Whether it is for publishers, press agencies or politics, Internet is a key channel for information. We have seen several times that a simple Tweet or a comment on Facebook can overcome an official press release.
Yesterday (23/04/13), the Associated Press and Twitter gave us a dramatic example of how fast an information broadcast on the Internet can impact the “real world”. Indeed, a Tweet of AP announced that Barack Obama had been injured in two explosions and that the White House was under attack. The Dow Jones dropped from more than 100 points only a few minutes later.
Of course, the attack was denied by the White House and the Dow Jones went back to normal. Hacking a Twitter account is not very surprising and it’s not the real problem. The real issue is that unchecked information was taken seriously by stock markets.
Such incident shows how crucial it is to manage information properly, especially on Internet.
To find out more, here is a link to an article of the Washington Post.
We are used to see printed magazines linked to a website, or at least offering an online version of their publication (i.e. via PDF viewers). Besides, if we look at the current magazines, most of them have at least a small online presence. It’s the trend.
The transition from paper to digital became something common. Going the other way is quite unusual but it also exists! Indeed, successful websites have decided to try their luck on paper by using their reputation on internet!
Here are three examples of websites which launched a paper magazine:
First, let’s talk about the French cooking website: marmiton.org. It has more than 7.5 million unique visitors per month. A magazine is born out of this website. It is widely printed (120,000 copies) and there were 20,000 unsold copies of the first issue, which is quite honorable!
Rue89.com, a news website, has decided to launch its paper in 2010, after three years of existence on internet. Approximately 70% of the content comes from the website (after being adapted for printing) and the remaining 30% is original content meant to be printed in the first place.
The latest is Doctissimo (health and well-being interests). This website, with an audience of about 9 million unique visitors per month in France, launched a paper which will be drawn to 130,000 copies.
There are other examples, I can’t name them all. This is clearly a new phenomenon that proves that paper and digital can still grow together! It also shows that having lots of visitors on a website doesn’t prevent the paper from living, it’s quite the opposite. People still love to “touch” a printed magazine.
Following the developments of new technologies, new styles of magazines emerge.
One of these new types of magazines has almost no content. You can find teasers of articles and a QR Code leading to online content. Online content can be displayed either directly on the magazine’s website or on partners’ sites. It’s the same for ads, they include QR Codes that lead to online shops or the advertisers’ websites. Of course, this requires all the websites connected to these QR Codes to be adapted for smartphones and tablets.
A French magazine has 30% of its content written by online readers. Such content is obviously subject to moderation but it makes it so vibrant. In addition, this magazine is only sold online and not printed… A true revolution!
There are many examples of innovations in magazine publishing all around the world. A special issue of an Hungarian magazine can be turned into a handbag. The cover of a Spanish magazine was made with “Odorama”, i.e. readers could smell what they saw on the cover. In Brazil, a magazine offers vocal content when connecting headphones to the edge.
Magazines are not the only ones to change, magazine advertisements are also evolving. For example, an Israeli advertisement goes from black and white to color when exposed to sunlight. A campaign for a car manufacturer makes readers play with an application on smartphone through augmented reality. Indeed, when you focus on the ad with your smartphone, a car appears on your screen and the circuit is printed on the ad, what a great idea!
Once again, we see that the paper is not dead, it’s quite the opposite. With ideas to combine new technologies and paper, we can achieve fantastic results! People like such synergy!
In early 2000, the dot-com crashed creating a doubt around the Internet and its model for years, mainly until the IPO of Google. However, for a lot of publishers, this is still an open wound. We all remember AOL crunching the press giant TimeWarner… The last years were difficult and the economic down turn affected the entire spectrum of publishing. Apple launched the iPad in 2010, partly as the holly grail for magazine and newspaper publishers. As a result from those, and many other causes, there are 20% less magazines now that they were in 1999.
In 2011, only 3% of magazine spending were on their digital version, even if great technological advances allowed better experience, like Responsive Design allowing a more universal support of devices.
2012 is the confirmation of what we have experienced before: new revenues are online, online ads are increasing and press-giant Newsweek stops its printed version in favor of an online-only version.
