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I gave a brief presentation on the Friday of the SSP Top Management Roundtable, talking about why blogging works. Here is a brief overview of what I had to say:
- There is a media source that is known for polemicism, sporadic coverage, mimicry, factual errors, superficial coverage, and cronyism. It’s the mainstream media. Against this, accountable, linked, and often long-form writing like that in the better blogs does well.
- Blogs are growing, from a traffic standpoint, at 4x the rate of traditional media sites.
- Blogging is the signature written form of our age.
- Blogging reveals hidden expertise, and unearths experts with perspective and access that the mainstream media can never replicate.
These are just a few comments from my presentation. I’m a convert, as this blog and the Scholarly Kitchen show. Just look at the expertise we’ve unearthed on both blogs.
What are you waiting for, expert who is reading this?
Beyond the Book’s Chris Kenneally Interviews Chuck Richard
According to the old Russian proverb, where there are crumbs, there will be mice. On the Web, content mice — that’s us, folks! — feast on information and leave trails revealing their interests.
Building on that basic observation, Outsell Inc. Vice President and Lead Analyst Chuck Richard suggested on Thursday that publishers can track these trails for important leads on how to build their online businesses. In a short chat following his talk with Beyond the Book‘s Chris Kenneally, Chuck also cautions that re-thinking content leads inevitably to re-thinking staff and management assignments.
Last panel of the afternoon. While the prior one was lively with plenty of questions, I’m not sure that this is engendering the same level of energy.
The initial speaker, John Lustina of Intrapromote, was actually the most informative of the three in making the key point that ideally publishers will begin to seed interest in their content by placing content assets (tables, diagrams, photos, podcasts, images, etc.) across a variety of social platforms. He was discussing the concept of the Social Media Timeline. Essentially, that plays out as follows:
- Right Now – Distribution points for assets (links, Rss feeds, widgets, gadgets, applications, videos, images, etc.)
- Near Future — objects in universal search (Objects as autonomous search results.) — known future; all of those things that exist outside of your blog or adjacent to your blog become searchable objects in an of themselves.
- Long Term — social network as algorithm. Lustina suggests that this is the direction where Google is headed — Google may factor in how well-connected a content creator may be throughout a set of social networks and allow that to influence the ranking algorithm for pointing to information or content assets.
This is why syndication is so critical. Syndication of blog content, videos, photographic images is driving social media, according to Eric Olsen of DFJ Portage Ventures. It’s a basic building block and content providers at all levels should be leveraging it across a variety of platforms to drive traffic to your site. Olsen suggests that this promotes trust in your content and broadens awareness.
Finally, Ian Freed of Amazon Digital offers a demonstration of the Kindle device. While not necessarily saying anything new about the device, it is clear from the audience’s interest that they find the approach intriguing for electronic delivery of content. His best line was an off-the-cuff remark about what he tells his product managers “Your job is to make a great product, not necessarily add feature after feature”. Clearly they have thought through their approach. (My personal reaction to the Kindle appears here.) Others are asking if I have mine with me.
David Perlmutter is a professor at the School of Journalism & Mass Communications, University of Kansas. He received his BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is the author or editor of seven books on political communication and persuasion.
He has also written several dozen research articles for academic journals as well as more than 150 essays for U.S. and international newspapers and magazines. He has been interviewed by most major news networks and newspapers, from the New York Times to CNN and ABC and most recently, The Daily Show .
Fabien Savenay is the the Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing at Seed Media Group. He participated in a panel called Editing, Branding, and Authority: What’s the Publisher’s Role?
As SVP, Sales & Marketing, Fabien Savenay directs company-wide sales and marketing activities since 2005.
Prior to joining Seed he was Global Head of Advertising & Sponsorship at Nature Publishing Group, as well as Publisher of Naturejobs, a classified career resource for professional scientists that won an EPpy award for Best Internet Classified Service under his leadership. Prior to that he owned the advertising agency Es Media in Paris.
