Blowing in the wind: I was sent this photo by Barbara while she was on a press check in Wisconsin (she gets to do all the fun January travel). The Quad Printing tradition of flying flags while a client’s job is being printed led to this amusing juxtaposition of the Martha Stewart Living flying together with the Hammock Publishing flag. Is it true? Is one judged by the company they fly with? I’m overwhelmed with puns related to broad stripes and flag poles but I am going to stop here.
Magavision: In yet another announcement about a magazine getting into television, Gear Magazine announces it is working with J Walter Thompson to develop pop culture programming. First up is a show called “Conversations” hosted by Bob Guccione Jr. (I know all of America is holding its breath in anticipation.)
Research, schmesearch: Does your magazine need a redesign or repositioning? Yesterday, some professionals got together to discuss that topic and, from this report in DM News, one thing seems clear: don’t waste your money on research. I don’t think that’s exactly what they mean. I just think they mean the traditional forms of research don’t help much in this instance. However, the research necessary for a complete understanding of the preferences and sensibilities of your targeted reader is essential, just not obtainable in a focus group in which you hold up boards and say, “whatcha think?”
Hired wired guns? The entire laid-off staff of ZDNet Tech Update has put themselves up for bid on eBay. In a way, it’s not unprecendented as custom publishing companies bundle and sell such collective skills. Need such services? Here’s where I recommend you start.
Another case (pre eBay) in which a similar en mass editorial hire took place was by Jake Winebaum when he started Family Fun Magazine with a core-team who had published a New England-based regional title. My recollections of the details are fuzzy, but the editorial staffing concept worked to get the magazine up and going…and sold.