The View From The Tree: The Seven Habits of Highly Inefficient Publishers
The practices that have made us magazine publishers successful over many decades now threaten to undo us. Many respected magazines are only one reasonably-talented, technology-enabled part-time outsider away from losing much of their Web audience or perhaps going out of business altogether.
Besides low overhead, these outsiders have a huge competitive advantage over traditional publishers: Whether by ignorance or by choice, they are inclined to violate some of publishing's ingrained habits – unwritten rules that worked during the age of information scarcity but that became obsolete now that everyone can be a publisher. You can call them the Seven Habits of Highly Inefficient Publishers.
The outsider may be an amateur with deep knowledge of a particular subject and modicums of knowledge about social media and writing. She may be an unemployed journalist (there are a few of those, you know) or recent college graduate.
Or he might be a content marketer, someone who works in marketing or public relations for a company that has decided to build a more direct relationship with its customers and prospects rather than relying solely on us publishers as a go-between. (The recent article by Publishing Executive blogger Andy Kowl, "Content Marketers Target Publishers' Revenue" explains why this hot trend is such a threat to B2B publishers: http://bit.ly/LEBaea)
By spending as little as a couple of hours a day on a website that focuses on a particular industry, hobby, or other niche, one of these outsiders could steal away much of the Web audience, and advertisers, from traditional publishers already serving that niche.
I can hear my colleagues' objections now: "A couple of hours? That's not even enough to write and publish one article!" These colleagues don't understand the threat because they are victims of the seven rules.