Dead Tree Edition: 13 (Made Up) Terms To Help You Understand Publishing in 2016
Although we’re in the words business, we publishers often can’t find the words to explain what’s going on in our industry.
I’ve already presented a dozen terms that are key to understanding magazine-media publishing this year. Now here are 13 made-up terms that get to the heart of what’s really happening in this business:
1. Temporarely: Publishers who budgeted for a decrease in postal rates may learn this word the hard way. Sure, the 4.3% temporary exigent surcharge is scheduled to expire this spring, but remember that temporary taxes or government fees rarely expire.
2. Statnastics: The statistical gymnastics that the magazine industry engages in to hide the decline of its core business. Q: “How are your ad pages looking this year?” A: “Our Facebook ‘likes’ are up 10%!”
3. Datarrhea: What a publisher gets when it jumps on the Big Data bandwagon, then discovers that its staff has no clue what to do with all the information. Turns out that journalism majors and marketing majors aren’t taught to manage databases.
4. Prigital: As the print side struggles with high costs and the digital side with low CPMs, publishers will increasingly look to prigital products that combine the best of both worlds. Single-copy sales of replica editions are already growing, bolstering the circulation of primarily print magazines. Niche publishers that don’t have the luxury of separate print and digital silos are already seeing success with sponsored e-books and other digital products that offer print-like ad positions and can generate ad revenue even from readers who have ad blockers. And look for more magazines to take a stab at programmatic – or, at least, programmatic-ish – print advertising.
5. Reshrinkence: What happens when the resurgence of print that the blowhards keep proclaiming meets the reality of shrinking ad pages and circulation. If print magazines are really a growing business again, why are so many magazine-quality paper mills shutting down?
6. G-plussing (as in Google+): Allowing a big digital initiative that never caught on to just whither away. “That’s still around? Geez, I thought we killed that years ago. What was it supposed to do, anyway?”
7. Maywall: A publisher’s attempt to collect circulation revenue from its web site without reducing traffic. The web site tells the reader that to see an article she must buy a subscription. But she may be able to read it for free by signing up for a newsletter, answering a survey, clicking a post or tweet, or finding a double-secret URL in a box of Crackerjacks.
8. Nomotion: When a publisher pays for a newsstand promotion that never quite gets implemented because the wholesaler dropped the ball or went out of business, the retailer cut back the shelf space devoted to magazines, or just because.
9. Ad blockheads: Publishers who cram their sites with slow-loading programmatic ads and annoying interstitials, then wonder why so many of their followers use ad blockers.
10. Nontroversy: This is my name for the ongoing publishing-industry debates that pit print media versus digital. Enough! A magazine may have manifestations in multiple media, but it’s all one brand. Get over it.
11. Cloudsourcing: This is the next big marketing fad, according to Ad Contrarian Bob Hoffman, who recently invented the word. “I have no idea what it means,” he explains, “but it sounds exactly like the kind of insufferable bullshit a CMO [Chief Marketing Officer] could really get behind.” Cloudsourcing is so hot that the next big advertising mantra is, of course, “Cloudsourcing is dead.” Maybe it’s time for data-driven, mobile-optimized cloudsourcing to save the day.
12. Listickler: A journalist who writes listicles, usually because he or she can’t string together more than four sentences to create what in the web world is called “long-form journalism.”
13. Click magnets: Those over-hyped listicle headlines that you can’t resist -- even though the last time you fell for such clickbait you were bombarded with four pop-ups, three auto-play ads, two interstitials, and a partridge in a pear tree before realizing there wasn’t anything there worth reading.