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  • Thought’s on the IMAG-MPA Conference And Samir Husni’s Love Letter to IMAG

    Thought’s on the IMAG-MPA Conference And Samir Husni’s Love Letter to IMAG

    Professor Samir Husni and I both love the magazine industry, yet we come to that affection from completely different directions. He is enamored withprint on paperOpens in a new window, while I am enamored by the global power of content distribution in/and on any platform that the consumer/reader wishes. The differences of our perspectives are very significant, but don't preclude a decades-long, great friendship. Conversations between us are at the very least dynamic, as one young man found out when he was sitting between us at dinner on the first night of the IMAG Conference in Boulder. He got an earful from both sides.

    Samir's takeawayOpens in a new window from the IMAG conference is a product of his affection and belief in print. Although I, too, believe in the moderate longevity of print, I also believe and fully acknowledge that it is continuing to take a second seat to other platforms and other paths of sustainable revenue.  In fact all the IMAG conference subject lines were how to make money and grow your company in every possible way other than print. And that to me is ironic in the extreme. Allow me to explain the irony.

    In the early 2000s I was publicly very critical of the MPA Conferences. In my mind there was a digital revolution about to happen and there was little to no dialog in the annual meetings about the juggernaut I saw coming directly at us. Now in the most interesting of turnabouts the reverse is in play, and most, if not all, of the convention is about digital. Digital is the only thing talked about with little to nothing about traditional magazines and how to make them better and sustainable. No sessions about how to make a great cover or distribution tricks to improve circulation or news about paper and/or printing trends - pretty much nothing about the print part of the magazine media business. CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted May 22, 2015
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  • BoSacks Interview with Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale Inc.

    BoSacks Interview with Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale Inc.

    Maria Rodale, is a fascinating member of the publishing community. She is the CEO and Chairman of Rodale, Inc., which makes the claim to be the world's largest independent publisher of health, wellness, and environmental content, and the largest independent book publisher in the United States. Who am I to disagree? In fact, I love the world's largest claim, as I claim to publish the world's oldest eNewsletter. Maria is a third generation publisher whose grandfather J.I. Rodale founded the company in 1930. She is a lifelong advocate of organic farming and gardening. She is the author of five books. And she graciously agreed to my interviewing her. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW

     

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted May 04, 2015
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  • As Content & Technology Converge, Publishers Feel the Squeeze

    As Content & Technology Converge, Publishers Feel the Squeeze

    As Content & Technology Converge, Publishers Feel the Squeeze

     

    Is there a difference between a content company and a technology company? The answer to that question is becoming increasingly difficult to answer. In the recent past, publishers were by and large content companies. Today, with the blending of multiple content distribution formats, magazine media companies have forged new business alliances and discovered new types of competitors, blurring the lines between magazine companies and technology companies.

     

    David Carey recently noted that, "Hearst is a content company, operating with a platform mentality...functioning as one global entity as far as content sharing." I suggest to you that only a technology company that sells content on such a vast scale can achieve the goal of that kind of global outreach.

     

    Let's put a bunch of companies in the same sentence and see if we can divine the differences: The New York Times, Hearst, Condé Nast, Yahoo, Buzzfeed, Vox, and Upworthy. Can you distinguish the differences between these companies and their missions? If we are all fast becoming technology companies, as it seems we are, perhaps we should consider the differences and significance of online readership and off-line readership. Are we nearing a point when it will all be just readership?

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted May 01, 2015
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  • Do New ASME Rules Damage The Magazine Industry?

    Do New ASME Rules Damage The Magazine Industry?

     It seems to me that my opinion on the changes to the ASME guidelines will be in the minority. To me it boils down to integrity: you have it or you don't. 

    As an industry we seem to keep diluting our once unimpeachable integrity, whittling at it here and there, until before we know it, we have none.  Native advertising, ads on the cover, editors working hand in hand with advertisers -- where does it end? Oh, I see there actually is no end, just a slow whimpering slide into total duplicity. Yes, you can fool all the readers some of the time and some of the readers all the time, but you absolutely can't fool all the readers all the time. 

    In the end the ASME rules don't matter and they never did.

    Lets face it, we have never been a "pure" industry and we have always pushed the business envelope hard for a few extra bucks. But now we don't wish to even fake it anymore. 

    What does matter is our self-image. Editors of old would be appalled at what we have become and allow.  I hear you -- modern times require modern guidelines. I'm sure that is true. But I tell you this, there continues to be less and less that differentiates the magazine media business from multiple internet scams or from the 16 year old kid doing whatever he pleases to score with the girl next door. It may work for the kid, but not for the industry. 

    I think the old guidelines of the magazine industry that were in place for decades helped develop the enduring value for our franchises. We are still riding on the coattails of those old values, and the public still believes in us and our integrity based on what we did in the past. It will take time, but not as much time as took to develop that trust, for it to evaporate. Is it worth it to destroy a legacy for just a few shekels? I guess so. 

