Features

Everyone knows there is money to be made in online and platform-based video, but finding ways to profit from your favorite streaming clips, shows, and games is not enough. In November Bain & Co., one of the world's largest business consulting firms, surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in Asia, Europe, and the U.S. regarding online video, revealing some interesting findings.
By - January/February 2012 Issue, Posted Feb 15, 2012
Millennials are a driving force for mobile services and will increasingly be so as they move into the world and take on more responsibility for their own lives. According to Nielsen's 2009 "How Teens Use Media" report, 77 percent of teens in the U.S. already have a mobile phone. Wireless communication, a constantly evolving space, presents a big opportunity for companies. Mobile marketing and its promise has been hyped for a number of years, but only recently has it shown signs of delivering on that promise. There have been a number of hurdles holding back mobile as an effective channel: privacy concerns, the expense of data plans, ease of use, speed, and consumers' not wanting spam on their mobile devices, to name but a few.
By - Posted Feb 13, 2012
In the lawless, uncharted Wild West that is social media, Twitter and Facebook are dueling cowboys while a tumbleweed named Tumblr drifts over the barren landscape. The two behemoths draw pistols at dawn for the elusive goals of increased ad revenue, engaged readership and stronger editorial content.Spaghetti western metaphors aside, it's clear that media professionals' interpretation and use of social media vary widely. While some prefer to foster a sense of community with their readership, others seek to unload content, or seek out story ideas, or hand the spotlight over to their advertisers.
By - Posted Feb 10, 2012
According to IDC (International Data Corp.), the number of U.S. users accessing the internet via mobile devices will exceed those using wireline devices, such as PCs, by 2015. The research firm cites the use of smartphones and enthusiastic adoption of tablets as the force behind this trend. These statistics have long been a source of excitement for publishers looking for new revenue streams, but with the explosion of platforms comes the pressure to be all things to all people. From iPhones to Android devices, from the Kindle Fire to the iPad, from mobile-optimized sites to custom-designed apps, publishers struggle to find the right balance between fiscal responsibility and being on their readers' platforms of choice.
January/February 2012 Issue, Posted Feb 08, 2012
Digital natives have a heightened expectation of immediacy in their desire to gain information and be able to react to it now. A key element in gaining and keeping the attention of this generation is to regularly modify and update your product and message. Don't be stagnant. Keep the message simple and to the point. Accustomed to the rapid evolution of the tools that they use, digital natives want something fresh from companies trying to market to them.
By - Posted Feb 06, 2012
The Super Bowl is annually TV's biggest event. Last year, it drew 111 million viewers, making it the most-watched television program in history.This year, you don't even need a TV to see it.On Sunday, for the first time ever, the Super Bowl will be available to stream live. The game will be available live, on NFL.com and NBCsports.com.
By - Posted Feb 03, 2012
Alfresco, an open source enterprise content management (ECM) company, just announced the release of their newest platform Alfresco Enterprise 4, a platform that is not only cloud-connected but user-friendly as well.
By - Posted Feb 03, 2012
Pew research from the University of Missouri shows that internet users often come across their news serendipitously while they are searching for other information or doing nonnews-related activities online, such as shopping or visiting social networking sites. This information is hardly surprising, but there are wider implications, for media outlets.
By - January/February 2012 Issue, Posted Feb 01, 2012
With the emergence of digital natives, companies are questioning how best to gain brand awareness with this sizable new group. As Celia Goodnow of the Seattle PI noted in her article "Millennials Thrive on Choice, Instant Results," Millennials are the second-largest generation in U.S. history after the Baby Boomers. They are coming into their own and companies want to determine how best to market to them and generate sales from them.
By - Posted Jan 30, 2012
In an effort to help brands better understand the intent and motivations of their target audiences, San Francisco-based Twelvefold Media--which calls itself "an emotive-based media company that helps brands target, reach and persuade engaged audiences"--introduced the Mindset Index on Jan. 24.
