August 2009 Publishing Executive
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It’s been 10 years since I set up my blog, RexBlog.com. Back then, I never imagined that one day I’d be described as “a magazine publishing blogger” or a “CEO blogger” or a “media blogger.” For a decade before blogging came along, my company and I had been involved in a wide array of online community platforms like e-mail listservs and different types of forums. As I had never been called a “forum-er” or “listserv-er” or, for that matter, an e-mailer or telephoner, I never suspected that using a blog would be anything more than just another platform to share information with a few dozen people.
Recent news of Morgan Stanley Research Europe’s decision to publish a report, “How Teenagers Consume Media,” by a 15-year-old intern, quite frankly, blew my mind. It was not the report’s “findings” that perplexed me, but the fact that Morgan Stanley would publish this as a legitimate report of any kind and that, even worse, people obviously are viewing the “findings” (based on media coverage of it) as basic truths.
U.S. interactive marketing spending will reach $55 billion by 2014, accounting for 21 percent of all marketing spending. Search marketing will reach $31.5 billion by 2014, and display advertising will total $16.9 billion. Spending on social media will reach $3.1 billion, topping spending on e-mail marketing, projected at $2.1 billion.
The explosion in popularity of social media sites, from bookmarking to blogs and social networks, has arguably changed the online publishing game completely. “Just as 10 to 15 years ago, the Web changed the publishing industry … social [media] is creating the same kinds of changes today,” says Shiv Singh, vice president and global social media lead at Razorfish, a global interactive marketing company.
Think back to your first cell phone. If it was clunky, boxy, unlikely to fit in your pocket and even less likely to provide a clear and drop-free phone call, you weren’t alone in your frustrations. Cell phones have come a long way since appearing on “Saved by the Bell” (thanks to Zack Morris) and in vehicles as “car phones.” Today, it’s laughable to think how far the technology has evolved in just 15 years.
I get the very strong impression that we are on the cusp of the next phase of information distribution. Kindle sales are booming, and there is competition aplenty for the black-and-white Amazon e-reader. Several new machines that cost at least $50 less than the Kindle now are on the market, with more seemingly on the way each week. In cooperation with Google, Sony is making available 500,000 free e-books for e-readers. It is important to note that Kindle sales figures are believed to have grown faster than iPod sales in the same time frame. That is very impressive. Most book publishers are adjusting and adapting to this new platform in one way or another at a rapid pace.