Fabien was born in France and educated at the Grand Ecole de Communication et Marketing (Groupe INSEEC) in Paris and at the London Business School.
I caught up with Fabien by the fountain at the Opening Reception last night.
Susan Kesner Interviews Audrey Melkin
Taking the SSP TMR podcast microphone in hand next is Susan Kesner of Copyright Clearance Center and SSP’s immediate past president.
Sue speaks about the conference “takeaways so far” with Audrey Melkin, Atypon’s director of business development. Among other points, the two agree that scholarly publishing has a lot to learn from its B2B and trade publishing “cousins.”
Bloggers vs. Journalists?
When blogging emerged in 2004 during the last presidential election cycle, many traditional journalists and media executives reacted skeptically – one going so far as to suggest that bloggers were to the media what fleas are to a dog.
Veteran reporter and Wall Street Journal health industry blogger Scott Hensley remembers those days, and four years later, looks ahead with enthusiasm to a world of co-dependency for bloggers and journalists.
Where Blogging Meets Publishing
In Philadelphia over the next two days, at a gathering of top editors, authors and publishers, the Society for Scholarly Publishing will reckon with a sea change in the media ecosphere: Authors today can leverage incredibly robust, stable, and effective publishing technology to reach their audiences – so where does this leave publishers?
At this morning’s keynote address, David Perlmutter, University of Kansas journalism professor and author of “Blog Wars,” provided a succinct history of blogs and linked their rise to popular distrust of and dissatisfaction with traditional media.
Scott Hensley is opening up this panel discussion focused on authority and brands. Scott works on the Wall Street Journal Health Blog (see http://blogs.wsj.com/health/). He notes that they usually have three new items on the blog by 9 am each morning. Throughout the day, they may add more items pertaining to the news and later in the afternnon, they’ll post more feature-like items. They average about 7-8 entries per day. By virtue of the way in which any news publication works, they work collaboratively. (Note, I’m hearing mutterings near me that the result really doesn’t seem like a blog at all, lacking that individual authentic voice characteristic of a blog. The Wall Street Journal approach is much closer to a simple online publication, seeking to maintain that aura of objective, authoritative reporting). When questioned, Scott responds that there are different flavor of blogs.
Fabien Saveney of Seed Media Group indicates that he thinks they are operating successfully because they are using that crossmedia approach recommended by Chuck Richard of Outsell. They have both print and electronic publications. Seed Media characterizes their activities as incorporating social media, print publishing, conferences, and digital media. If you are unfamiliar with this organization, you may want to take a look at ResearchBlogging.org, launched just this past Monday, which serves as an aggregation of research publications blogged by individual scientists. You may also want to look at ScienceBlogs.com, which consists of 100 blogs around the world, generating 75,000 posts with 1.3 million readers and generating 1,000,000 comments from those readers. (Click through at http://researchblogging.org, http://scienceblogs.com)
Their recent survey yielded some details about their users — an average age of 34 years, predominantly male, working in the scientific realm, a healthy percentage of post-graduate degrees. Most interestingly, a significant percentage of these readers read ScienceBlogs.com for insights and information that they do not feel they can get elsewhere. The participants on the site like the idea that they are talking to other practicing scientists from around the world.
Joy Moore, Publisher, Nature Publishing Group is up now to provide an overview of Nature Networks and what they’re doing with the blogging technology in partnership with the International Society of Nephrology (see ISN Gateway at http://www.nature.com/isn/). Blogging is a big part of Nature Network (two editors recruit and screen bloggers to participate on the Network, she herself admits a strong editorial presence there). There is the social element of “Pub Night” in Boston and London and the SciFoo camp. She also mentions ScienceBlogging2008! They have 45 active bloggers, also an international approach. Postdocs, grad students, assistant and associate professors are the younger population embracing this network. The value of the ISN gateway was to leverage the strength of the network in support of that society’s activities while also recruiting younger members.