From the Editor: Ignore the Periphery At Your Peril
So, what is the periphery telling us today? While it's not as simple as focusing on scrappy news aggregators, that is certainly a part of it. Foster recommends looking at where the investment dollars (venture capital and acquisitions) and customers (audiences) are going. Certain products and companies come to mind. Flipboard, The Huffington Post, TechMeme, Mashable, Say Media and Zimbio Inc. (both combine innovative technology with targeted editorial), niche B2B like TechTarget … and so on.
Increasingly, as D. Eadward points out, non-traditional website operators willing to break long-standing rules are the ones seeing audience growth. While no one has fully figured out the monetization puzzle, the assumptions and practices of these disruptive publishers must be paid attention to. As Foster might say, the days of duking it out for a place at the top of the publishing pile have passed; Mack the turtle has burped, Yertle's tower is listing, and the kings could lose their throne. Or, to borrow Foster's preferred imagery, business competition is not about the Goliaths battling the Goliaths, or even the Goliaths battling the Davids. It's more like Gulliver and the Lilliputians. With so much disruptive change afoot, even the most high-flying publisher could find itself waking from the sleep of complacency, in weird, unfamiliar territory, tied firmly to the ground.
I'm very pleased to welcome Publishing Executive's new content director Lynn Rosen to the fold (or is it above the fold?). Lynn is an accomplished author, editor, literary agent and academic with a variety of experience in many aspects of publishing. In her most recent role as director of the graduate publishing program at Rosemont College, she spearheaded innovative approaches to recruiting talent and providing cutting-edge insight into the business of publishing, skills she is already bringing to the magazine, website, Publishing Business Today newsletter and planning for our upcoming show, the Publishing Business Virtual Conference & Expo, which takes place Sept. 13. We're glad to have her on board.