Good News in Digital Age

Putting the new wine into new wineskins: facts and trends in hi-tech & communications, publishing & mass media which help to fulfill the Great Commission

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Why the Big B-to-B Model is Broken

FOLIO: article about the situation in b2b media. Here're some excerpts:

Beyond the problems of being overleveraged and in debt, many of the larger publishers are based on obsolete operating structures. As traditional print vehicles are replaced by multimedia and strategic services, the economies of the current structures no longer work.

“It seems to be that the economics of building a large b-to-b animal with multiple titles doesn’t necessarily click anymore,” says Garrett. “What do you get? A shared back office with human resources, finance, production and a centralized circulation department. But beyond a certain point, you begin to develop a bureaucracy. That impacts the performance of individual titles and even stifles growth—particularly with a public company—because they have earnings levels to meet, or if it’s a large private company with expectations or wishes to go public and they’re trying to build a P&L record.”

“An old magazine publishing company had various things that led you to a highly centralized structure. Those are the economics of large-scale mass production and distribution of magazines with classic departments like circulation and production. Five years ago, print accounted for two-thirds of the revenue of this company. Now, less than 5 percent of profits are attributable to the magazine businesses. The core requirement was to move the organizational structure and engage in a different way, and create a structure that allowed for scale without required centralization.”

Today, publishers are split on whether that multi-market approach still works. “I think it’s a difficult model,” says Bill Pollak, CEO of ALM, which focuses on the legal market (and which in 2009 was spun off as an independent company from U.K.-based owner and financial publisher Incisive Media, which went through its own reorganization and refinancing). “This idea that we can take a group of markets and put them under one umbrella and think we can create cross-market synergies sounds great on paper, but I don’t think it really happens. It’s very difficult to get people in different market segments to work together.”

Some executives think the shift away from traditional publishing services makes the multi-market approach even harder. “Being in several different unrelated markets is difficult in this economy,” says Ron Wall, senior vice president of publications at Canon Communications. “With lead generation, database, custom digital/print and immediacy of message being the focus of so many marketers the only way these can really be achieved is having several strong and focused assets that solve a customer’s entire needs.”

One poster at wrote: “We’ll know when they emerge from this, if they are serious about their business: Get rid of the dead-weight management, bring actual talent back, re-establish the core values that have been lost some time ago, and do business based upon principles that leave room for integrity and ethics, as well as profits.” That poster summed up the fact that while it’s easy to talk about change, it’s much harder for publishing executives (and owners) to take the steps necessary to enact it.

The industry’s moved beyond competing narrowly around ad- or subscription-driven print models. I think five years from now b-to-b publishing will be further transformed with a much more diverse range of b-to-b service business models facilitating commerce by serving everything from mass market b-to-b audiences on a global scale to highly specialized information and very finite 1-to-1 buyer-seller interactions via very dynamic platforms.”

Others see a new round of investors emerging. “I’ve been in b-to-b for 30 years and have been owned by private companies, public companies, private equity and a single bank,” says Wall. “We are in a business that generates good revenue from multiple sources and has minimal capital assets and EBITDA margins that are, for the most part, above 18 percent—how many other industries can say that? It may be hard to say today, but a new group of investors will find b-to-b a nice asset.”

The full text here

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Understanding Link Journalism

“Link journalism,” a term coined by Scott Karp, formerly director of digital strategy at Atlantic Media and founder of journalist social network Publish2, refers to sharing and picking up links from other media outlets and bloggers in order to fully cover the story.

It’s the antithesis of the traditional media approach, in which a media outlet was expected to offer its own version of a story (even if that version provides little else from stories already out there). On the Web, however, content ownership is a much looser idea. Publishers are starting to grasp that “every page is a home page,” because readers aren’t necessarily coming through the front door but more often directly to stories from search and social networks.

Read full article Understanding Link Journalism - Editorial @

Monday, December 21, 2009

Eastern, New Age Beliefs Widespread

According to the new Pew Forum survey (the results were released Dec 09, 2009):

One-third of Americans (35%) say they regularly (9%) or occasionally (26%) attend religious services at more than one place, and most of these (24% of the public overall) indicate that they sometimes attend religious services of a faith different from their own.

Among those who attend religious services at least once a week, nearly four-in-ten (39%) say they attend at multiple places and nearly three-in-ten (28%) go to services outside their own faith, according to the Pew Forum survey, which was conducted Aug. 11-27 among 4,013 adults reached on both landlines and cell phones. Attending services at more than one place and across multiple religious traditions is even more common among those who go to religious services on a monthly or yearly basis, with nearly six-in-ten (59%) saying they attend at multiple places and four-in-ten attending services from outside their own faith at least sometimes.

Overall, people in religiously mixed marriages attend worship services less often than people married to someone of the same faith.

24% of the public overall and 22% of Christians say they believe in reincarnation -- that people will be reborn in this world again and again. And similar numbers (25% of the public overall, 23% of Christians) believe in astrology. Nearly three-in-ten Americans say they have felt in touch with someone who has already died, almost one-in-five say they have seen or been in the presence of ghosts, and 15% have consulted a fortuneteller or a psychic.

Nearly half of the public (49%) says they have had a religious or mystical experience, defined as a "moment of sudden religious insight or awakening." This is similar to a survey conducted in 2006 but much higher than in surveys conducted in 1976 and 1994 and more than twice as high as a 1962 Gallup survey (22%). In fact, this year's survey finds that religious and mystical experiences are more common today among those who are unaffiliated with any particular religion (30%) than they were in the 1960s among the public as whole (22%).

