Publishers value ad sales more than editorial shocker


Valleywag fails to be outraged by Alex Petraglia, editor of Primotech, a US videogames-news site, claiming that CNET’s “ad sales team carries more weight than the editorial team.”

As Valleywag puts it: “Media companies don’t care about their writers. Reporters are nothing more than expendable, semi-skilled labor. Despite the chicken and the egg scenario (you can’t sell ads if there isn’t content, you can’t pay people to create content without ad sales), sales staff land the multimillion dollar deals that dictate everything from magazine cover themes to advertorial packages. You don’t need a bloody beheading to point out the disparity — just glance at the parking lot. All those Infiniti G37s belong to sales. Editorial is lucky to be cruising about in a used Ford Focus.”

On one level, they are right – editorial has never been as well paid as the sales side of publishing – however, there does seem to be a paradox in that everyone seems to agree that quality content is a key differentiator (both in publishing and PR) – yet no one seems to want to pay for it.

TWL (theworldsleading) returns as a social network – and other snippets


My thanks to eagle-eyed Peter Kirwan at the FullRun who noted our old blogging chum TWL has returned from a brief self-imposed exile. However, in keeping with the spirit of the times, the acerbic one has come back as a social network (courtesy of Ning). After only a few days, membership is up to 41.

TWL himself remains sceptical as to whether this format has legs: “The blog worked because most of the audience could be passive. Just sit back and read, be entertained, be appalled, be bored. It took no effort. It did for me though, which is largely why it came to an end. This’ll need a great deal more involvement from the members if it’s going to come to life.”

Whether user generated content can rival TWL’s fine wordsmithing remains to be seen. But worth keeping an eye on. Chris “Long Tail” Anderson seems to be a fan of Ning. In a recent interview, he said: “Ning has about 40,000 very niche, narrowly focused social networks. I think that is the right model going forward, with social networks being extremely granular, laser-focused on small, intensely narrow communities. They can perfectly serve those communities rather than forcing them to try and conform to a one-size-fits-all model.”

Speaking of narrow communities, I’ve just joined another new niche social network site – MarCom Professional. It appears to have been going since last October and has some nice features – not least being able to import and synchronise your own blog postings there. Again, early days, but worth a look.

The return of Andrew Bruce Smith


As promised back in December 2007, here is the shiny new location of the blog formerly known as The New View From Object Towers.

Just getting used to the WordPress way of doing things – but so far, so good. And I have to say that the import process from Typepad was painless – very neat.

Suffice to say there will be a lot more happening around here in the next few days, weeks and months. So stay tuned.

And if you are wondering what the hell Escherman is, that’s the name of my new business. Website will up at http://www.escherman.com in the next week or so.

Good to be back.

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