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted May 01, 2015
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  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On ASME,  Time Inc., On Newsstand and Circ issues.

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On ASME, Time Inc., On Newsstand and Circ issues.

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On ASME,  Time Inc., On Newsstand and Circ issues.

     

    Re: The Shady Industry That's Trapping Door-to-Door Magazine Sellers

    Bob, thanks for posting.  Rita Cohen from the MPA summed up the situation - selling this way is worth the hassle because agents have connections that publishers may not have. "Our hope is that we can rely on the agents to do business as we put forth in our guidelines so that we can continue to get our content to as broad an audience as possible."  Since the MPA publishes guidelines on behalf of their members - the publishers, they have a responsibility to enforce them.  It is obvious they are not being enforced.  The MPA should be held to a higher standard in monitoring these activities.

    (Submitted by a Publishing Executive)

     

    RE: Blurred Lines Now Official per ASME

    It seems to us that the ASME has lost some of its teeth, and this is their way of playing catch-up and trying to stay relevant as the marketing dollars make more and more of the editorial decisions. Appeasement has a way of falling short in the long run, and consumers have a way of seeing through this kind of veiled attempt at maintaining lines.

     

    Simply waving around your guideline isn't enough to prop up your integrity when it starts to falter.

    (Submitted by a Printer)

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted May 01, 2015
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  • BoSacks Speaks Out: On Niche Media Publishing Conference

    BoSacks Speaks Out: On Niche Media Publishing Conference

    BoSacks Speaks Out: On Niche Media Publishing Conference


     
    Last week I went to Denver to attend the Niche Media Conference. As I sat there at the opening ceremony I started to wonder about the term "niche". We all use it, but do any of us know the actual meaning of the word. I didn't. The term comes from Vulgar Latin, vulgar in this case meaning "common or vernacular Latin" rather than Classical Latin. The Vulgar Latin word was nīdiculāre which means to stay in one's nest. From Latin the French used the word nicher or "to make a nest."

     

    I tell you all this because Carl Landau has succeed in making a publishing nest at his Niche Media Conference. I must have asked 45 of the 250 attendees if they liked the event and why. Most of the people I met were returnees, and that says something right there.  A few have been coming since the beginning, which I think I heard Carl say was 9 years ago.

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted May 01, 2015
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  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Publishing ROI, Print isn't Dead, Frozen subs, Mr. Magazine, Big Data

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Publishing ROI, Print isn't Dead, Frozen subs, Mr. Magazine, Big Data

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Publishing ROI, Print isn't Dead, Frozen subs, Mr. Magazine, Big Data…

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted March 17, 2015
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  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Proof that Print is Dead and Why it Should Be

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Proof that Print is Dead and Why it Should Be

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Proof that Print is Dead and Why it Should Be     Re:…

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted March 17, 2015
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  • On PRIMEX, and the Important Nuts and Bolts of the Magazine Industry

    On PRIMEX, and the Important Nuts and Bolts of the Magazine Industry

    BoSacks Speaks Out: On PRIMEX, and the Important Nuts and Bolts of the Magazine Industry

     

    There is an unsung part of the magazine media industry that many of us rarely think or hear about, and yet a case can be made that this hard working section of the industry is the mighty engine that actually keeps us running.

     

    We constantly read about creativity in our industry, about the art or editorial without which we wouldn't have a business. We read about newsstand issues, both the good and the bad. But the "magazine auto mechanic" who keeps the engine running is rarely in the forefront of industry discussions. Yet without a good, well distributed substrate, where would you put your creative content?

     

    The somewhat hidden yet vital sectors of our business are the production departments.  Having been a member of that elite group myself, I know the perils of the position all too well. Our job is to keep costs down to minimum and quality up to a maximum. Sounds easy, right? Other than those cost and quality conditions we only surface when things go wrong. What kind of person would actually take on that kind of responsibility? The fact that we get it right and near perfect 99.9% of the time is irrelevant when the pulp hits the fan of manufactured discontent. FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

     

     

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted March 16, 2015
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  • Where Are Today's Mentors?

    Where Are Today's Mentors?

    We will need good leaders to provide direction in the changing publishing world.

    In this column I have pontificated many times about the positive nature and direction of our industry, about the belief that we are headed toward a new golden age of publishing, and that new technologies should be considered the friends of information distributors. But there is one aspect in this new world that has me worried. It is the area of mentorship where, it seems to me, we have fallen behind and, as an industry, we have been greatly diminished.

    What has happened? When and where did we lose the skill set and the will to teach the younglings? Have we so trimmed our business models that there is just no time to teach and mentor? Have we lost sight of the power of the properly groomed apprentice?