By - Posted Jan 25, 2012
A global study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), titled "Maturing with the Millenials," claimed that more than half of the executives polled had not yet developed a way to target, attract, or retain Millennials as customers. This is a significant insight, since this generation is and will continue to be a formidable purchasing body. They are just beginning to graduate from college, enter the work force, and establish lives of their own. With those life steps comes the need to make purchases, including the most basic ones such as a car, furniture, and food. Digital natives didn't just appear on the horizon, and it is surprising to see that companies are, to a great extent, still up in the air about how to go after this audience.
By - Posted Jan 23, 2012
It's true in any industry: you never know where the next success story is going to come from. That's especially true in the world of digital publishing, where anyone with a passion and a little bit of know-how can start a site or community for like-minded people across the globe. No where was this more evident than in the story of Sean Collins, an icon in the surfing community and founder of Surfline.com.
By - Posted Jan 20, 2012
The best things in life are free, it's been said -- but the cost to compete in the online news business has taken its toll on countless newspapers from The New York Times to The Australian, which have started charging users to access digital content. Now, add British daily The Guardian to the mix, which last week put up a paywall on its iPad app, requiring a £9.99 ($13.99 USD) monthly subscription.
Posted Jan 18, 2012
The average American may not spend much time thinking about individual bills working their way through government machines. But popular websites are making sure the average web user knows exactly what SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (the Protect IP Act) are by hitting them where it hurts: in the Wikipedia.
Posted Jan 18, 2012
A number of companies have taken the "we know our market" approach by using a simple demographic definition of the market, as opposed to defining the market based on an understanding of the drivers of demand. Knowing these drivers offers far more insight when establishing a market strategy.
By - Posted Jan 16, 2012
Sharing your thoughts and activities on Facebook in and of of itself is not necessarily a problem. The problem comes when users forget that everyone in their social network is reading their posts. When you post something in frustration over your boss, co-worker, spouse, or friend, remember that the boss, co-worker, spouse, or friend-and all their networked friends (and all of their networked friends)-may also be reading your posts. It is possible to take part in Facebook and still maintain a modicum of privacy. To accomplish this, keep these 10 lessons in mind.
By - Posted Jan 13, 2012
Occupy Wall Street protestors have been drawing the media's attention to the influence of corporations on the America political system for months. With primary season now in full-swing it seems that the web is getting in on the action. This week has seen announcements from LegiNation as well as MapLight, both of which aim to keep voters informed about what their elected representatives are up to and who is influencing them.
Posted Jan 12, 2012
We all know Twitter is a powerful tool, but many publishers aren't sure how to build goodwill while still promoting their own content. Here are a few quick tips for publishers looking to implement a simple social media strategy that doesn't give community short shrift while building traffic and brand awareness.
By - Posted Jan 11, 2012
It is helpful to keep in mind a simple adage coined by Ray Krok, the founder of McDonald's: "Look after the customer and the business will take care of itself." This is true for any generation (or population for that matter). Understand your customers, what motivates their demand, and meet those needs. The fact that Millennials now use multiple means to obtain and share information creates both a challenge and an opportunity. For a long time, marketers took a broad approach, as the channels available to them were geared toward a mass market strategy. The message could be targeted, but the medium reached the masses. Contrary to some current beliefs, those avenues are still available.
By - Posted Jan 09, 2012
When your Chief Marketing Officer is breathing down your neck, demanding to know why your company's website still isn't the top hit for the most-searched term in your industry -- and you're trying to figure out the most tactful way to tell him that it'll never happen -- breathe easy. Conductor, the SEO technology provider, has come along with some solid new research demonstrating that you can get as much bang for your SEO buck without nabbing top billing on the highest-volume search terms.