2013 is the year of the revolution, with ContentLC being launched after successful deployments. It fits the needs of younger viewer with support of phones, tablets. e-commerce, SEO and entertaining ads are part of its DNA.
2016 is an evolution of the same principles, and over 5 years, we will see that the web has taken at least a 3x increase in terms of spending.
For achieving this goal, you need:
- new skills,
- web creativity,
- adapted metrics,
- and interactive content.
GreenIvory and ContentLC can provide all that for you, as part of our coaching & knowledge transfer program.
Startups winner first: Paperight, CartoDB, Borne Digital,
Paperight is allowing copy shops to print books legally, they are pretty successful in South Africa.
CartoDB is a vizualization tools for showing interactive stories on maps.
Borne Digital is a tool to bring adaptive reading to children. The better they read, the more difficult it can be.
Yes, Content Is Still King
By John Tayman (Byliner)
Hailed as “One of the 10 Most Innovative Media Companies in the World” (Fast Company), start-up publisher Byliner is putting a whole new spin on the development and delivery of content.
Byliner is a 18-month old startup. They deliver the world’s best authors to the world. They sell short stories you can read in 1 to 2 hours. They have roughly 5,000 authors so far. They clean the data and apply semantic and social analysis to push more content to this user. It sounds like iTunes Genius for books to me.
Reinventing Comics And Graphic Novels For Digital
By Mark Waid (Thrillbent)
Comics and graphic novels are print relics in a digital world. Thrillbent.com publisher Mark Waid, a 30-year veteran in the comics field, demonstrates how he and his team have reinvented the comics medium from the ground up for tablets and mobile devices in jaw-dropping ways.
What are the challenges of comics to go to digital. Comics have codes including the layout like its mostly (if not all) portrait. Some authors use 2 pages. Reusing the real estate is not easy. Check FreakAngels, the pioneer in web comics.
Motion comics are not comics: they give some kind of time limit which is not something you like when reading comics. The reader should remain in control.
Mark has launched Thrillbent to bring a new experience in comics reading in the digital world. I love comics, you should really give a try to the site.
The traditional comics main cost is printing. His strategy is to make the comics available as strips for free. Then, they bundle the whole set is sold though ComiXology as a bundle.
The Library as Ebook Discovery Zone: More Lessons from *Library Journal’s* Public Library Patron Research
By Meredith Schwartz (Library Journal)
Now in its second year, Library Journal’s Patron Profiles: Understanding the Behavior and Preferences of US Public Library Users, offers key insights into library patrons’ rapid, enthusiastic adoption of the ebook format.
Libraries have to evolve to eBooks too. In the US, 89% (2011) of libraries offer eBooks. There is about 8 times more libraries in the US than bookstores. eLending is really a new challenge and a lot of patrons (consumers in the librarian language) are not understanding why not everything is as easy as getting books from Amazon. Publishers are not always “playing the game as well”.
By Maria Popova (Brain Pickings)
Maria Popova, Founder & Editor, Brain Pickings.
What is the future of revenue making in the press? Soon in a future post…
Moderated by Kat Meyer (O’Reilly Media, Inc. ) with the following panel: Todd Boss (Motionpoems), Louis-Jacques Darveau (The Alpine Review), Eli Horowitz (The Silent History), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University), Russell Quinn (The Silent History)
In this 2-session “mini-track,” Erin Kissane leads a panel of artists (author, editor, designer/developer, poet, and multimedia producer) in exploring how technology is influencing art and authoring, and how the very nature of creation is being redefined by networked and other tech tools.
Erin Kissane, the original moderator, has been replaced by Kat Meyer (O’Reilly Media, Inc. ), It seems that I am not the only sick person at the conference…
Todd Boss is a poet. He puts poems in motion, like building a cartoon around a poem.
Kate Pullinger thinks publishers are still thinking the old way: taking a book and put it in its normal form into an eBook. Like the PDF you just turn into an eBook. She’s working on projects, experimental and innovative. You can discover her work at Flight Paths.
Louis-Jacques Darveau started his career as a lawyer but he now focuses on implementing technology in publishing. The Alpine Review is his baby, it’s really a metaphor between what you can find in the Alps and in technology. It’s still a print product. they are now thinking about adding a digital companion.
