From the Editor: Thriving in the New Media Universe
Twenty years ago, just a bit before I started in this business (I was very young, of course), life was simple. Print. Getting issues out. Selling print ads. Period. (Of course, in-person events were in the mix for some.) I can still smell the fresh-baked apple pie on the windowsill.
Some 15 years ago, the Web complicated things a bit, but savvy publishers launched Web-exclusive content, forums/discussion groups, etc., that tapped the Web's capabilities. It was the early form of social media, only unfortunately, many, if not most publishers missed it. They simply put their print content online, for free and requiring no registration, having a ripple effect on the industry that is still being felt today. More e-newsletters emerged, but largely as marketing vehicles to inform print subscribers about what was in the new issue.
Today, we have so many ways to reach our audiences: print, Web, mobile Web, apps, in-person and virtual events, video, external and internal social media outlets, e-newsletters, and so on. Think of the power all these options offer us for serving them. The Onion CEO Steve Hannah (keynote speaker at the Publishing Business Conference), knows this well: The Onion's goal, as he has said: "World domination, plain and simple."
But, as Peter Parker's (Spiderman, for you non-Spidey fans) aunt told him, "With great power comes great responsibility."
Which brings us back to "business as unusual." Today's publishing professionals must be multitaskers to the nth degree. There is no focusing on print alone. We all have the responsibility to adapt with the changes impacting our world.
Still, we are all in a period of flux. As BoSacks says in his column (page 50), "We are living through … technologic change that is happening faster than anyone can predict or understand." But, he adds, we don't need to understand, just accept.