By - Posted Jan 06, 2012
The days when companies could buy a magazine ad or a 30-second primetime spot and have a well-rounded marketing strategy are long gone. These days, having a web strategy is not only important but increasingly complicated. Just in the last 10 years, companies have gone from thinking about advertising on websites and with search displays, to having to incorporate blogs, social networks, and mobile platforms. While all these new ways to interact and be informed may be good for the general public, for a company's marketing team they can present a daunting task: How do you get a customer to focus on your product when their attention is being pulled in a host of different directions?
By - Posted Jan 04, 2012
There seems to be a great deal of uncertainty about how to tap into the digital native (the Millennial generation) market. Take a breath -- the task is not as difficult or as different as some would have you think. Digital natives may be a new crop of potential customers, but many of their core drivers of demand are similar to what motivated previous generations. It's important to remember that when establishing a marketing strategy, the first step remains the same: Start by understanding what it is that the market is looking for.
By - Posted Jan 02, 2012
From an outsider's perspective, being a professional freelance writer may seem like the dream job. After all, you can make your own hours, work from the comfort of home (or from your local Starbucks), and handpick which projects you want to pursue based on your level of expertise or interest. Those who are active in the field know this is far from true. For many freelancers, finding a job that appropriately compensates their level of skill, and relaying that job into a steady gig takes patience, perseverance, and a whole lot of practice writing query letters. But there's good news for freelancers. The market is changing.
By - Posted Dec 26, 2011
During interviews with a publisher client recently, one of the managers likened his organization's approach to digital product development as a goat rodeo, as in, "Our managers are crazy. After each one of them provides input to our project, it's a goat rodeo." The colorful reference is to a chaotic situation, typically in a corporate or bureaucratic setting, according to Wikipedia. A goat rodeo involves several people who have different agendas and perceptions of what's going on around them, and reconciling those views is difficult. Despite energy and effort, it's impossible to bring any sense of order to the situation.
By - December 2011 Issue, Posted Dec 20, 2011
Content in the cloud is a natural evolution from storing files on our desktops-but the content creation explosion that has overfilled our inboxes and overwhelmed our social networks won't be solved by moving the growing mass of data from a private realm to a public one.In fact, there's a solution on the horizon that promises to keep the clouds fluffy and the content contextual. It's the "curated cloud," and it's the next big thing. By one measure, we created 5EB (exabytes) of data from the beginning of time until 2008. Now we're creating 5EB every 2 days. Where did that statistic come from? The folks who should know: Google.
December 2011 Issue, Posted Dec 19, 2011
Hot gossip, recipes, cute baby photos and juicy tidbits about office Christmas party shenanigans aren't the only things being shared on Facebook these days. Many folks actually use the social network king to pass on interesting news articles, too. In fact, a look at what made the list of the top 40 most shared articles on Facebook in 2011 can offer some interesting clues to publishers and media outlets as to what makes a story "shareable."
By - Posted Dec 16, 2011
Outsell, Inc.'s release of "The Business Intelligence Landscape Today: The New Rules of Aggregation" in September shed some new light on where content aggregators are succeeding and where they need to change in order to meet evolving market needs.
By - December 2011 Issue, Posted Dec 14, 2011
Money is the root of all evil. It is also the foundation upon which economies are built. Certainly, it's high on the list of objectives for most organizations. Hey, even not-for-profits have to cover costs. So how do we reconcile this yearning for earning with such laudable corporate mottos as "do no evil"? Companies with good reputations generally earn them by delivering genuine value to customers. These, and others, often offset craven capitalistic endeavors by doing good works. Value and giving back are certainly admirable tactics, and I would not discourage any company from following this righteous path.
By - December 2011 Issue, Posted Dec 12, 2011
The EContent team suggests some sites, projects, and resources that, while outside the scope of the EContent 100 list, are well-worth a closer look.
