Features

With student loan debt recently topping out at $1 trillion, and the next wave of fresh-faced college graduates taking their newly-inked diplomas straight to the unemployment line, the question of whether higher education is worth the effort, time, and money is on many people's minds. The equation used to be so simple: go to college, complete a degree, and get a job. Not anymore. Luckily, for students with dreams of finding careers in the competitive world of publishing, all hope isn't lost. The Champlain College Publishing Initiative, a student-centric publishing company based at Champlain College, not only teaches students about the publishing industry, it turns them into editors, designers, and publishers, all before they even step foot off campus.
By - Posted May 25, 2012
In November of 2011, Google+ opened its doors to brands and Simply Measured is now looking at whether or not the brands that jumped on the bandwagon are seeing much engagement. Google's forays into the world of social networking have been, well... less than successful in the past. While Google+ has fared better, it's still no "Facebook killer."
Posted May 23, 2012
The digital media industry continues to evolve, in part because of the people who have devoted their time and expertise to advancing the technology and the content that it powers. When we asked industry experts who they felt were the 15 most influential people in digital media, we expected to receive a range of responses. And that's what we got.
By - May 2012 Issue, Posted May 21, 2012
Be it in the form of a private collection of rare manuscripts to the massive assortment of images, documents, letters, and much more gathered at the grandest public institutions, curation - organizing and maintaining a collection -- has been around as long as there were things of value and places to keep them safe. Yet many of these collections sit in isolation, available to only a privileged few. They also are at risk of damage, deterioration, and even destruction.It is with these issues in mind that Gale, part of Cengage Learning, set about to create its Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) collection. NCCO brings together rare primary source materials - monographs, newspapers, pamphlets, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, photographs and more - from more than 100 individual collections.
By - Posted May 18, 2012
Virtually all online video platforms (OVPs) offer browser-based single or multiple file upload. More advanced features include the ability to compress before uploading, which is great when upload bandwidth is limited. Other convenience features include uploading from a drop folder, FTP-driven upload, and the ability to write to the OVP's application programming interface for automated upload from your content management system. You may also need a service that accepts mobile uploads.
By - May 2012 Issue, Posted May 14, 2012
At the Software and Information Industry Association's Content VIA Platforms conference in San Francisco on May 10, the "Gang of Four" - Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook -were omnipresent, even if no one from those organizations was scheduled to speak. Publishers and technology providers used "VIA" to discuss the risks and opportunities in working with these companies, a sign of the importance the four platforms now play in meeting the evolving preferences of eContent consumers.
By - Posted May 11, 2012
The explosion of nondesktop access points to information and the proliferation of apps has had-and is likely to continue to have-a significant impact on the way that users seek and access information. Historically, search engines have driven access to content with organizations such as Google leading the pack. The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project's "Search Engine Use 2012" report shows Google with a commanding lead-it's used by 83% of those searching online, compared with the next highest, Yahoo!, at just 6%.
May 2012 Issue, Posted May 07, 2012
The brave folks at the Pew Research Center's Internet & America Life Project interviewed 799 teens to get a better understanding of how the kids interact with online video. From April 19- July 14, 2011 the teens were asked about their online behavior, and Pew put the results together in a report published on its website.
By - Posted May 04, 2012
In the traditional publishing model, an author with an idea would need to attract the attention of an agent or publisher who would evaluate the idea and the author's credentials and abilities in order to make a decision. Stories abound of frustrated authors who faced rounds of rejection before finding a home for their work-or simply giving up. Some of those rejected had truly brilliant insights and, ultimately, popular prose to offer. Notable among them are Stephen King, George Orwell, and J.K. Rowling.
By - May 2012 Issue, Posted May 02, 2012
In a characteristically slick presentation at New York's Guggenheim Museum in January, a top Apple executive stood before a room full of journalists, introducing them to the company's latest effort to apply its computing philosophy to a facet of everyday life that is still-in its view-languishing in the technological dark ages. One two-word slide said it all: "Reinventing Textbooks."
By - April 2012 Issue, Posted Apr 30, 2012
Technology, it is said, has turned the world into a global village. In Africa, modern technology-especially mobile devices like e-readers-is changing almost every facet of human life more than on any other technology anywhere in the world. To many, the spread of the mobile web is Africa's version of the great industrial revolution that swept through Europe in the 19th Century and created opportunities and wealth to propel Europe into the success it is today. No other continent has fully embraced and tapped into the potential of information communication technology (ICT) like Africa has over the past decade or so.