Roughly one-quarter of adults express belief in tenets of certain Eastern religions; 24% say they believe in reincarnation (that people will be reborn in this world again and again), and a similar number (23%) believe in yoga not just as exercise but as a spiritual practice. Similar numbers profess belief in elements of New Age spirituality, with 26% saying they believe in spiritual energy located in physical things such as mountains, trees or crystals, and 25% professing belief in astrology (that the position of the stars and planets can affect people's lives).

Roughly three-in-ten Americans (29%) say they have felt in touch with someone who has died. Nearly one-in-five say they have been in the presence of a ghost (18%), while 15% say they have consulted a fortuneteller or a psychic.

The proportion of Americans who say they have interacted with a ghost has doubled over the past 13 years (9% in 1996 compared with 18% today).

Read the whole original post here
Full report PDF (22 pages)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gartner's Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle 2008

Gartner published its (27) emerging technologies, highlights and predictions report. According to this report Green IT, Cloud computing, Social computing, Video telepresence, will reach, as you can see, the plateau of Hype within the next two to five years.

Here are the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2008

Jackie Fenn discusses Gartner's Hype Cycles for 2008 with Gartner Research VP Jeff Comport this podcast.

People migrate online for news

The PEW Research Center for the People & the Press released its biennial news consumption survey. Overall, news is loosing some importance and traditional newspaper have not managed to attract as many reader online as they are loosing in print ...

Where do people (US) get their news

Source (plus additional findings): PEW

Full report (129 pages, PDF)

Thanks to for providing this info

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Who else can we learn from, except others? Here is a remarkable range of galleries in a range of categories: light on dark, horizontal scrolling, best blog design, best Wordpress design, liquid CSS design, and much more:

WP Cube

A showcase of the best designed Wordpress sites.
Online since December 2007, with approximately 300 items of inspiration.

We Love WP

Those Wordpress users really like their CMS, another showcase of Wordpress powered sites.
Online since June 2007, with approximately 350 items of inspiration.

and many-many others also featured at 24 Great Niche Galleries

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

GodTube - interesting facts and observations

By Allison Perlman, Penn State University:

Founded by Dallas Theological Seminary student and former CBS television producer Chris Wyatt, Christian website Godtube combines user-generated video, live webcasts (many of church services and ministries), and social networking opportunities. Godtube is a for-profit enterprise, earning revenue by accepting secular and religious advertising spots, charging subscription fees to ministries, and selling demographic data to marketers and media producers. The hundreds of videos that are uploaded each day first are approved by site administrators, mostly other seminary students, to ensure that all the content on the site is family-friendly. In these ways, Godtube falls outside of what we often think about when we think of alternative media: it embraces the commercial logics of mainstream media distribution and polices what constitutes acceptable content for its users to see. Godtube—in line with Christian cable networks, genre fiction, music—could be seen as an extension of the Christian media marketplace, one that sees Christians a vibrant consumer demographic.

Significantly, this video clip–which has been one of the most viewed and discussed on Godtube, as well as one of the most criticized—is one of four Mac-PC/Christ Follower-Christian parody ads on Godtube, each of which ridicules the notion that to be a follower of Christ is to participate in the ever-expanding Christian marketplace. Ironically, sites like Godtube could fall directly into the very type of media consumption eschewed in this video. Yet many of the comments following this clip reject its message and reinforce the dangers to the Christian community posed by the mainstream media. Importantly, many of the comments responding to the Christ Follower-Christian clip focus much more on the hostility of the mainstream to Christian values than to the virtues of Christian music itself; the outcome of this talk is not really the promotion of Christian music, but the presentation of Christians as the marginalized Other. Indeed, many of the more popular videos and comments on the site reinforce the idea that Christians currently are victims within a secular American culture who are in need of a forum like Godtube and of alternative forms of cultural expression.

It is in how users position Godtube—as a site that gives voice to a community that defines itself as often silenced, encourages social change, provides a forum for expression and participation to individuals who see themselves left out of mainstream discourses, and offers a critique of the limitations of the mainstream media—that tempts me to think of Godtube as a form of alternative media. It is the ubiquitous presence of advertising, the narrowness through which community is articulated and defined, and (to my mind) illegitimate expression of victimization that tempts me to reconsider.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A cell phone revolution?

Top technology executives at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday said mobile Internet will eventually let advertisers tailor messages based on a user's location.

Here are some quotations from the panel discussion they held:

"In theory location-based advertising will be a very good business and useful to the end user," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt (picture).

Moderator David Kirkpatrick noted the number of people with cell phones far outnumbers those with personal computers.

"It will not be long before we are all carrying video (transmitting) cell phones. What we now call the cell phone is becoming the de facto Internet device. The technology industry is rapidly becoming the mobile technology industry," said Kirkpatrick, who is the senior editor for Internet and technology at Fortune Magazine.

Wang Jianzhou, whose company is the largest mobile provider in China, noted China boasts a half billion mobile users and is adding to the number at a rate of 6 million per month. The future, he said, was with "location advertising" enabled by the devices' global positioning system.
SONY CEO Howard Stringer was more skeptical, saying young users of mobile phones don't like advertising.

Read the full sory