By - December 2011 Issue, Posted Dec 09, 2011
NetShelter Technology Media, a company founded by brothers Peyman and Pirouz Nilforoush in 1999, launched a solution to this marketing problem called inPowered. Leveraging NetShelter's network of tech influencers, which comprises more than 4,500 familiar, trusted independent blogs including 9To5Mac, CrackBerry.com, Chip Chick, and SlashGear, the inPowered platform gives brands advertising options by enabling them to see which blogs are influencing target customers, use blog content to generate product awareness, and turn blog readers into customers.
By - Posted Dec 08, 2011
You would be hard-pressed to find anything that has changed the way we communicate and share information more than social networking sites. No matter how much change these sites have spurred, the world of social networking has been undergoing its own overhaul in 2011. The introduction of Google+ and f8 caused plenty of discussion and, in some cases, public outcry. Myspace drew new interest from investors with a push to become an "entertainment portal," but 2012 just might be the year we find out who the winners and losers of the battle may be.
By - December 2011 Issue, Posted Dec 07, 2011
This spring, some research had me making a series of calls to a range of people in the book publishing business, including authors, agents, publishers, and consultants. The topic-in broad terms-was about the shift to digital. How did these publishing leaders see the shift occurring today? How was it going so far, and-more importantly-what might the publishing landscape look like in 3 or 5 years?
By - December 2011 Issue, Posted Dec 05, 2011
On Wednesday morning, HBO co-president Eric Kessler told a group of industry wonks that despite the success of digital offerings like HBO GO, it plans to remain true to its cable roots.
By - Posted Dec 02, 2011
Somewhere between unknown, independent bloggers and traditional publishers with well-respected reputations are the sites known as content farms--websites that generate a large quantity of content specifically designed to rank high in search engine results. They range from local, content-driven sites such as AOL's Patch and Examiner.com to how-to sites such as Howcast and Demand Media's eHow.com to topic-focused sites such as Suite101 and Associated Content.
By - November 2011 Issue, Posted Nov 30, 2011
There are plenty of changes afoot on this year's list, as well as at the magazine. As you read through these pages, you'll notice a change in the EContent 100 categories-and a subsequent change in the companies we're honoring this year. As we focused less on enterprise content companies and more on the world of digital publishing and media, the judges had to re-imagine the list-and relearn the judging process. While many of the old standbys still made it onto this year's list, there are plenty of fresh faces as well-many of which are shaking up the content industry.
December 2011 Issue, Posted Nov 29, 2011
The 2011-2012 EContent 100, a list of the 100 Companies that Matter Most in the Digital Content Industry.
December 2011 Issue, Posted Nov 29, 2011
The EContent 100 judges include fellow Information Today, Inc. editors, EContent magazine contributing editors, and other experts in the digital content industry.
December 2011 Issue, Posted Nov 29, 2011
Good web content management (WCM) has long been an important element in the struggle to execute successful content strategies and marketing campaigns. The ability to author digital content for a worldwide audience, across a variety of platforms, has become integral to maintaining a competitive edge, which is why the design of WCM systems within the marketing industry deserves a second look.
By - Posted Nov 29, 2011
Ireland, once seen as country with an economy based solely on manufacturing, has blossomed into what some call "the Internet capital of Europe." Many of the top tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, Zynga, PopCap, IBM, Microsoft, Apple and HP, have international offices in Ireland, an otherwise relatively small country. In September Twitter announced its plans to locate an international office on the green isle, tweeting "Ireland is trending. Twitter to establish international office in Dublin. #idairl". According to Emmanuel Dowdall, global department manager for content, consumer and business services for the Industrial Development Agency Ireland (IDA), that announcement was re-tweeted over 650,000 times.
By - Posted Nov 28, 2011
Scout Analytics last week announced a new research division, Scout Research, which is "dedicated to providing revenue intelligence for digital publishers," according to the Issaquah, WA-based company that calls itself "the leader in digital revenue optimization for publishers." Scout kicked off its new venture with an analysis of the age-old problem of the print vs. digital revenue models.
