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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.

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Terry Hulbert is the Director of Business Development at the American Institute of Physics. We talked about how AIP is exploring social media and web technologies from two points of view: as a publisher, and as a content host.

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Susan KesnerSusan 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.”
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Scott HensleyBloggers 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.

David PerlmutterWhere 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.

To my mind, the most intriguing exercise this morning during Outsell Vice President and Lead Analyst  Chuck Richards’ presentation was hearing from the publishers and vendors in this audience on two questions. The audience was asked to identify two things — the first, being what they saw as the single biggest user need and the second, their identification of the biggest challenge facing the publishering community in satisfying that need. Nine tables of attendees wrestled with this and delivered the following as their answers.

In responding to the first question regarding the single most significant user need, publishers responded with:

  • reliable information in a one-stop shop
  • information efficiency
  • easy, timely access to correct information
  • targeted, relevant information and good pathways to discovery
  • relevant, quality information, speedily delivered

What do publishers themselves see as their biggest challenge in satisfying that need?

  • Explosive competing demands from both users and from internal decision-makers
  • Managing information clutter
  • Taking full advantage of available media for both new and old audiences
  • Economics of making the transition to a world of distributed publishing
  • Business models.

One of the themes that Chuck focused on was that of crossmedia — the idea that your print and your electronic media should be fueling each other as well as new areas (such as events) in heightening your visibility and driving of revenue.  He indicated that he has a number of items bookmarked on Delicious, the social bookmarking site, with the tag crossmedia that may be worthwhile investigating.

An interesting conversation has come up at the SSP Top Management Roundtable: “What now constitutes ‘production quality’ for video, photography, etc.?”

YouTube and cellphone photos and videos of news events have become quite common, and people spend hours watching videos that professionals would normally dismiss as amateur, and not production-ready. The adoption of non-traditional TV viewing alternatives (Apple TV, Hulu.com, and others) have also changed the game. On-demand and iTunes program purchases, along with small displays that are immersive like on the iPhone and other devices make the question even more thorny.

Like many things in the apomediated online space, users define what is good enough. Professional standards can be a point of pride, but they aren’t the only standards, nor are they any longer perhaps the prevailing standards.

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A surprising finding — half of online users click on at least one online ad per week.

And people say this doesn’t work?

Really . . .

The SSP Top Management Roundtable is underway, with a great keynote from David Perlmutter, author of “Blog Wars.” At the break, it’s happening just as I’d hoped, with two bloggers (one of them is writing this) blogging and two podcasters recording interviews with attendees.

So far, very interesting. Now, onto building audience!

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