Posts Tagged ‘Publishing’

p-iTraditional media is dying in front of our very eyes.

The 146 year-old “Seattle Post-Intelligencer” (P-I) goes full Web tomorrow and becomes the largest northwest daily newspaper to go entirely digital.  Although it’s a shadow of the old printed paper it will now focus more on local news, with a much smaller staff.  And just last week, the Washington Post announced it was folding its stand-alone Business section, commercial news will now be featured in the main, first section.  Other papers like the Rocky Mountain News (now defunct), The Boston Globe, the L.A. Times and The NY Times are all having major economic problems.  Be it regular people wanting just the news or writing slants/styles that people want no part of – the news papers are going down.

This is unfortunate.  I believe the P-I did a good job and accurately reported on the Iron Pigs Sturgis shooting.   But,  let’s say you’re a major American motorcycle manufacture executive looking to hire a marketing wizard to get your news story in the paper, you might as well be paying for billboards on the space shuttle.  Your target audience isn’t going to see the story!

The “P-I” lost $14M last year on a 118K print circulation.  The web traffic is about 1.8M unique visitors a month.  It’s interesting to read about the writers and publishers as they scramble and complain that newspapers must not die and that people must pay and if not the public, then the government.  Sort of a “bail-out” rally cry for publishers. 

I agree that journalism must survive, not necessarily newspapers.  There’s often more meat, more truth in blogs who explain events than there’s been in a lot of the mainstream press.  Maybe because bloggers are at the center, they truly understand.  They are not only reporting, but they are LIVING the story as well!

While I feel sad for the 145 employees this turn of events will give the P-I opportunity to work on new ways of connecting readers, fans and pundits and maybe even develop a thriving new businesses along the way.

Photo courtesy Joshua Trujillo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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I dreamt about blog comments last night.  Indeed I need a good night’s sleep.  The bad dream went something like this…

Fulfilling Dreams:  Mac, you are an amateur, arrogant, vindictive little brat who has irreparably damaged the Harley-Davidson brand and soiled the reputation of motorcycle journalism as a whole. Not only are you as inarticulate as a child raised by wolves, but you know virtually nothing about the biker industry that you attempt to cover–a few weeks back, while you were sleeping off yet another of your many benders, your helper monkey ghost-wrote the blog in your place, and several readers remarked that it was the most coherent and insightful posts of the Northwest Harley Blog in months. It’s a shame your helper monkey didn’t return to write more columns.  Signed: Jim Ziemer (H-D CEO)

Whew, glad it was a dream.  Yep, I’m an amateur blogger.  Amateur being defined as ZERO income generated from the site. Zero revenue is by design.  This blog is a hobby centered around motorcycle passions and a dislike of advertisements.  I truly despise sites that have rolling ads prior to content, or flashy-blinky-things detracting me or a link feast of ads.   In my mind having a focus on generating revenue changes behavior.  Aspirations of a “dollar-per-word” gig…would drive a vicious cycle of attracting eye-balls and the lure of becoming “rich-n-famous”.  Sure there comes a time when the enticement of publishing AdSense links or using a lot of affiliate programs makes a person stop and take pause…one Mississippi, two Mississippi…then you realize it’s less about Google pennies and more about blog visibility. 

Speaking of visibility, web syndication is basically a form of print syndication or duplicating website material and making it available to multiple other sites. Blog syndication is the use of your blog’s RSS feed to deliver your blog’s content to other blogs, feed readers and aggregators.  There are many “no-goodnics” or hackers with questionable aggregation sites that have created syndication services explicitly to drive AdSense revenue.  However there are only a few reputable sites who service the mainstream media.  BlogBurst is one of those companies who give publishers access to the best of the blogosphere.

Recently the Northwest Harley blog received approval for syndication which means that content will be place on top-tier online media destinations like Reuters, USA Today, Gannett, McGraw-Hill and Fox News.  In fact, here is a post that received broader distribution on the Reuters site.  The original post is HERE.

Who knows, but maybe this will even change Mr. Ziemer’s viewpoint …in my dreams?

Screen scrap courtesy of Reuters.

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Ah-riding. I know it’s a great way to unwind after a hectic work day. But, why not combine a little riding pleasure while at work during the day?  I was enjoying a smoke break at work and reading the HOG Tales Magazine wondering who is behind this glossy publication at Harley-Davidson? 

HOG Tales Magazine is multi-language magazine and mailed to more than 1 million members of the Harley-Davidson Owners Group (H.O.G) around the world.  A subscription to HOG Tales, is included for all full memberships. The inside cover states Christine Adamavich is the Editor, but like so many things these days in corporate America the customer-facing communications and media tactics are “outsourced” to hired guns in the publishing business.

With a little research I learned that the U.S. version of the magazine is produced by GS Design, a Milwaukee-based design firm specializing in graphic design, web and multimedia.  GS Design has been working on HOG Tales since 1996 and provides the graphic design as well as much of the content.  They also do a lot of Harley corporate communications ranging from Annual Reports to multi-color dealer briefs, online content and model information.

In Europe, the publishing arm of Archant LLC (Archant}Dialogue), a family-owned business since its inception 160 years ago and one of the UK’s largest independent media businesses publishes the HOG Tales magazine.  Quite simply they do it all from planning and research, to creating and commissioning content, editing and design, selling advertising space, printing, distribution and marketing.  The Archant Dialogue team manages all aspect of the publishing cycle and distributes to more than 100K members across Europe in six languages.  The Archant Group is the UK’s leading independent publisher and beside the HOG Tales have many specialist magazines and they also publish 90 daily and weekly newspapers.

There you have it.  The companies behind publishing HOG Tales and allowing you to reconnect to riding while behind the office desk!

Photo is courtesy of HOG Tales

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