Digital Publishing

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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.

Posted Feb 22, 2012

ContentNext Media, Inc., previously part of Guardian News & Media (GNM) Ltd., has joined forces with GigaOM, owned by Giga Omni Media, Inc. The terms of the deal will not be disclosed, but GigaOM is buying paidContent.org, mocoNews.net, contentSutra, and paidContent:UK.

Posted Feb 09, 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.

Posted Feb 01, 2012

Guess what's back in vogue: that lovely old chestnut, the paywall. In September, The Boston Globe announced it was putting up a paywall for its new http://bostonglobe.com website, leaving the very popular http://boston.com intact but apparently with less free content.It's part of a trend we are seeing in the newspaper world. Desperate to find new sources of revenue, traditional media is trying the tried-and-true paywall. The New York Times--which owns The Boston Globe by the way--made the transition last spring, but this was a paywall with a twist. It wasn't so much a wall as maybe a hedge.

Posted Jan 31, 2012

Mediaspectrum, Inc. updated its Adrenalin content management product to provide better ad serving and tracking. Adrenalin 2.0 is a cloud-based platform that enables users to manage multimedia content, advertising, and subscriptions, and automates mobile news, publishing, and commerce for digital readership.

Posted Jan 26, 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.

Posted Jan 20, 2012

The Atlantic Media Co. plans to launch a business site, on track to go up later this year, that will focus on global business. Kevin Delaney, former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Online, has been announced as the new Atlantic site's editor-in-chief.

Posted Jan 19, 2012

Aptara, Inc. released an updated version of its PXE web-based digital publishing platform. PXE4.1 is designed to streamline the production process, accelerate the delivery of digital and mobile content, improve content flexibility, and extend workflow capabilities.

Posted Jan 19, 2012

North Korea's official newspaper, The Rodong Singmun, released an English-language digital version. The English version of the paper is divided into four sections: "Supreme Leaders' Activities," "In DPRK" (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea), "Inter-Korean," and "International."

Posted Jan 16, 2012

Progressive Publishing Alternatives (PPA), part of The Magnus Group, Inc., launched its new website and included more resources and educational tools about editorial services for publishing. These tools can be referenced to help establish editorial and production strategies.

Posted Jan 09, 2012

I'm a digitally-savvy consumer. Increasingly, so are my parents, most of my friends, and almost all of my younger relatives, peers, and co-workers. Yet, despite our differences in age, education, and technology know-how, we all share a common trait. We're continuously victimized by less-than-optimal digital experiences -- especially when it comes to ebooks.

Posted Jan 05, 2012

If there is one thing that continues to perplex the publishing industry, it's ebook pricing. How do you structure your pricing in a way that is fair to both the reader and the author and still make enough money to continue publishing operations? Many larger publishers want to keep the ebook price structure high, especially at the beginning, to keep from cannibalizing more profitable hardcover sales.

Posted Dec 29, 2011

For MLBAM, being in charge of MLB.com and the league's 30 team sites means managing a lot of digital content. Whether it is baseball season or the off season, MLB fans are always hungry for everything from statistics to video highlights, and it is MLBAM's job to keep them satiated with fresh content. When MLBAM realized that it was wasting too much time with traditional methods of logging and publishing all the different kinds of baseball related information, Rob Boysko, manager of multimedia publishing at MLB, started looking for a solution to simplify the process and cut down on content headaches.

Posted Dec 28, 2011

A few days before the wedding, I found myself sitting with my laptop searching YouTube for makeup tips. In a matter of seconds, I'd found exactly what I was looking for. I discovered a channel called The MakeUpChair With Sineady Cady (she has a really lovely accent, and the videos are worth watching just to hear her). Sineady is a young makeup artist living in Ireland, who uses a blog and her YouTube channel to promote her brand and find new clients. Her email address is posted right there on the channel, so if you're looking for someone to do your makeup for a special day, you can shoot her a message.

Posted Dec 27, 2011

Book publishers are an endangered species. That's right. The producers of textbooks, romance novels, and cookbooks aren't long for this world. Their likely extinction is both predictable and preventable. Even if they put up a good fight, it's unlikely they'll survive in their current form for one reason: They are slow to evolve.Case in point: Two years ago, while book publishers were busy conducting business as usual, an outsider invaded the industry and reshaped it in the publishers' image. The invading force was Apple, a fierce predator with a history of conducting well-orchestrated, highly publicized takeovers. And take over it did.

Posted Dec 22, 2011

Condé Nast and Random House, Inc. have partnered to bring 75 Random House digital cookbooks to Condé Nast's cooking site, Epicurious. In the future, Epicurious reportedly plans to team up with other publishers to expand its offering. The digital cookbooks range in price from $10.99 to $24.99.

Posted Dec 20, 2011

It's been a busy year for U.K. media. It started off with the pomp and ceremony of the Royal Wedding, moved to the embarrassing unravelling of News Corp. over a phone-hacking scandal, and ended with the devastating riots, which started in North London and then inspired copycat lawlessness in cities across the country for a few alarming days in August. When you look at it all written out like that, it's a wonder we survived at all!

Posted Dec 20, 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.

Posted Dec 20, 2011

Ahead of the release of the Harry Potter ebooks and digital audiobooks, J. K. Rowling's Pottermore.com is running a survey on e-reading habits. Pottermore was originally scheduled to open shop in October, but due to concerns about heavy traffic, the launch was pushed back to sometime in the first half of 2012.

Posted Dec 19, 2011

No longer is it just editors and agents on the subways and buses with their submission pile on Sony e-readers; it's actual, real, live, nonindustry people who just love to read. Harris Interactive, Inc. polled more than 2,000 people in July of this year and found that roughly 15% of those polled already owned an e-reader, and 15% of those who did not own an e-reader were likely to buy one in the next 6 months.

Posted Dec 15, 2011

ebrary announced the results of its Download Survey for which it asked more than 1,000 participating librarians about mobile and offline access to ebooks. Patrons value the portability of ebooks, which led 92% of respondents to say that providing offline access to ebooks was at least as important as providing online access to them, if not more so.

Posted Dec 14, 2011

The Authors Guild filed a motion for class certification in its first step on a new path of litigation after the rejection of the proposed Google Books Settlement, according to paidContent. A procedural step in any class-action lawsuit, the class certification ensures the lawsuit is brought on the behalf of all U.S. authors whose copyrighted work Google has scanned.

Posted Dec 14, 2011

Help+Manual 6, an authoring tool from EC Software GmbH, adds new output formats, including manuals that can be directly exported to and viewed on the Apple iPad and iPhone. Version 6 has an updated user interface, editing capabilities, and WebHelp 2.0.

Posted Dec 13, 2011

According to the Wordpress.com blog, the popular blogging and website building tool is partnering with Federated Media to offer the opportunity to advertise to its bloggers. According to the post: "We've resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn't terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google's AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense."

Posted Dec 13, 2011

When I think of digital publishing over the next year and beyond, I see three trends dominating the landscape: mobility, ubiquity, and touchability. User-generated content (UGC), social sharing, and social advertising are replacing the old-world concepts of traditional advertising. Your technology (today or tomorrow) should be able to support this paradigm shift.

Posted Dec 13, 2011

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