Links are not answers: I am a big fan of the incredible weblog maintained by Gary Price called ResourceShelf. (The site is blogrolled in my magazine resources list on the left column of every page of the rexblog.) Price is trained as a librarian who has become a consultant and someone who, for a layman like me, is one of the definitive sources of information about and understanding of online search and information discovery. Now, in addition to the ResourceShelf, he is penning a column for the Magazine, Info Today. The first column, “What Google Teaches Us that Has Nothing to do with Searching,” is written for librarians, but is an excellent exploration of why, in his words, “links are not the same as answers.” (Side note: Price’s weblog is an excellent model for those who would like to experiment with a business weblog. Indeed, because he is a professional researcher and his blog’s topic is “search” and research, it is more than a model, it’s an inspiration.)
Reason, why? Mediabistro’s David Hirschman conducts an entertaining and reasoned Q&A with Reason Magazine‘s editor since 2000, Nick Gillespie, who provides enough sound-bites to indicate the interview was conducted via e-mail with plenty of time for wit-smithing. Good insight on the libertarian magazine and its post-Postrel direction.
“A good magazine or a good publication is like a really good party, where you go there and you wander around and there’s a lot of different rooms you can move in and out of and have a lot of different conversations, some are serious, some are funny, some are totally offbeat and weird. You get into a couple of arguments and start shouting and screaming at each other, you also get into a clinch or two with people and then hopefully you go home before you get too sloppy drunk and make an ass out of yourself.
Also of interest is Gillespie’s description of the magazine’s “virtual staff” approach.
Ten or 11 full-time people, and that includes the business side and the art department. We’re probably far and away the most decentralized and virtual magazine office in America. If the anthrax mailer ever comes back, it’s going to take him at least three or four bucks to knock us off. Our web editor is currently in Lebanon. We’ve got one full-time staffer in L.A., we’ve got our art director in Phoenix, we’ve got a guy in Baltimore, we’ve got a couple people in the D.C. area, I’m in Ohio, our publisher’s in Connecticut; we’re totally spread out. The reason we’ve started doing it this way is that it kind of fits in with our philosophy of experimentive living and it allows us to keep the people we need to keep as they have moved for spouse reasons, or whatever.
rexblog letter bag: I’ve received some e-mail (okay, one very brief e-mail) asking why I am not blogging the Rosie trial since it is about magazines. My answer is simple: I try not to blog stories that I can’t bring myself to read. Nothing, and I mean nothing, about lawsuits among pompous asses is worth following. Anyway, I don’t have to follow it to know everything that will happen: She’ll say they stole her life and name. They’ll say she is psychotic. Everyone will be correct. In the end, she will lose this trial and any appeals. The magazine still will be dead and G-J will have lost millions on the magazine and its aftermath. The end.
Custom publishing update – Hallmark Magazine: The Kansas City Business Journal is reporting that Hallmark Cards Inc. and Time Inc. have collaborated to publish the holiday 2003 issue of Hallmark magazine. According to the paper, the Kansas City-based Hallmark started distributing 380,000 copies of the magazine’s holiday issue on Monday to newsstands in retail outlets throughout the country and in almost 400 Hallmark Gold Crown stores, the company said in a written statement. According to Hallmark, “the company first introduced the magazine concept with a May/June 2003 preview issue of 100,000 copies. Plans are to launch in 2004 after additional test issues.” (rexblog flashback: May 5, 2003. I’m on record already: this will be a successful venture.)
Magazine center of the universe: While I typically do not blog brand-extending activities of B2B magazines (there are way too many), I make exceptions when the activities sound creative and come from Nashville like this webcast training series from NASDAQ and the Brentwood-based Corporate Board Member magazine.