The Woes of the Christian Science Monitor

Last week, the Christian Science Monitor (an excellent, objective, and non-religious newspaper) published a story admitting what’s long been no secret within the American newspaper industry: it’s parent operation, the Christian Science Publishing Society (CSPS), which also publish the Christian Science Sentinel, Christian Science Journal, and Christian Science Quarterly, is US$30 million in the hole, despite cutting 150 of its 900 employees. The CSPS is still recovering from its lost tens of millions of dollars in an ill-advised attempt to create a Christian Science cable television channel nearly two decades ago. The stem those losses, the CSPS ten years ago […]

Lorem Ipsum at Sea Iusto Aliquip Partiendo & a free Ginzu Knife

No designer of Websites should be without the following: Ye Olde Lorem Ipsum Generator. That’s right! Now you too can have a site from which you can download pseudo-Latin textual placeholders in HTML format: Lorem ipsum quo ne posse hendrerit eloquentiam, wisi liber disputando ad quo. Ne eos stet mediocrem. Doctus partiendo ius ad, gloriatur consetetur te his. Vis id nonummy copiosae oportere, saepe graece cum id. Usu ad oratio dictas equidem, ea est mundi appellantur. You can even choose exactly how many words or paragraphs of psuedo-Latin you want! BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! You also can download your choice […]

'Publishers Don't Understand that the Home Page is no longer the Gateway'

That’s online newspaper publishing pioneer Barry Paar’s lament last week at MediaSavvy. … They are desperately afraid of “aggregators” grabbing their headlines and treating them as wire services. Why are they afraid of aggregators? I understand the rationale, but it doesn’t really make any sense. They want you to visit their home page, which they view as the gateway to the rest of their site, every day, whether they have any news for you or not. Barry’s posting is instructive.

Why 1998 Was The Turning Point For Newspapers

The three most significant years for the newspaper industry were 1609, 1812, and 1998. During 1609 in the city of Strasbourg, Johann Carolus began publishing Relation, the world’s first newspaper. A close rival for that historical honor was Avisa Relation oder Zeitung, founded in that same year by Heinrich Julius, the duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. Thus, the newspaper industry began. But during the industry’s first two centuries, newspapers had small circulations. This wasn’t because demand was small, but because the flatbed press technologies used to produced newspapers couldn’t keep up with the demand. In these presses, moveable type was locked within […]

Past Is No Prologue for Micropayments

My monthly Publishing: Free to Fee column publish today over at is a re-examination of the premature dismissal of the future viability of micro-transactions as a mechanism for paid online content. I specifically focuse on Clay Shirky‘s influential dismissal of it. I think that Shirky is brilliant theorist of the social effects of Internet technologies, but not so good when it comes to the economic effects. In this case, I think his dismissal of future viability of microtransaction is based upon some faulty logic and intellectual constructs. Bear in mind, however, that the latent purpose of Shirky’s essay wasn’t […]

Tell Vin Crosbie to Take a Hike!

Ever want to do that? Join the club. George Simpson in MediaPost proposes some media industry-specific video games, in one of which you can. On a similar (if not so personal) note, we enjoyed veteran journalist Pye Chamberlayne‘s list of favorite links.

Newsstand, Inc., Unveils Its Browser-Based Digital Edition Tool

Many corporations and companies prohibit employees from installing outside software on company computers. That prohibition has long been a problem for digital editions that require users to install a such application such Newsstand, Inc., or Zinio. Newsstand responded today with iBrowse, its version of browser-based digital editions that don’t require installing such software. “iBrowse is especially appealing for controlled circulation magazines whose readership is often based in small businesses or large corporations, including those using Apple’s Macintosh. For subscribers working in companies with rigorous IT security standards, iBrowse eliminates firewall and administrative rights issues that would otherwise inhibit downloading an […]

More Prototypes of Rollable E-Paper

I keep telling publishers that electronic paper isn’t science fiction but science fact, technologiy that will go into commercial production this decade. I’m particular a fan of the rollable versions. For example, the picture above is of Polymer Vision B&W prototype demonstrated on May 27th at the International Society for Information Display’s trade show in Seattle. (High resolution photos of this prototype are here.) the February edition of Nature, detailed how these flexible displays use active-matrix organic transistors, have video capabilities, and can be rolled to a radius of one centimeter (4/10ths of an inch) without significant loss in performance. […]

More Data Why Publisher Who Don't Use E-Mail Marketing Are 'Missing the Boat'

DoubleClick’s analysis of e-mail marketing opening rates, click-through rates, order size, and revenues per e-mail during the 1st Quarter of 2004 gives an excellent example of why we think that most newspapers and magazines have ‘missed the boat’ by concentrating on Website publishing and not on e-mail publishing. DoubleClick reported that: Overall delivery rates (measured as the number of email sent minus the hard and soft bounce-back rate) increased slightly to 88.8 percent an increase of 1.3 percentage points from a year ago (Q1 2003) when it was 87.5 percent. Q1 2004 e-mail opening rates declined slightly to 38.2 percent […]