Scholastic Administr@tor Enters the Blogosphere: Executive Editor Kevin Hogan on Adding a Popular Blogger to His Team
Scholastic Administr@tor, a publication for school district executives, ramped up its Web 2.0 efforts this month with the addition of blogger Alexander Russo to the magazine’s online component, www.scholastic.com/administrator . This marks Administr@tor’s first venture into the blogosphere.
Russo, a journalist and former U.S. Senate education aide, already had been contributing to Administr@tor’s print magazine for the past three years. His daily blog, “This Week in Education,” which was previously hosted by newspaper Education Week, offers information and commentary on education news, policy, research and trends. “From Washington, D.C. to Hawaii, educators, reporters, lawmakers and school reformers all read this blog,” says Russo. “‘This Week in Education’ is all about helping educators, politicians and the media understand each other a little better.”
Scholastic Administr@tor Executive Editor Kevin Hogan spoke with Publishing Executive Inbox about why the magazine brought Russo on-board, and how the blog will help Administr@tor reach its goals of expanding its online presence and audience.
INBOX: Why did you decide to bring a blogger, and specifically Alexander Russo, on-board?
KEVIN HOGAN: We started to see what a rich community the [education] bloggers had created, and we wanted to be a part of it. There was no question in our minds that we wanted Alexander to be a part of our electronic team. … We’ve always valued his position as an irreverent thought-leader in the education world. We knew we wanted to be a part of new media, especially because there are so many brilliant bloggers in the education space, and Alexander was our first choice to join us. We are thrilled he agreed. It also was an opportunity for the magazine to reach influential people in the education space who may not read the print magazine, which is qualified and controlled for school district executives only.
INBOX: What contractual/payment arrangements were made with Russo?
HOGAN: His arrangement is essentially the same as you would find for contributing editors in the print world.
INBOX: What process have you established for comments on the blog? Are they moderated by someone on the magazine staff, or does Russo handle the moderating/posting of comments?
HOGAN: People are free to leave comments, anonymous or not, on the blog page. Russo handles any moderating that needs to happen. Also, it’s important to note that Alexander is his own editor, and his blog is completely independent from the opinions of the rest of the magazine staff or of Scholastic at large.
INBOX: How will the blog influence the print product and vice versa? For example, will discussions on the blog influence content in the magazine? Will the blog be publicized in the magazine?
HOGAN: It will have a major effect. In many respects, I have begun to reverse the entire editorial process for different parts of the publication to emphasize providing current information online, then editing it for eventual publication in the magazine—a “greatest hits” of sorts for what you read on the site. This makes our online presence much more robust than just a graveyard for past issues. Our plan is that, within the next 12 months, every component of the print publication will have a thriving, dynamic online counterpart. Each department in the magazine will have a pointer to the online version, which will supplement whatever does not fit into the print pages.
INBOX: Does the magazine have plans to add additional bloggers to the site, either industry experts such as Russo or staff members?
HOGAN: Immediate plans are to increase and intensify the type and amount of fresh material we post to the site. Scholastic is always looking to expand its braintrust, in all of our divisions, and the magazine division is no different. This isn’t about technology for technology sake but about harnessing its power to provide a stronger and more comprehensive resource for educators.