By - Posted Apr 25, 2012
Just as a keyboard doesn't make someone a journalist, a camera and editing software doesn't make someone a videographer. There is a range of quality represented in the archives of YouTube-nearly 8 years' worth of video from hundreds of millions of users. Those are staggering numbers. What is driving this level of production and, presumably, related consumption of video content?
By - April 2012 Issue, Posted Apr 23, 2012
Many media prognosticators continue to spew a doom-and-gloom forecast for online newspapers, digital publishers and marketers, and electronic content providers. But Roger McNamee, managing director/founding partner of private equity firm Elevation Partners, foresees a more optimistic near-term future for these players-provided they get with the program, specifically HTML 5 and mobile apps.
By - Posted Apr 20, 2012
In 2008, Barack Obama turned to the web for everything from campaign fundraising to training volunteers. Now, as the Republican field is finally narrowing down and we move closer to the 2012 election, Conductor, Inc. is taking a look at the web-habits of the candidates. The study suggests Mitt Romney -- the Republican frontrunner -- has a steep hill to climb to win the battle for voter attention as November nears...at least online.
By - Posted Apr 18, 2012
In an ideal world, all a publisher or media company would have to do to be successful is produce engaging content, and do it consistently. In reality, creating good content isn't enough anymore. As our lives become increasingly reliant on mobile technology, people expect fresh, compelling content, and they want to be able to access that content, anywhere, anytime, and on any device.The good news is that companies no longer need to be convinced about the importance of integrating mobile technologies, such as apps, into content delivery plans. "We're thankfully at a stage where we are no longer talking so much about experimentation," says Peggy Anne Salz, founder and chief analyst at MobileGroove. "We do not have the discussion point any longer of ‘Do I need to be mobile.' That discussion is gone. We are in a phase of execution."
By - April 2012 Issue, Posted Apr 16, 2012
Nearly any Facebook user can expand his game playing experience on the social networking site simply by purchasing Facebook Credits: unlocking special weapons to help in the quest to take back the neighborhood in Digital Chocolate's Zombie Lane, beefing up culinary creations on Zynga's Café World, or unveil clues to aid in your search for hidden objects on Zynga's Hidden Chronicles. As of July 1, 2011, all Facebook game and application developers with a purchasing system must user Facebook Credits.How is that sitting with the developers?
By - Posted Apr 13, 2012
You may not have thought it was possible, but there were apparently iPhone users out there who had not yet downloaded Instagram. But in the wake of Mark Zuckerberg's announcement that Facebook will be buying the photo and editing app for a billion dollars, Instagram has shot to the top of the App Store charts and has been downloaded 5 million times in the week since it hit the Google marketplace.
Posted Apr 11, 2012
Some say men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but when it comes to social media sites, both genders share an array of personal information, including relationship status, brand preferences, and political/religious affiliation. However, when it comes to divulging more sensitive details such as phone numbers, location, and email/physical addresses -- which could put their personal security at risk -- women are significantly more wary than men, according to the findings of the recently released "Social Media Habits and Privacy Concerns Survey."
By - April 2012 Issue, Posted Apr 09, 2012
Many content publishers and distributors need to change their multi-platform publishing strategies or risk losing their audience, according to a new survey conducted by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). SIIA surveyed 85 media companies, information services companies and publishers of various sizes. The results revealed two significant dichotomies related to multi-platform publishing plans: one between the companies' strategies and practice, and the other between the priorities of different levels of management.
By - Posted Apr 04, 2012
Apple ads once told us that "There's an app for just about anything." It turns out this wasn't just another catchy marketing slogan. There really is an app for just about anything these days. Just pop open Apple's App Store or Android's Market, and you'll find a buffet of apps waiting to be downloaded, from apps that let you read books and magazines to time killers such as Angry Birds and Words With Friends and constantly updating news applications from CNN and NPR. Whatever you are looking to do with your mobile device, most likely, there's an app to do it. So which publishing and media apps are living up to, and sometimes surpassing, expectations? EContent asked a variety of digital content and mobile application experts, including consultants, bloggers, and publishers, to weed through the competition and pick the apps that have impressed them most.