By - Posted Nov 25, 2011
When the Pew Internet & American Life Project first measured gender differences in online social networking in 2005, only 9% of men and 6% of women who went online used social networking websites. Since then, millions more Americans have signed up on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. There has been another change in this statistical picture as well: For a few years now, women have been more likely than men to be online social networkers. According to the most recent Pew survey, from May of this year, 69% of women who are online use social networking sites, compared to 60% of men. Women also are more active on these sites; for example, 18% of women Facebook users update their statuses at least daily, compared to 11% of men.
By - November 2011 Issue, Posted Nov 23, 2011
In 2008, Rafat Ali sold ContentNext media--the company behind paidContent.org--to UK-based Guardian News and Media, Co. for a reported $30 million. He left the company in 2010, and now Guardian is looking for a buyer for the property. Based in New York City, the company covers the business of digital media, serving decision makers within the media, entertainment, publishing, advertising, marketing, and technology sectors.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2011
In publishing, small is the new big. An increasing number of publishers are releasing e-singles -- short works published digitally on a variety of platforms -- to generate ancillary revenue, build brand equity, and reach new audiences. Among those joining the e-singles market are Hearst, Rodale, Princeton University Press, and as recently as last week, Penguin.
By - Posted Nov 21, 2011
Few, if any, would argue that the internet has dramatically and permanently changed the publishing industry. As print publishers have scrambled to find ways to compete with and, ultimately, embrace the digital world, some are excelling through a combination of traditional and online options. Others, new to publishing, are operating in the online-only world, but everyone is dealing with the age-old problem of circulation building and audience development.
By - November 2011 Issue, Posted Nov 16, 2011
Marketers are scrambling to catch the attention of the hundreds of millions of active members of social networks. Social media users can be fickle, though, and hitting the right note to effectively engage with them can be a challenge for businesses of any size. For internet marketers looking for a leg up in social media marketing, Optify, Inc. added new tools to their suite of solutions.
By - Posted Nov 15, 2011
If you pre-ordered a Kindle Fire, you better be sure to check your mailbox today. This morning Amazon announced that the new members of its Kindle family will ship to buyers early. The Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G will head out to early buyers beginning tomorrow, November 15, several days earlier than the previously announced November 21 shipping date. Perhaps more notably, the Kindle Fire will head out a day early. This comes on the heels of last week's "leaked" announcement that Barnes & Noble would be introducing the Nook Tablet and making it available in stores on November 17.
By - Posted Nov 14, 2011
With the online launch in October of The Legacy Project, an educational video series that features original interviews with Stephen Sondheim, Edward Albee, and eight other legends of American theater, the series' publisher, Alexander Street Press, contributed a substantial amount of new, firsthand documentation of the creative processes of these cultural icons to the historical record. But the fact that the collection is fully accessible through an online streaming platform is substantial in and of itself, and it says something significant about the current state of academic publishing and the direction in which the industry is headed.
By - November 2011 Issue, Posted Nov 09, 2011
The cartoonish graphic is clean, colorful and simple: A young girl curls up on a park bench to scan the top headlines on her tablet while an assumedly older, bespectacled man sitting next to her is riveted to the local print newspaper he holds up to his face. Anchored below the art is a commanding headline that is terse, direct, and assured: "Smart is the new sexy," it asserts. And as a closing statement, the motto "The newspaper-get it" floats in the bottom right corner.
By - Posted Nov 07, 2011
In a recent Q3 earnings report and call with shareholders, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong was positive, stressing the benefits of the company's acquisition of The Huffington Post and the success of its local news network AOL Patch-which the company hopes to expand from 500 sites to 1,000 sites.
By - Posted Nov 02, 2011
Social media, tablets, and eReaders have not only changed the publishing model, they have given authors and publishers a whole new avenue to engage readers beyond books. Now, with the launch of interactive websites that accompany these books, such as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter experience, Pottermore, and the continued growth and acceptance of mobile apps, the list of digital possibilities is getting longer.
By - Posted Oct 31, 2011
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