    I do not know how to quantify the value of a properly mentored apprentice except through my own experience. But I know that as I moved up the corporate ladder, each of my teachers built upon the foundation of the other guild members that went before them. And I can tell you this: Having been a mentor myself there is a tremendous joy in the successful transfer of knowledge and power.

    For me, Vito Colaprico (The New York Times), Lowell Logan (McCall's) and Irving Herschbein (Condé Nast) were giants in their day, and took the time to reach out to a young and inquisitive subordinate. I have attempted to return the favor to them and the industry by mentoring others, through my e-newsletter and my column in this magazine.

    The Need for Leaders in a Time of Change

    Without mentorship we are collectively less than we might have been. It is the aggregate of this loss that will be felt and perhaps is being felt now. Who are the leaders of your corporation? Who are the genuine leaders of this industry? I don't mean who is your immediate supervisor or who is the CEO-those are just job titles. Whom do you aspire to emulate as a role model? A generation ago, if you asked anyone in publishing who the real leaders were, the names I mentioned above would be high on the list. In the print world today, who is on the real leadership list now?

    We have many problems ahead of us as an industry. We will need good leaders to provide direction. If you think about it, we are trying to prepare publishing personnel for jobs that don't yet exist. Students will be using technologies and concepts that haven't yet been invented, and they will be trying to find the solutions to problems we don't even know are problems yet.

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted March 16, 2015
    (0) Comments

Publishing Executive E-Media

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Adage Digital

  • Hey, Google: Put Some of Those Ad Dollars Back Into Advertising

    In the spring of 1972, Jack Trout and I wrote a series of articles for Advertising Age titled "The Positioning Era Cometh."And it sure came. By December of that year, The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story on positioning (not totally favorable). But it turned out to be a "keystone" story that sparked hundreds of articles in local newspapers and magazines.As a result of the publicity, our...

    May 22, 2015 Read More

  • Bill Murray Christmas Special Coming to Netflix

    Ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Netflix on Friday released a teaser trailer for a holiday special of another kind: "A Very Murray Christmas."The 24-second clip shows a pretty despondent-looking Bill Murray, clad in antler ears, staring out a hotel window at an evening cityscape. It's reminiscent of Mr. Murray's 2003 film "Lost in Translation," which was written and directed by Sofia...

    May 22, 2015 Read More

  • Web Stars Give Marketers Tips on Successful Partnerships

    Chris Melberger has 282,000 followers on Vine. Mitch Lewis' Youtube channel, The Kloons, has 220,000 subscribers. And Franchesca Ramsey's "Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls" video has over 11 million views on Youtube.With a six-second loop to a few minutes of video, a marketer could reach thousands of people with a message. The potential is huge. The problem is, three web stars said at an...

    May 22, 2015 Read More

  • YouTube Adds Click-to-Shop Button to TrueView Ads

    YouTube is tweaking its commercials to be more like interactive infomercials.A month after YouTube added interactive cards to its skippable TrueView ads, retail advertisers can now use those card overlays to include product information, images and links to purchase a product on a brand's site. They can also use these ads to remarket to people who may have checked out a product on a brand's site...

    May 21, 2015 Read More

Unbound Media

  • Google Announces Rebranding of Webmaster Tools to Search Console

    Google announced that Webmaster Tools has been renamed Search Console. According to Google, the rechristening is an effort to make the tool less intimidating and more inclusive for its users. The tool is not solely for webmasters. It's for SEOs, digital marketers, developers and many other roles. As of right now, the name is the only change that Google has implemented to the tool, although...

    May 25, 2015 Read More

  • The 5 Chrome Extensions that Every Digital Marketer Should Install

    Installing the right Chrome extensions can make a digital marketer's day-to-day a lot easier. Extensions can increase productivity, organize your work, create structure and provide insight into target consumers and audiences. Below is a list of Chrome extensions that will make a big impact immediately. WordTracker Scout  Attention Search Engine Optimizers: This Chrome extension enables you...

    May 20, 2015 Read More

  • Google Confirms Core Ranking Algorithm Update Rolled Out Earlier this Spring

    Earlier in May, many webmasters noticed changes in Google rankings and referral traffic from the search engine. This led to suspicions that Google had tweaked its ranking algorithm, but the search engine was totally mum on whether any changes were implemented, except to confirm that there had been no Panda or Penguin updates.  Now, Google has confirmed that it did in fact launch a core...

    May 19, 2015 Read More


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It is purely a very "personal" and slanted collection of news gathered daily over the Internet, which to me seems relevant and useful about the publishing industry.  I do this as a labor of love and to keep myself as up to date as is possible with the ever changing and advancing "Information Distribution Industry" formerly known as "Publishing".

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The price for this service is nothing. It is Free.  It is just as easy for me to copy three or four of my industry friends as it is to carbon copy the current list of 16,500 publishing professionals.

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