Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Paywalls are coming

With the success of the New York Times' paywall, they're acomin' all across the land. Lee Newspapers announced plans for a paywall today, and there are reports that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will set up a paywall in the near future.

Frankly, such a move makes sense -- as long as its priced properly (for example, free to print subscribers, a reasonable price for on-line only purchasers. But don't underestimate the stupidity of media managers. Lee, for example, is going to charge even print subscribers if they look at too much. The Journal Sentinel already has increased its price even while downsizing both the amount of content and its staff.* That sure makes a lot of sense: less product for more money. Hummm, wonder why circulations continue to drop.

* The Journal Sentinel is planning another round of staff downsizing. Reports are that it's aimed mostly at non-newsroom staff. Firing it's incredibly overpaid and poor performing CEO would provide much more money while retaining valuable content producers and sales staff.

Monday, August 1, 2011

How to produce and print a magazine in two days

An article in the Atlantic demonstrates the revolutionary nature of digital media. It explains how Longshot magazine, a glossy print product, is put together in two days using mostly-free Internet products.

I still believe that the revolution in printing methods, including print on demand, which has dramatic effects on book and magazine possibilities, could be the savior for those of us who want to continue to do our long-form reading on paper.

Mobile grows in importance

Mobile is now 20 percent of the Financial Times' Internet traffic.

Readers rule

It's amazing how real life keeps getting in the way of "common wisdom" about new media. For example, everybody knows that consumers only care about graphics and quick reads on the Internet. Meet the New Yorker iPad app.

The magazine reports 100,000 subscribers to its iPad app, which -- surprise -- is text-heavy like the magazine. Frankly, it only makes sense that those who like the New Yorker like text. And many of them are willing to pay extra for the Internet. Frankly, the success of ebooks had already proven to me anyway that people are willing to read text.

Once again, the consumers confound the "experts."