Features

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
According to comScore, the U.S. mobile social media audience grew by 37% over the past year, a significant increase by anyone's standards. It seems only logical that smartphone users access social media more regularly--after all, they aren't paying those high fees for data plans just to read the occasional email. But what does it really mean?
By - Posted Oct 28, 2011
The recent proposal of the Commercial Felony Streaming Act, and the uproar over the potential it holds to send artists like Justin Bieber to jail for copyright violation, has put the subject of intellectual property and copyright on the front page. The following is an excerpt from a chapter in the book, Dancing with Digital Natives: Staying in Step with the Generation That's Transforming the Way Business is Done. The full chapter is titled: "Ethics, Technology, and the Net Generation: Rethinking Intellectual Property Law" and is written by Albert M. Erisman. The book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers in e-book and print format.
By - Posted Oct 27, 2011
Whether you're a traditional publisher with corporate money at your disposal or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants blogger, you should already have a solid strategy in place that guides the content you offer on your website. For most publishers, no matter their size, that strategy involves the kind of content that your site visitors read. Attention-grabbing headlines and search engine optimization (SEO) are no doubt at the top of your priority list, but with the popularity of websites such as YouTube, easy-to-use digital video equipment, and computer monitors that can double as television screens, content providers are beginning to recognize the importance and value of having an online video content strategy as well. It's becoming increasingly necessary to appeal to site visitors who want to view, not just read, your content.
By - October 2011 Issue, Posted Oct 26, 2011
For the past week or two I've been dealing with friends and family clamoring for the iPhone 4S. One friend called me from her new phone to tell me all about the ridiculous and hilarious conversations she has with Siri. Apparently, if you threaten to buy an Android phone, it will yell at you. In light of all the "I will destroy Android" coverage the Steve Jobs biography has been receiving, I like to think of him showing up in the Siri labs with a smirk on his face, suggesting his programmers make Siri share his hatred of Droid phones.
By - Posted Oct 24, 2011
With newsrooms shrinking, journalists need somewhere to peddle their wares. But needs don't generally go unmet in the digital age. Enter MediaCooler. In a Q&A with Journalism.co.uk the CEO of Media Cooler, Alison Yesilcimen, describes the site this way: "It's an online content market place that allows professional journalists to showcase and sell features and columns to global publications."
By - Posted Oct 19, 2011
There was a time, long ago, when writing on virtual walls, being "poked" by friends, and tagging pictures was entertainment enough to convert everyday internet surfers into Facebook users. But compared to today's Facebook, on which people share videos, play games, check in at locations, and make virtual purchases, the original Facebook's entertainment offering seems bare-bones. According to Facebook statistics, users install 20 million apps every day. Playing games and streaming videos have become social activities. With more app support and more content sharing, Facebook, and social media in general, is increasingly becoming a multimedia entertainment platform-which seems to be the end goal for many of these sites.
By - October 2011 Issue, Posted Oct 19, 2011
I first met Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and organizer of Content Marketing World, at the Niche Magazine Conference in February 2011. He was a featured speaker at the event, and he spoke on a number of topics, mainly social media and content marketing. I enjoyed every session I attended, but his keynote on content marketing was what stuck with me. As the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, you'd expect him to be passionate about content marketing. It was more than that, though. Pulizzi, who's been around the publishing business for a long time, talked about content marketing in a way that "just made sense" for both marketers and publishers.
By - Posted Oct 18, 2011
Who is the mobile magazine reader? Texterity -- a Southborough, MA-based company that provides digital and mobile publishing solutions -- sought to answer that question in its annual readership survey. The 2011 Mobile App Readership Survey (with results certified by BPA Worldwide) was designed to specifically study magazine app users while on their mobile devices.
By - Posted Oct 17, 2011
Much like the average American family farm, it seems like content farms may be struggling -- if this week's news about Demand Media is any indicator. One of the biggest and most well-known mass producers of content on the web is cutting back the number of articles it produces, and enraged its freelancers in the process.
