even anger, that those Muslims are not more grateful to the US. After all, goes this thinking, the US bestowed them with the gifts of freedom and democracy – the very rights they are now exercising – so how could they possibly be anything other than thankful? Under this worldview, it is especially confounding that the US, their savior and freedom-provider, would be the target of their rage…
…On Thursday night, NBC News published a nine-minute report on Brian Williams’ “Rock Center” program featuring its foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, reporting on the demonstrations in Cairo, which sounded exactly the same theme. Standing in front of protesting Egyptians in Tahrir Square, Engel informed viewers that this was all so very baffling because it was taking place “in Cairo, where the US turned its back on its old friend Hosni Mubarak”, and then added:

"It is somewhat ironic with American diplomats inside the embassy who helped to give these demonstrators, these protesters, a voice, and allowed them to actually carry out these anti-American clashes that we’re seeing right now."

That it was the US who freed Egyptians and “allowed them” the right to protest would undoubtedly come as a great surprise to many Egyptians. That is the case even beyond the decades of arming, funding and general support from the US for their hated dictator.

So, Newsweek is playing the ahistorical questions running through traditional media channels and while doing so, asks readers to chime in on Twitter with their thoughts using the #MuslimRage hashtag.
And that’s when, the Internet being the Internet, things got fun and users wrestled back the narrative:
"Lost your kid Jihad at the airport. Can’t yell for him. #MuslimRage" — @LSal92.
"I’m having such a good hair day. No one even knows. #MuslimRage" — @LibertyLibya.
"So you’re telling me that in this entire sporting goods store you don’t have a single ski turban? #muslimrage" — @TomGara.
"Ramadan in Iceland when days are 23 hours long. #muslimrage" — @iron_emu.
Coincidently, Michael Wolff recently wrote about Tina Brown and the challenges she faces with Newsweek from his new column at USA Today:

The most famous magazine editor of her generation is engaged in a desperate and operatic struggle, which almost no one anywhere believes has any chance of success, to reinvent Newsweek as a sustainable business proposition. In this, she is arguably no different from anybody else with a venerable media brand, except that Newsweek is in more dire extremis and her notoriety personalizes the fight…
…The issue was starkly simple: Could a traditional brand be reinvented in what is called a “digital first” context — and soon migrate entirely to digital — and, even more challenging, could it be reinvented by a traditional editor?

This week’s answer to that question is a clumsy MUSLIM RAGE cover with two stand-ins representing a billion-plus people. It’s analog link bait, a purposeful troll.
Yet, in a digital world where people can talk back and wrestle premises away from brands and organizations, the audience is mocking it. — Michael.
Image: Muslim Rave, via @max_read.

Meme 1, Newsweek 0

Tina Brown’s latest Newsweek cover does what a Tina Brown cover does best: combine provocative imagery with an inflammatory title that gets people talking about the magazine.

In this case, “MUSLIM RAGE” screams the headline with two intense men wailing in protest underneath.

The cover itself is meta, playing on the “Why do they hate us?” meme that runs through the American press. Glenn Greenwald, writing in The Guardian, captures the absurdity of the premise:

One prominent strain shaping American reaction to the protests in the Muslim world is bafflement, and even anger, that those Muslims are not more grateful to the US. After all, goes this thinking, the US bestowed them with the gifts of freedom and democracy – the very rights they are now exercising – so how could they possibly be anything other than thankful? Under this worldview, it is especially confounding that the US, their savior and freedom-provider, would be the target of their rage…

…On Thursday night, NBC News published a nine-minute report on Brian Williams’ “Rock Center” program featuring its foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, reporting on the demonstrations in Cairo, which sounded exactly the same theme. Standing in front of protesting Egyptians in Tahrir Square, Engel informed viewers that this was all so very baffling because it was taking place “in Cairo, where the US turned its back on its old friend Hosni Mubarak”, and then added:

"It is somewhat ironic with American diplomats inside the embassy who helped to give these demonstrators, these protesters, a voice, and allowed them to actually carry out these anti-American clashes that we’re seeing right now."

That it was the US who freed Egyptians and “allowed them” the right to protest would undoubtedly come as a great surprise to many Egyptians. That is the case even beyond the decades of arming, funding and general support from the US for their hated dictator.

So, Newsweek is playing the ahistorical questions running through traditional media channels and while doing so, asks readers to chime in on Twitter with their thoughts using the #MuslimRage hashtag.

And that’s when, the Internet being the Internet, things got fun and users wrestled back the narrative:

  • "Lost your kid Jihad at the airport. Can’t yell for him. #MuslimRage" — @LSal92.
  • "I’m having such a good hair day. No one even knows. #MuslimRage" — @LibertyLibya.
  • "So you’re telling me that in this entire sporting goods store you don’t have a single ski turban? #muslimrage" — @TomGara.
  • "Ramadan in Iceland when days are 23 hours long. #muslimrage" — @iron_emu.

Coincidently, Michael Wolff recently wrote about Tina Brown and the challenges she faces with Newsweek from his new column at USA Today:

The most famous magazine editor of her generation is engaged in a desperate and operatic struggle, which almost no one anywhere believes has any chance of success, to reinvent Newsweek as a sustainable business proposition. In this, she is arguably no different from anybody else with a venerable media brand, except that Newsweek is in more dire extremis and her notoriety personalizes the fight…

…The issue was starkly simple: Could a traditional brand be reinvented in what is called a “digital first” context — and soon migrate entirely to digital — and, even more challenging, could it be reinvented by a traditional editor?

This week’s answer to that question is a clumsy MUSLIM RAGE cover with two stand-ins representing a billion-plus people. It’s analog link bait, a purposeful troll.

Yet, in a digital world where people can talk back and wrestle premises away from brands and organizations, the audience is mocking it. — Michael.

Image: Muslim Rave, via @max_read.