By - April 2012 Issue, Posted Apr 02, 2012
Brand-named writers, marquee editors, and publications named after founders is nothing new to publishing. Think H.L. Menken, Walter Winchell, Anna Wintour, Helen Gurley Brown, Brill's Content, O, Martha Stewart Living... In some cases, the brand elevates the writer or editor to recognizable status; in others, the publication is purely an extension of an individual's personal brand.With the rise of social media, the professional is personal. Social is fundamentally entwined with media. Yet as it has always been for old media, there is risk for new media too reliant upon the one-man-brand. When a brand is bound to a single personality, there are issues of scale, growth and, of course, the potential for implosion upon the eponymous leader's departure.
By - Posted Mar 21, 2012
Word-of-mouth has long been the best way to advertise a product, but how long does that buzz last -- especially in the digital age? A new study says that customers-turned-volunteer "brand advocates" are still much more likely to buy and recommend products than they were before they got involved in the marketing campaign a year before.
By - March 2012 Issue, Posted Mar 19, 2012
Search engine allegiance is a funny thing. Perhaps you're a Bing die-hard, or you use Google because its your browser's default engine. Maybe you use one for general searches, and one for, say, finding the best travel deals. But one company recently put the two search engines in a head-to-head match up to see how each performed in the context of breaking news. Optify, a provider of in-bound marketing software, announced key findings of a report that helps B2B marketers develop new strategies to drive more organic traffic to websites during breaking news events. The report compares and contrasts how search engines treat breaking news search queries differently than other searches.
Posted Mar 14, 2012
A comprehensive, easy-to-understand guide from the Real Story Group on how to choose the right web content management system for your company's needs.
By - March 2012 Issue, Posted Mar 14, 2012
Games have been around since before recorded history, but it's only within the past 2 years that they've really gotten down to (online) business. As acceptance of and familiarity with game mechanisms within online social networks and on entertainment sites increase, games are popping up on once-static web properties as a means of captivating audiences, enhancing market research, and stimulating conversation between companies and customers.
By - March 2012 Issue, Posted Mar 12, 2012
This week marked the fourth annual Exceptional Women in Publishing Women's Leadership Conference in San Francisco, with a theme of "Taking Our Next Step: Content, Community, and Collaboration." The 225 attendees, primarily women, gathered to talk about hot issues in publishing and media, from building sales across digital channels to publishing by and for women.
By - Posted Mar 09, 2012
Sometimes it may seem like everyone has a blog, but a new study from Percussion Software says that isn't quite true. "The Paradox of Blogging and Content Marketing," focuses on the rise of content marketing as a discipline and the use of blogging as an engagement platform, and its finding suggest that while many companies know blogging is an important marketing tool, they just aren't on board.
By - Posted Mar 07, 2012
You've all heard it before: Publishers are struggling to monetize content. You've probably also heard that content licensing partnerships can provide new revenues for publishers, but no one is telling you where to begin.
By - March 2012 Issue, Posted Mar 05, 2012
Much attention is focused on the struggles of traditional news media brands to profit from the transition from print to digital. One often-discussed issue faced by media companies is the vast quantity of free alternatives-which range from bot-driven headline scraping to one-person blog sites and a whole generation of new media brands. Among these new media disrupters are an increasing number of operations with reputations for timely targeted news and content quality that have begun to rival those of some of the most venerated traditional media brands.High on that list is The Huffington Post.
By - March 2012 Issue, Posted Feb 27, 2012
When it comes to digital content, we always seem to be looking for the next big thing-from websites to social networking to apps. In that quest to be the next big thing, many technology startups come and go, while others strike with that magical combination of the right technology for the right device at the right time. Still others quickly grab our attention, only to reveal a lack of staying power over time. For example, "We saw a big pop a year or so ago around funding mobile companies based on location-based [technology], such as Foursquare, and those companies are not too hot right now," says Richard Hull, a former film and TV producer who advises many of the nation's largest media and entertainment companies on content strategy, finance, and distribution.
By - January/February 2012 Issue, Posted Feb 22, 2012
In the information circulating about digital natives, there are many references to the idea that older generations always think the upcoming generation is different from previous ones, but that this generation of digital natives really is different. They have more communication devices at their disposal. They are much more comfortable with them and much more adept at using them. Having grown up in a tech-heavy environment, they are quick to pick up on new technology and expect improvements or new offerings to come rapidly.
By - Posted Feb 20, 2012
Once the limits and benefits of each social medium are established and the audience is determined, a media company must decide how it will use content to reach readers in this new forum. Most editors agree that they hope to foster interaction-to allow their readers to not only get their content, but also to respond, knowing that the staff is getting the readers' viewpoints.
By - Posted Feb 17, 2012
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
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