Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Short takes on a Tuesday morning

At the American Magazine Conference in Chicago yesterday . . .

Mediaweek: In the future, said Jeanniey Mullen, global evp, CMO, digital publisher Zinio, “We’re going to see magazines designing for the device, based on their user base.”
Actually, publishers already do this. The problem is that many only recognize one device as relevant to their products -- the print product. It has always been the case, in my lifetime anyway, that publishers are slow to recognize that readers get information from many different sources, in many different forms: newspapers failed to see the rise of consumer tabloid products, then the web pure plays, for instance.

Mullen, of course, is right that publishers -- successful publishers -- should be creating products to reach their readers irregardless of the platform, and I'm sure this is what she meant in that quote. But I know many media executives who are still stuck in the eighties and can't figure out the web, let alone mobile and tablets. They delegate their web efforts to someone without a clue and then tell their publishers to concentrate on selling print. (I know, its 2010, and it's hard to believe, but I'm afraid it is a sad truth.)

(Zinio deserves a lot of credit for being one of those companies that developed for the iPad right from the beginning, and recognized that the tablet would be an important new platform for publishers. Today, Zinio continues to have its own digital newsstand for the iPad, while also working with publishers to develop a few stand alone branded apps, as well.)

1999 Monster.com
Super Bowl ad. The ad was a sign that Internet pure plays were coming of age. The advertising done by new Internet companies was made possible by the huge investments made by the VC community.

In many ways the development of mobile and tablet publishing is reminiscent of the early days of the web. But today there is one thing missing: the new web pure plays did a lot of consumer marketing to push awareness. The huge amount of advertising dollars spent by tech companies and consumer web properties spurred on the growth of magazines such as The Industry Standard and Business 2.0 and led, ultimately, to million dollar buys during the Super Bowl broadcast. Few publishers could avoid coming to the conclusion that the web would be the new frontier for media (though some took the tech stock bubble bursting as some sort of sign that the web was overrated as a medium and continue, to this day, to downplay the web as a vehicle for serious media efforts).

The day we start seeing ads on television for tablet only publications and other pure-plays . . . well, that would open a few eyes.

This is what happens over there:
NYT: Jérôme Kerviel, the former Société Générale trader whose rogue dealings almost brought about the French bank’s demise, was convicted of breach of trust and other crimes Tuesday and sentenced to at least three years in prison.

Mr. Kerviel, 33, was also ordered to pay restitution of €4.9 billion, or $6.7 billion — the entire amount the bank lost in unwinding his trades in early 2008.
But here we get . . .
We're still evaluating how we're going to approach the whole issue of interrogations, detentions, and so forth. And obviously we're going to look at past practices. And I don't believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand, I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.

What she said:
So you end up with a parade of millionaires from the late Tim Russert to Brian Williams to Rick Sanchez to Bill O'Reilly to Glenn Beck doing some variation of Howard Beale on television every night, keeping that segment of resentful, afraid white Americans all riled up, clutching their remote controls, screaming at the television. You can call this "journalism" if you want, but I think we all know that it is something else entirely.