By - Posted Oct 12, 2011
People love saving money. Sales and coupons are time-honored advertising traditions for a broad field of retail businesses, from supermarkets to office suppliers. The latest manifestation of human beings' long-running obsession with coupons is the daily deal-websites and mobile apps that deliver a selection of daily coupons and deals to savings-hungry consumers.Companies such as Groupon, Inc. and LivingSocial have made a name for themselves by combining daily coupons, group buying, and local marketing. And the success of these two companies is spawning a thriving ecosystem of businesses, publishers, and deal networks all looking to get a piece of the pie.
By - October 2011 Issue, Posted Oct 12, 2011
Much like print publishers have stood by and watched their customer base dwindle as the web took over, cable companies have been watching as their customers found new alternatives to shelling out hundreds of dollars for the privelege of watching The Jersey Shore. Accounts vary, but so far "cord-cutters" have represented a relatively small drop off in revenues. As internet connected TVs become more popular and a whole new generation of kids come out of college without any intention of ever getting a cable hook-up, smart pay-TV providers are looking for new ways to offer their consumers value.
By - Posted Oct 10, 2011
If any company could propel an ebook-first publishing model, it is probably Amazon. With the popularity of the Kindle and the extensive information the company holds on its clients, Amazon is better positioned than most to push targeted ebooks to customers. The company even released a statement earlier this year showing that ebooks are outselling print books on Amazon.com. Despite this, Amazon is foraying further into the print publishing world.
By - October 2011 Issue, Posted Oct 05, 2011
Over the past four years daily deal sites have flooded the marketplace. As of July 2011, daily deal aggregator Yipit has tracked over 650 group-buy and flash sale sites, with dozens more joining the already crowded discount field each month. With an easy to enter marketplace and revenues expected to reach $10 billion by 2015, the incentive to join in the group-buy and flash sale boom is great—but not every site can be effective and profitable.
By - Posted Oct 04, 2011
Last week The Wall Street Journal announced the beta launch of WSJ Social, a news app for Facebook that allows users to read, share, and comment on articles from the Journal within the social media environment. The content offered through WSJ Social includes articles and blogs from WSJ.com, such as breaking news, columns, analysis and opinion. All of the content is available for free for the first month. This is news mostly because the WSJ has long been one of the publications best known for successfully charging subscribers for online content.
By - Posted Sep 29, 2011
When considering the future of web content management (WCM), it is perhaps helpful to remember that the technology is designed to systemize and automate that which has long been practiced by retailers and expected by consumers in the real world. Just as a shopper who enters a sporting goods store and asks for help finding a fishing rod might beat a hasty retreat if the clerk brings back a soccer ball, visitors to websites expect to be listened to and to receive personalized service. When you figure that an online shopper is not a car drive away from another store but rather just a few quick keyboard strokes away from another website, the pressure to get WCM right mounts exponentially.
By - Posted Sep 21, 2011
On Sept. 14 Optify—which provides real time marketing software and services for business to business marketers and online publishers—announced its new Partner Program, which the Seattle-based company says will, among other things, help digital media and online marketing agencies grow their business and attract new clients.
By - Posted Sep 15, 2011
Big media brands are everywhere in our daily lives-on TV, in magazines, and in newspapers-and now even the digital frontier seems to be going the way of mass media. Big brand names are snatching up independent, popular entities, such as blogs, which come equipped with loyal followers. One of the better-known examples is the AOL acquisition of The Huffington Post earlier this year. Subsequently, AOL consolidated its 53 content brands into 20 different "power brands."
By - September 2011 Issue, Posted Sep 14, 2011
Percussion Software, a provider of web content management (WCM) solutions for businesses and organizations worldwide, released the newest installment in its family of online solutions, CM1 Version 2 (CM2), on Wednesday, Sept. 7. This pure WCM product that provides users with full WCM functionality was delivered as an upgradeable product in a cost-effective package.
By - Posted Sep 08, 2011
This past April, 1 month after her highly publicized resignation as CEO of NPR (National Public Radio), Vivian Schiller delivered a warning to her former public radio colleagues, saying, "There is massive change on the horizon." She cautioned that "if you don't aggressively reach out to new audiences on new platforms, someone else will," and she urged public radio to embrace technology by letting go "of the nostalgia for how that content is delivered and how that community is forged. Give the audience what they need and how they need it, and you will be fine." Whether there's any truth behind Schiller's prediction that "new digital-only startups will enter the marketplace in audio" and public radio will find itself "longing for the days when the competition was the radio station that overlapped on your broadcast signal" remains to be seen, but as audiences find new digitally friendly ways to consume content across all public media sectors, her prophecy may soon become reality.