Eli Horowitz co founded the silent history. It’s an oral history with a different speaker each day.
What appears is that books use more and more video. i remember when Adobe announced that PDF could embed video. They were really ahead of their time, but still thinking in a “box”: the page.
All those experiments are currently being funded by goodwill, grants… So now, every one is trying new stuff but really not making a living out of it.
I think this is really the last panel I am attending ever (well, you know, we all say that), but there is really a limited take-away message, although panelists are great people.
By Joshua Gans (Rotman School of Management).
The publishing industry is facing large changes as digitization continues to transform the industry. In this session, we will explore the economics of business models for publishing and will argue that these drive players towards models that embrace rather than repel sharing. Taking this perspective can enlarge the set of possible profitable paths for publishers.
Joshua is passionate about monetization of content, last year he wrote a book called “Information wants to be shared”. Brand says “information wants to be free”, which is a paradox as it is not free to produce.
The cost of producing information is not proportional to the number of the consumers. However, all the cost is ahead of time, with no guarantee of return.
KickStarter is an example of shared funding done right. Doing so enables you to pre-finance books. The mechanism is not easy to put in place, even Stephen King failed at it with the Plant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Plant).
Shared use has evolved from 1997 to 2009, where “do not redistribute” was the norm and now it is more about sharing.
In this way, a private collection of books is a non-sense.
The intent is to read stuff and you get this from publishers, media and friends. The latter being more and more with the social environment of 2013. However, friends will do that if it is easy for you to procure the book.
One of Joshua’s idea would be to create a pool to distribute the revenues based on usage from readers. This idea is already used with other media.
By Javier Celaya (University of Alcala (Madrid) and Dosdoce.com)
Partnering with newly born digital companies will allow publishing companies to gain access to innovative new products and services well before their competitors and will also provide them with real answers to their imminent future business models and company reorganization.
There are more and more startups in the publishing business. Most publishers are actually meeting startup to “talk”, whereas the startups are coming to close a deal (Hey, we need customers!). However, what we both need is to explore the work of the other party. 94% of startups would like more involvment from publishers. Finding a mentor in the publisher is somthing that most startups want.
Define action items, goals, define milestones.
Test, measure and learn: each experiment is a new product.
80% of the publishers are ready to invest in startups. Examples are impressive.
The publishing industry has a longer ROI than most other sectors and appears to have a lack of innovation. The publishers also have limited trust in their startups: unlike other sectors, they lack “self-investment”.
Javier is a very good speaker. Have a look at his slides.
With Hugh McGuire (PressBooks / LibriVox / Iambik ), Alistair Croll (Solve For Interesting)
While we have gone from print to ebook, there is still much potential of digital that ebooks don’t allow, because they are not truly connected to the web. We’ve seen on the web the power of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) which allow services to be built on top of existing platforms. Think of the multitude of apps that interact with Facebook, of the tools that use Google Maps. Why don’t we have an API for digital books yet? And what will it look like?
Alistair starts by saying that blogs and narrative are different. However, there are more style. Footnotes are the first hyperlink: this is an interesting idea.
A book is a bundle, specially in the paper version as the ink was smashed into wood pulp.
The interface between the content and the structure is an API. The book constantly evolves. Don’t be the next Kodak.
Hugh defines a book: it is neutral to the format of the output, barely a discrete collection of text (and other stuff). However, what’s in are more easily defined: emotions, facts…
An API for a book is to build services around it. ONIX feeds are some kind of an API. But we can start with the index. Its job is a map to the book: a link to a resource. An eBook index is similar as it hyperlinks to the resource. However, it may still look too much like an old index, an eBook version of an index.
An index is just a set of links, the classic HTML anchor.
The idea of API is to “type” those resources. This is similar to micro formats. Adding semantics to a book can actually add the typing Hugh mentions. As for Dracula, you could actually see where he went and ate people. Well kind of eating. You get it. It’s only another vision, like removing all the words, keeping the facts.
Is it hard to do? Hugh just made a quick plug to his system PressBooks.