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“Byting” into Zinio: Response

The Zinio case study was interesting mostly because it’s so out of date, yet the study is only three years old. That’s how fast publishing and the digital media industry evolves. As someone who’s worked with the Zinio platform and at a company that continues to publish a digital magazine via Zinio, it’s like walking into a time warp. There is something inherently Web 1.0 about taking a print product and retrofitting it for web instead of producing a product specifically optimized for that medium. Long form stories and gorgeous two page photo spreads don’t play well on an 800×600 CRT monitor. However, the fact that Zinio was able to get the industry to agree to digital subscribers counting toward the rate base is amazing, and is what probably keeps this around. It’s why we continue to publish to it, even if nobody reads it. It’s like some weird publishing industry voodoo. In conclusion, adding a link to a video from a PDF magazine is so three years ago.

Myths of Innovation Response: Week 1b

This is a fun book. Berkun rips apart a lot of misconceptions of how great inventions happened, explaining there’s a lot more behind the scenes than a “Eureka!” moment. Innovations take time, lots of trials and errors, and countless unsung heros. It’s always easier to look back and distill hundreds of hours of labor into a single marker on timeline of human achievement. There were two lists that Berkun went through that I really liked.

First is the eight challenges all innovators confront, which are:

1) Finding an idea

2) Developing a solution

3) Sponsorship and funding

4) Reproduction

5) Reaching potential customers

6) Beating competitors

7) Timing

8) Keeping the lights on

The second great list he presents to us are the “five factors that define how quickly innovations spread:”

1) Relative advantage

2) Compatibility

3) Complexity

4) Trialability

5) Observability

When you look at innovative ideas this way, you see that truly innovative ideas are really hard to come by. There’s a great deal of luck and voodoo magic that goes into creating the next Facebook or Google. Good luck, people!

Business Fundamentals: An Actionable and Definable Problem

People listen and consume more music than ever before. We walk around with complete record libraries in our pocket with the ability to buy and download any song at any time and play it instantly. People listen to more types of music, too. Yet, it’s harder than ever to actually follow and keep track of the bands and artists you actually love and listen to.

That’s what I’m going to solve.

According to Technorati, there are over 6,500 “music” blogs out there. I hate to state the obvious, but… that’s a lot. There is absolutely no way I can find the half dozen or so that actually write about my favorite bands.

We’ve all heard about how the music industry is hemorrhaging money. And that file sharing is destroyed everything. I think that’s nonsense. It’s losing money because people have no easy way of finding out about new album releases, nearby concerts, new merchandise or news in a single, personalized and contextually-relevant way. That’s the biggest problem.

For a regular consumer, to keep tabs on your favorite bands, you’d need to distill the knowledge of over 6,000 music blogs, track tour dates via a plethora of web sites and services, follow the bands themselves on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and their newsletter product, check out retail outlets for merchandise and CDs, and somewhere in there, actually find the energy to go out and see the band when they are playing in your city. That’s a lot of work.

So what if there was a service that looked at what you’re listening to on your iPod, pulled in all the relevant news and information, and presented it to you in one spot? That’s what I’m solving.

Risky Business Response – Week 1a

Politico is an impressive model for new media organizations. Fundamentally, they approached Politico with a “focus on producing Web content first” instead of simply republishing print content online. This is a huge shift in thinking from how most media outlets operate. Secondly, they poached “nationally-known reporters [who] brought their own reputations, readers, and networks of sources with them.” They did this because they had identified a trend that writers had increasingly become stars that out-shined their organizations. Additionally, they noticed that stories with “original analysis and a distinctive writing style were critical to winning the competition for reader attention.” The formula is pretty simple in hindsight: bring in top, established talent and reap the benefits of audience migration.

Although Politico has the “online readership it dreamed of, it hasn’t come even close to figuring out how to monetize it.” I do find that the creation of the Politico Media Group to distribute free content and sell ads throughout other newspapers across the country to be incredibly forward-thinking and smart for a news organization focused on a very specific niche in a specific location.

The key take-away for me from this article was this little nugget that VandeHei said:

“The new media formula is pretty simple: If you can build a desirable audience that a class of advertisers wants to reach, you have a darn good chance at success.”

Syllabus: The Fundamentals of Business for Entrepreneurial Journalists

To succeed in the new media marketplace, entrepreneurial journalists must understand basic business fundamentals. This course provides students with grounding in core principles of finance, strategy, marketing and other business fundamentals. Unlike traditional graduate-level business programs, this course is oriented toward journalists, with particular emphasis on applying key concepts to journalism businesses.

Syllabus for Business Basics for Entrepreneurial Journalists >>

Students in Jeff Jarvis and Jeremy Caplan's first-ever Entrepreneurial Journalism program at CUNY

Day One, Class One

Students in Jeff Jarvis and Jeremy Caplan's first-ever Entrepreneurial Journalism program at CUNY

Students in Jeff Jarvis and Jeremy Caplan's first-ever Entrepreneurial Journalism program