A trade journal of a still-emerging field, written by Adam Tinworth.

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The River on iTunesABC is going to sell its new US series direct to UK iTunes users:

The much-anticipated new US thriller series “The River”, from Steven Spielberg, and Oren Peli, the creator of “Paranormal Activity”, is set to make its UK debut on iTunes ( on 8th February, just 24 hours after its US broadcast on ABC. iTunes customers will be first in the UK to see this chilling drama series. A Season Pass of all eight episodes of the much-anticipated show will be available to pre-order from today, with episodes one and two launching on 8th February.

The UK networks – non of which have bought the show – are cut out completely. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes…

[via The Medium is Not Enough]

Joanna Pieters, writing about meeting the readers of a specialist magazine for the first time:

In a flash, it all made sense. These men were experts. They knew buses and lorries intimately. They got a huge kick out of using their knowledge to build collections with significance to them, show off their expertise and take the rest of the model industry to task. And they read the magazine because it talked to them as experts, taking them seriously and sharing their passion.

This is why good niche blogs and sites work so very well online. Take those words – talked to them as experts, taking them seriously and sharing their passion – and engrave them on your brain as you produce content for niche audiences. If you don’t respect them, they won’t respect your content.

Don Brown:

Publishers do have lots of content, but a) there are lots of publishers (including online-only ones who have never put ink on paper in their lives) and b) there are lots of websites built purely to be packed with content to attract searching readers. (hint, they’re not called ’content farms’ for nothing). You’re competing against the other publishers for subscription and product revenues, and competing against the whole internet for advertising money (oh, and as Paul Conley explains, a lot of your advertisers are now using ‘content’ to go direct to consumers themselves). Someone will always be able to produce ‘content’ cheaper than you and get the eyeballs on it more cheaply than you can, and these ‘someones’ will be – and are – driving down the CPMs that volume advertisers will pay. (Chasing this revenue leads to what Breunig calls the ‘content crunch’, a downward spiral of cheaper content and lower revenues.)

A neat summary of the battle for attention and its casualties.

It’s interesting to note that all of the full time jobs I’ve been in discussions about – and the vast majority of contracting work, too – have been around organisations producing content to talk to their customers and partners direct, and not in the journalism business. I think that shows where the growth is right now…


I wonder how long scientific publishers can cling to their existing models when they’re eliciting this level of active hostility from their customers:

Once I did hear about Elsevier’s behaviour, I made a conscious decision not to publish in Elsevier journals and I started to feel bad about cooperating with them in any way. I didn’t go as far as to refuse, but if, say, I was asked to join the editorial board of an Elsevier journal and wasn’t quite sure I wanted to, then the fact that it was Elsevier was enough to make my mind up. (This actually happened. I was a little cowardly and gave it as an additional reason for reluctance rather than the main reason, but I did at least mention it.) I am not knowingly on the editorial board of any Elsevier journal, and haven’t been in the past either.

Stay for the comments, if you want to see a broader range of opinions.

I’ve noted a surge in posts about Open Access Publishing and other alternative methods of publishing scientific research over the last fortnight – anyone know why that might be?

John Robinson wants to know what we would do if…

* Half of your employees — including those in the newsroom — don’t read the paper (except for their own stories)?

Sadly, that’s been the case in pretty much every big magazine I’ve worked on. News reporters are particularly notorious for never bothering to read the features, in my experience, leading to the occasional embarrassment when the run something in news that was published in a feature a month before…

Simon LandMagus (sponsor)

They want to help us manage the quality of content. Over half of websites have four plus errors per page. State of the art CMOS? You can’t lock everything down. The Magus approach is to patrol your live content separately from the CMS, check it against agreed standards, and flag problems. You can drill down to countries, or site sections. Creates dashboards to show web editors what needs doing…

Francois Jordaan

Is content strategy domed from the start? Lots of lessons from failure that make him depressed. Clear trends about what a good projects needs. Bolt-ons to sites, editors wrestling with CMSes, none of the original people involved… these are warning signs. Companies aren’t used to thinking like publishers, so once the experts leave having set the strategy, the content suffers. Most companies aren’t ready to be publishers for the web yet. Changing them is very hard. Easiest to make the content the clients problem. Taking responsibility as an agency is often asking for trouble. Basic organisation, human, political problems – these are usually the ones you have the least remit to solve.

Joanna Pieters

Talked about her Benefits Checker approach to looking for fraudulent content in your strategy – stuff that doesn’t serve the content goals. Use when you’ve got your personas, your cone sorted. You start with a persona. Patrick is into a photographer. He’s a camera geek, looking for info on cameras. He needs to end up saying “I know the camera to but, I know the difference between these models.” a

Also emotive stuff: “I’m excited by the photos I’ll take”. Four functional, four emotive statements – and then, as a team, assess each section of content against those statements:

1-2 ticks when reviewing – fraudulent content. It needs to go.

3-6 – Rehab. Needs guidance and work.

7 – 8 . Champion content. Make sure it’s important enough and flagged up well.

Johnny Rose

Enterprise content management used to be Fuddy Duddy. But now people are talking about “experiences”. What is content experience? Interactivity, apparently. That’s very content centric, and we’re interested in people. Idio does content marketing. We’re trying to move people closer to a purchasing decisions. We as humans at producing tonnes and tonnes of data. Is there enough content? Should you curate or aggregate? If you apply semantic analyses to your data streams, you start to understand your people. Content strategy should be data driven.

Michael Alves

Never be content with your content. Information and entertainment – you can’t bore people into buying your product. And you need to give people ways to find the content. You need to find ways to use the content… How are you going to deliver the content? A website? A mobile experience? Social media?

You need a structure. You need to create the content to fill the holes. And you need to review it. And then you need to get a strategy to get it approved. and then your publish it. But your also need to archive it, because you don’t know when you’ll need to reuse it. Always make your information interesting.

Peter Springett

10 questions and answers:

  1. Welcome to the new austerity? Smaller budgets, great pressure to perform.
  2. How have we performed up until now? Before: IA, design
  3. So who are our role models today? CEOs, COOs. They know conten is king.
  4. Meaning what, exactly? Value, efficiency, ROI.
  5. OK, having got this far, how do you make value? Make it repeatable, reusable.
  6. Sure, but what about content? Be smart – do more with less
  7. Fine, but how do I come up with original content? Capture and store source materials. Get 10 uses from i.
  8. How else can I multiply value? Seek out the in-house talent
  9. How do I tell this story to the business? Evidence (metrics) is everything.
  10. What next? Be creative, be smart, be valuable.

Other posts about the session:

The Blogsy app in action

For a long time the iPad blogging landscape has been a horrible, barren mess, with barely any decent blogging apps to be seen. Most blog platforms’ editors didn’t function in mobile Safari in any useful way. Blogging using the iPad was, at best, a challenge and, at worst, an impossibility.

Hopefully, this has just changed. I saw on the Everything Typepad blog that the Blogsy app now supported that service and, as an optimistic soul, I napped a copy, downloaded it to my iPad, and was pleased to see that it supports Movable Type as well. So, this is a first test run to see how well it works. 

This far into the post it’s been a pretty impressive experience – but I’m getting the impression that I need to watch some of the videos to get a good handle on how some of the dragging and dropping works, especially around links. 

Time to publish and see if I’m still impressed…