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What We’re Planning to Discuss on 6/3

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Indispensable.

Most often, we associate this word with emergency services, food and perhaps certain family and friends. But content? Not typically. Publishers have long capitalized on their content as a whole to drive readership and revenue. They’ve created “brands” with a stable of writers that not only produce specific kinds of stories, but infuse them with a flavor that only their publication can claim.  It’s kind of like a writer’s voice, although in this sense, it is more like a chorus.

And yet if writers and editors are to feed their families from here on, that needs to change. At the very least, argues journalist Robert Niles, writers and editors need to walk a mile in a publisher’s shoes, and that means thinking like an entrepreneur – who is by definition, an individualist.

We wonder who is already doing this. Who among you is creating content that readers consider to be indispensable? Further questions:

  • Writers: Tell us about your most successful story. What made it sing for readers?
  • Editors: What stories are readers connecting with most? What are their features?
  • All: As readers, what content do you find indispensable?

We’ll be discussing these questions and more tonight on #editorchat at 8:30pm EST.  Please drop us a comment in the box below if you have any further thoughts.

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Written by LydiaBreakfast

June 3, 2009 at 1:55 pm

What We’re Planning to Discuss on 5/27

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We all know that fair pay is an issue for writers and money (or lack thereof) is an issue for publishers. Just this week in Crain’s New York we learned that $35K is the new black, errr $75K for author advances. Is this really the right move? Advertising, R&D and other business-building investments tend to pay off during a recession, reports The New Yorker‘s James Surowiecki. Are cost-conscious publishers blowing it by not investing now?

Perhaps the answer isn’t to invest more but to invest smarter. We’re seeing clever publishers return to the days of Dickens with serial books and e-books. We’ve seen TwitPay and TipJoy emerge as models for micropayments via Twitter. These and more have the potential to lead a radical revolution in pay models. What are you trying? Specifically, we are wondering:

  • Writers: are publishers plying you with new pay ideas? What’s the craziest pay model you’ve tried?
  • Editors: are you being asked to explore new and different pay models?
  • What models are working? Which aren’t? What are the roadblocks to success?
We’ll be discussing these questions and more tonight on #editorchat at 8:30pm EST.  Please drop us a comment in the box below if you have any other questions.

Written by LydiaBreakfast

May 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm

What We’re Planning to Discuss on 5/20

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Last week we took a leap across the Content Divide and discussed how best to deal with widening gap between working with fewer resources and staff and the demand for more and different kinds of content: multi-media, links, photos, etc. As vibrant as that conversation was, we’re struck by how few success stories there are to share.

Could this have anything to do with the social landscape of media? More specifically, we’re wondering if the gap is widening because of the philosophical differences between the old guard and the new school.  Interesting pieces on the generation gap in publishing can be found in Time Magazine, “When Gen X Rules the Workplace” and in Poynter Online where Kelly McBride tells Maureen Dowd to get with the (new) program in Dowd Could Learn from the ‘Retweet’ Ethic, Giving Credit Where it’s Due.”

Let’s talk about the Generation Gap:

Do you see a cultural shift occurring as social media levels the playing field between old and new forms of thought?

Is the old business model based on ad revenue and subscriptions so ingrained in the collective mindset of veterans that there is no room for creating a fresh (read: sustainable and profitable approach)?

Editors: How do you view other publications?  Are they competition for ad dollars and content? Why or why not?

Writers: How do you handle exclusive content?  Is it important to you to be first with a story, or will you be satisfied with telling the best story?

You may also enjoy Newsweek’s piece “Can Anything Save Magazines?” which argues for a return of the premium model in publishing.

If you have any other thoughts or questions, do drop us a line in the comment box.  See you all on Wednesday night, 8:30pm EST.

Written by LydiaBreakfast

May 18, 2009 at 8:32 pm