By - Posted Sep 07, 2011
The steady increase in ebook sales over the last few years has had a significant impact on the book industry, as publishers have had to rethink long-standing business models. The rise in ebooks' popularity has opened new doors for authors, especially undiscovered authors, who can now turn their manuscripts into ebooks and sell them on ecommerce sites such as Amazon with just a few clicks of the mouse. While much attention has been paid to the changing roles of publishers and authors, little has been said about the roles of literary agents as they also attempt to navigate this evolving landscape.
By - September 2011 Issue, Posted Aug 31, 2011
Sometimes, trying to get the attention of web users can feel like an exercise in futility. The easier it gets to create a website, the harder it is to actually draw in visitors and customers. Ventana New Media has come up with something it feels can help solve this. The company launched Ventana New Media Engine (NME) on August 30, 2011, a product that delivers content-driven search engine-optimized communications.
By - Posted Aug 30, 2011
There is little room for debate: The introduction of the iPad has changed the computing environment irrevocably. It's a device that is rapidly breaking down the barriers between the traditional desktops, laptops, and mobile devices and significantly impacting how-and where-consumers access information. As a consequence, another trend is also emerging: the move from the wide-open web to semi-closed platforms that use the internet for transport but not the browser for display.
By - July/August 2011 Issue, Posted Aug 17, 2011
As a result of several email ads, a free download offer and some unforeseen occurrences, self-published, first time author Stephen Mitchell and his distributor Greenleaf Book Group struck gold last month when the medical thriller A Cure to Die For was downloaded 36,431 times on Amazon in just 6 days.
By - Posted Aug 16, 2011
According to PCMag.com, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved a plan for new domain name structures, including domain extensions-and it could impact the way people find sites on the web. With the new structure in place, searching would be possible directly in the browser and therefore remove the middleman, which in this case is the search engine.
By - Posted Aug 09, 2011
Before 2007, the word "kindle" simply meant to light on fire. Since Amazon's release of its Kindle e-reader in November of that year, the product has ignited the emedia market. A new report from InfoTrends, "Reading E-Media: The End User Perspective," addresses the growing markets of e-readers and multipurpose devices such as iPads by questioning consumers about their user experiences with these devices.
By - July/August 2011 Issue, Posted Aug 03, 2011
With more than 750 million accounts, Facebook accounts for 90% of all time spent on social networking sites in the U.S. according to comScore, Inc. Add 700 billion minutes per month people spend on Facebook updating statuses, perusing newsfeeds, and commenting on posts, we are talking big numbers. With statistics like these, it is only natural that companies are scrambling to crack the social media code, promote brands, and engage fans with captivating Facebook posts. How to best accomplish this feat is an ongoing question, but Vitrue, a social media publishing software provider, has determined that with the right tools and techniques, the answer may not be as complex as one would think.
By - Posted Aug 02, 2011
On the surface, it might seem that meeting the needs of a niche audience provides very few opportunities for creativity. It stands to reason that the content demands of a niche audience are limited, because audience members only need content and services related to a specific subject matter or industry and nothing more. That assumption couldn't be further from the truth.
By - July/August 2011 Issue, Posted Jul 27, 2011
Ebooks make up just a fraction of today's global book market, but they are already driving dramatic changes in the publishing industry, a new Outsell, Inc. report says. Last year, 5.2% of book sales worldwide were ebooks - $3.9 billion out of a $75.8 billion total market, according to Outsell's estimates. That represents a 64.2% increase for ebook sales over 2009. Ebook sales will continue to grow at steep rates from year to year, and will reach $12.7 billion, 16.1% of the market, in 2013, Outsell predicts.
By - Posted Jul 26, 2011
Open source content management system (CMS) Joomla has released its newest version, Joomla 1.7. The six-year-old software has had over 24 million international downloads within the last couple of years, including 2 million downloads of the Joomla 1.6 version that was released in January.
By - Posted Jul 19, 2011
More than 600 million people use Facebook to keep in touch with old friends, get to know new ones, share pictures, network-and to keep up with their favorite brands and products. Creating and maintaining a Facebook presence has become a standard practice for companies of all sizes. Customers can "Like" the brands that they, well, like. Previously referred to as "becoming a fan," liking a page lets customers receive updates and promotions from a company. But what value truly lies in these likes? How much is a Facebook fan really worth?
