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."
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 Michelle L. Cramer
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."
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 Leila Meyer
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.
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 Michelle Manafy
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.
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.
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.
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 Nancy Davis Kho
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 Theresa Cramer
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.
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.
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.
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 Michael P. Russell
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 Brandi Shaffer
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.
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 Michael P. Russell
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 Brandi Shaffer
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.
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 Michael P. Russell
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 Mike Thompson
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 Kelley Bligh
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.
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 Michael P. Russell
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 Chris Seymour
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 Michael P. Russell
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 Tom Hogan
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 Michael P. Russell
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 Cynthia Hetherington
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 Theresa Cramer
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 Michael P. Russell
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 Michael LoPresti
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 Mike Thompson
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 Michael P. Russell
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 Eileen Mullan
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.
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 Erik J. Martin
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.
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.
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.
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 Amanda Mulvihill
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.
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?