December 2012 Issue


News Features

With its generous use of color and graphics--and its emphasis on shorter news stories--USA TODAY, the self-described "nation's newspaper," made a big splash when it stepped onto the national news scene 30 years ago in September 1982."USA TODAY sort of imagined what web publishing, web content would look like before we knew there was going to be a web," says Alan D. Mutter, a consultant specializing in corporate initiatives and new media ventures involving journalism and technology.
By - Posted Dec 19, 2012
While without a doubt the internet has made it easier to search for jobs-from such general job-seeking sites as Monster.com to more specialized ones such as JournalismJobs.com-it has also, in some cases, made it more difficult for someone to get hired. According to a survey released in April by CareerBuilder, LLC, nearly 2 in 5 companies use social networking sites to research job candidates. And a March survey from Eurocom Worldwide shows that 1 in 5 technology industry executives admit to rejecting an applicant based on his or her social media profile.
By - Posted Dec 31, 2012

Featured Stories

The 2012-2013 EContent 100, a list of the 100 Companies that Matter Most in the Digital Content Industry.
Posted Dec 04, 2012
The digital content industry is constantly in flux, but perhaps never more so than in 2012. From Facebook's IPO to Newsweek's announcement that it will go all-digital in 2013, it's been a big year for econtent--and for EContent. Submissions for this year's EContent 100 list were better than ever, and consequently our judges had their work cut out for them. It was a spirited debate-one that often embodied much of the debate that surrounds the larger content business. What truly makes a company successful in the digital world? That's the question we set out to answer with this year's EContent 100 list.
Posted Dec 04, 2012
Here are the eight professionals who decided which companies would make the EContent 100.
Posted Dec 04, 2012
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.
Posted Dec 21, 2012

Columns

In my last column, I discussed some fundamental rules that remain in place even as journalism is changing before our eyes. But as the role of journalism changes, we are still bringing new generations of journalists into the fold--and I happen to have one in my own house.
By - Posted Dec 04, 2012
You say you don't have any personal Big Data? Not worried about cloud storage? Think again. Private data, including passwords, are breached almost every month. WikiLeaks is the poster child for loss of massive amounts of classified information, all due to poor oversight of personal external drives. Most recently the case of Mat Honan, a Wired magazine journalist, comes to mind. Privacy breaches and lost data aren't always due to personal carelessness, although that is often a contributing factor.
By - Posted Dec 06, 2012
Another year in the digital age has come and gone, and ebook sales are still growing at "exponential" rates. All indicators would suggest that we've turned a corner and ebooks have been fully embraced by much of the book-consuming public. It's certainly been a banner year for sales, with record ebook and e-reading device sales. According to a Pew study, Christmas 2011 sales of e-readers and tablets almost doubled all of 2010's ownership rates bringing the market penetration to 20%. You don't have to be a genius to realize Christmas 2012 will likely blow that out of the water. But will those sales turn into long-term ebook growth? You can only sell so many e-reading devices, but there's no limit to ebook sales other than reader demand.
By - Posted Dec 11, 2012
In Part 1, I started discussing some of the most common reasons why content management system (CMS) projects fail. We covered change management, buying the wrong CMS, and lack of implementation resources. Onward!
By - Posted Dec 13, 2012
Even the most die-hard digital aficionado surely can't help but have a sneaky regard for the hard men of the 19th and 20th centuries arts and letters, such as van Gogh, Hemingway, and Picasso-who were all, allegedly, users of Moleskine notebooks with their iconic waxy black covers and elastic closures. It's been well-documented, however, that this impressive heritage is, in fact, marketing chutzpah, since the Moleskine brand was only invented (by an Italian company) in 1997.
By - Posted Dec 18, 2012
This year will go on record as the year that smartphone penetration in the U.S. passed the 50% mark, cementing the importance of mobile apps as a new channel to the customer. For the first time, smartphones and tablets have superseded the browser as the new mainstream platform where content is developed and deployed.
By - Posted Dec 20, 2012
When they are off-mic and off the record, most publishing executives are getting increasingly frank about the mobile conundrum they face. The math just doesn't look good. Oh, the hordes are here. Of that there is no doubt. It is not uncommon for top media brands to report exponential spikes in the share of traffic coming to them from mobile devices in the last year.
By - Posted Dec 18, 2012
Early adopters. In the digital age, they're people like you and me-folks who are among the first to see the possibilities of the "next best thing." We sign up for the latest services, test cutting-edge approaches, and try newfangled electronic devices. If we like what we see, we often become unofficial evangelists, helping to spread the gospel of the "next best thing."
By - Posted Dec 18, 2012
This is a story about storytelling. I used to wonder what skill sets I had honed over 15-plus years as a film producer that were applicable to the world of business beyond Hollywood. I mean, did anyone at IBM care that I knew Tom Hanks or could get Brad Pitt's agent on the phone? Probably not, but I soon realized that the ability to tell a story did matter. And, in fact, it's the absolute most important (and undervalued) skill in all of business. The person who tells her story succinctly in a job interview gets the gig. The person who takes complicated data points and puts them into an engaging story becomes the team leader. And the person who eloquently articulates the story of her digital media startup vision gets to skip all the usual mistakes of a first-time entrepreneur.
By - Posted Dec 27, 2012
My grandmother used to say three things changed the world after World War II: the atom bomb, the birth control pill, and television. The atom bomb because people recognized that entire countrysides could be devastated in a matter of seconds; the pill because women could control their fertility; and television because people could watch the news unfold in real time. It wasn't just her either: It seems that most historians agree with this premise.
By - Posted Dec 11, 2012
Big Data. Pinterest. Ebooks. Mobile. HTML 5. Open source. The Facebook IPO. Content marketing. I could go on and on, but these are just a few of the terms that started floating through my head when I began thinking about writing my end-of-the-year column.It's hard trying to sum up what's been a big-no- huge year in the digital content world. Depending on your job title, you might think 2012 was the year of Big Data, or the year ebooks finally went mainstream, or the year social media went from being a fun way to kill some time to an essential business tool (but a risky addition to your stock portfolio). And any of those conclusions would be right.
By - Posted Dec 06, 2012