By - July/August 2011 Issue, Posted Jul 13, 2011
Do you love multitasking on your tablet, jumping from Twitter to email to the latest version of Angry Birds with just a few quick finger taps? Or maybe you find yourself in the e-reader camp, opting to leisurely click through the summer's best-seller on a single-purpose device. According to new studies, those of you on team e-reader are far from alone. Recently, a report produced by Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project showed e-reader ownership has doubled over the past six months, while tablet ownership has barely inched forward.
By - Posted Jul 07, 2011
When it comes to leveraging Facebook pages, publishers can be forgiven for wondering, "Where do I start?" Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that Facebook users are highly engaged and influential consumers that brands should be falling over themselves to court, it isn't always obvious exactly how a Facebook page can help businesses grow. AllFacebook's AF Expo in San Francisco recently examined the question.
By - Posted Jun 30, 2011
You know the drill. You log onto Facebook and then, after posting that hilarious status update or checking out the photos of your former classmate's newborn baby, you play your next move in Scrabble, or tend your virtual farm. You, like millions of other people, have fallen under the spell of simple, but compelling (and not to mention free) online game.For an increasing amount of people, it seems playing a game while visiting a website is almost an expectation. In fact, according to a Saatchi & Saatchi report titled "Engagement Unleashed: Gamification for Business, Brands, and Loyalty", 54% of male US internet users play a social game daily-with 46% of women following suit. Games keep users coming back for more. This isn't lost on web publishers.
By - Posted Jun 24, 2011
Meet the five new fundamentals of the information experience. Whether it's on a desktop monitor or a tiny mobile screen, ‘information experience' is the moment when the user experience and information-intensive applications meet. Over the past few years, as the volume of structured and unstructured data within organizations has exploded and the channels on which that information is consumed has diversified, content consumers have been revising their expectations for what qualifies as an acceptable information experience.
By - June 2011 Issue, Posted Jun 22, 2011
Where would we be without the Facebook Like button and the Twitter stream sidebar? Someplace almost unrecognizable, according to a recent study by Lijit Networks, Inc. The study found an 80% increase in social media widget adoption in 2010. With search engine optimization (SEO) becoming an increasingly difficult task, more and more website publishers are using social widgets to drive traffic and to promote viewer engagement.
By - June 2011 Issue, Posted Jun 15, 2011
Lately, it seems like nobody's information is safe on the web. From CitiGroup, Inc., to Google's Gmail, to Sony's Playstation Network, hackers have been running amuck on the web. Dastardly hackers aren't the only ones getting access to your information, however. Rarely discussed is the information that's being doled out by websites to third parties, on purpose. A recent study titled "Privacy Leakage vs. Protection measures: the growing disconnect," released from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, co-authored by Professor Craig Wills, shows that of 100 popular websites studied, nearly 75% are leaking personal and sometimes sensitive data about users.
By - Posted Jun 14, 2011
What a difference a year makes. Talk at the 2010 Semantic Technology conference tended toward the theoretical. At SemTech 2011-held this week in San Francisco-however, John O'Donovan, director of architecture and development for the UK's Press Association delivered a keynote called "Semantics in News, Sport and Media: A Compelling Case and New Architectural Pattern for Semantics in Every Enterprise," and it showed that the promise of semantics is finally making its way into publisher workflows and onto the end user desktop.
By - Posted Jun 09, 2011
Between iPhones and other smartphones, Kindles and other ereaders, iPads and other tablets, PCs, and even traditional mainstays such as print and television, consumers are getting content from more sources than ever before. While this multitude of content sources offers new revenue streams, it also poses a challenge to publishers seeking to maximize the value of their content on as many mediums as possible. However, many publishers are going mobile and finding success.
By - June 2011 Issue, Posted Jun 08, 2011
The rise of ebooks is bringing with it a new class of author. Fitting firmly into the internet's do-it-yourself ethos, ebook self-publishers are agile, entrepreneurial, and independent. Although still a small segment of the market, this growing body of writers is making its presence known.
By - June 2011 Issue, Posted Jun 01, 2011
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