There’s a very interesting post over at the Long Tail by Chris Anderson proposing that print publishing may be better for the environment than web publishing:
So by this analysis dead-tree magazines have a smaller net carbon footprint than web media. We cut down trees and put them in the ground. From a climate change perspective, this is a good thing.
As we’ve said before, the environment issue is a big onion with many layers to it – Anderson could even be right (though it doesn’t feel that way, does it?). Regardless, it would be interesting to see him tell us the cost of delivering a copy of digital Wired compared to print. Typically, that number is subject to a bit less creativity and analysis.
Read the post. Read the comments, too. It’s always fun to watch smart people argue.
Some people say it started a while back, but at our house I saw it first-hand this holiday season. Our daughter (nearly 12) got her first cell phone. As contracts go, we actually put her on her own plan, as the "family plan" is up in a month – at which point we’ll all be moving to the new plan.
Since she’s on her own, I told her that she had 450 minutes for the first month – but wondered if that’d be enough. It’s 15 minutes a day, after all, and she and her friends have a way of dragging out conversations. Also, as an afterthought, I told her that I didn’t pick up the unlimited texting option ($10/mo), but that we’d look at it next month when the whole family comes over to the new plan.
Within ten minutes of her giving out her number to some friends, the new phone began DINGING repeatedly – DING! DING! DING! In short, text messages were coming in as fast as she could read them (and respond). We quickly came to a conclusion. She forked over $10 bucks from her holiday cash and I upgraded her plan.
One week later, here’s where we are: she’s spent less than 30 minutes TALKING on the phone – and 20 of them were a single call to her grandmother. However, she and her HannahMontanites have sent nearly 300 text messages to each other.
What does this mean to magazine publishers? Only this: the next generation is the TEXT generation. You can either watch this happen from the sidelines or you can have your brand capitalize form it with programs like Nxttext, the first text messaging revenue generation program specifically designed for magazine publishers.
Adobe has released an update for Flash Player that addresses some critical vulnerabilities in cases where unscrupulous individuals would try to deliver malicious code through a SWF (Flash file). Since Nxtbooks are only created by Nxtbook Media and its resellers, no malicious files or code will ever be distributed through Nxtbook Mediaâ€™s sites. However, most of us come into contact with Flash files many times throughout the day, so it’s always a good idea to protect yourself with updated versions of software.
On a more upbeat note – and far more relevant to Nxtbook publishers and readers – this new version of Flash Player also includes some new features, including better audio and video support. From Adobe’s release notes:
Of key importance, this update adds H.264 video and High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio codec support that opens up a broad ecosystem and selection of standards-based video â€” up to HD quality â€” that developers can leverage in their applications. The update also features hardware accelerated, multi-core enhanced, full-screen video playback for high-resolution viewing across major operating systems and browsers.
So, what are you waiting for, upgrade Flash Player now!
Over at FOLIO, they’re promoting the monthly FOLIO: Face-Up survey, where readers can win an iPod Shuffle, simply for answering three survey questions.
In addition to promoting the Nxtbook format, there’s something to learn here for any brand looking to integrate their print and online strategies. The print version of the magazine directs readers to the survey, as does the online article (linked here). In both cases, they’re leveraging one property by sending readers to another and creating more brand sticky-ness by getting readers to interact with them.
Check out the survey in the Nxtbook and think about the questions you could ask your readers: feedback on articles, opinions on editorials, etc. – The choices are limited only by your creativity.
There was a nice write-up in Publishers Weekly a few weeks back about the digital galley work we’ve been doing with Random House:
Wedding the book’s theme to a greener publishing model, Potter
hired an outside firm, Nxtbook Media, to create a digital galley that
members of the press can access (with a password delivered via e-mail).
With turnable digital pages, the file delivers the â€œlook and feelâ€ of
an actual book, Webber said.
You don’t need to be a book reviewer to view our most recent e-galley with the publisher, "Living Like Ed," by Ed Begley, Jr. Clicking the PREVIEW button gives anyone access to 17 pages. Check it out here.
Example of sponsor using a video opposite the cover. Ads on Cover and page 7
Video sponsor opposite the cover
There’s an (uncredited, anonymous?) article over at MediaWeek which says that "few ads are sold against digital edition," because "only 56 consumer magazines reported paid digital subscriptions to the Audit Bureau of Circulations."
From our experience, the word "few" is used somewhat incorrectly here. Few insinuates that there are a lot of publishers whom see a few ads trickle in. Generally, that’s really not what we see at all. Instead, we see a lot of publications that haven’t figured out how to monetize them in any way, and some publications that have literally knocked the cover off the ball and turned their digital editions into significant revenue sources.
Our January webinar, entitled "Digital Edition Revenue Generation" will focus on this very topic. You’ll hear from publishers like Todd Christenson from Heart, who’ll speak about Project Analog, an exciting digital-only magazine recently launched with the support of a single sponsor. Todd’s approach is just one way publishers are finding to be profitable with this new medium. Be sure to register for the webinar to learn more!
Roxanne was having some fun (at her coworkers’ expense) and posted the Nxtbook holiday conga line. From left to right, Spencer Ewald, Jeff Martin, your favorite Nxtblogger, and Eric Gervase.
I was speaking with Jeremy Greenfield at ABM Top Management last month and we got on the subject about environmental responsibility and how it will continue to be a major force in publishing because it makes both common sense and business sense.
Encouraged by the conversation, we decided to take a harder look at just how "good" digital editions are for the environment.
We started by looking at all of the page-views we’ve had at Nxtbook since we opened up for business. Then, looked at our ever-increasing run rate per month. From there, we looked at research that shows that only 35% of newsstand copies are actually purchased. And then, from there, we subtracted the fact that while virtual pages appear once on your screen, a real magazine page has two sides. (Other issues like trim and packaging were left out of the equation for now.)
We took this fancy math and handed it over to one of our developers who found a way to quantify that we’ve currently "saved" more than 1.7 billion pages at Nxtbook – over 4,000 trees worth! You can see the counter in action here.
In many ways, an exercise like this is somewhat enlightening and sobering at the same time. While it’s exciting to see the good that we have done, it also points out that – as a growing organization with lots of people – there’s a lot more we could be doing to help the environment. We’ll be looking at some of those issues more closely in the coming months.
example of a Tutorial/Training Manual
custom background and example of Preview feature