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I Know What MY Wallpaper Will Be for the Next Few Weeks March 29, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Speaking of Potter 7, we now have cover art.

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To all my 14 year-old readers (and 14 year-old wannabes): The expanded front-and-back version makes nice wallpaper for widescreen displays.

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Updating: That Oprah Magic March 29, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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As Thursday dawns on the east coast, The Road is now the Number Two bestseller on Amazon. Trailing only Potter 7, the strongest franchise in book history. Whoa. We all bow to the power of Oprah.

More Tech Trade Pub Chatter March 28, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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This is all very sensible, even wise. But if IDG’s Pat McGovern was doing what he says he’s doing now back in 2000, it would have been brilliant. It would have been absolutely awe-inspiring in 1996.

    In the past when we’d launch a new subject, we’d launch it as a new magazine, and put millions of dollars into selling subscriptions, and go out and get people to buy advertising. Today we would put it out as a website, publicize it to get a lot of visitors, use viral marketing, get people to come back and say it’s a great site. And through newsletters and webcasts, we can get a lot of registered information on the users.
    When we get 50,000 or 60,000 registered users, we can take a random sample of those and ask, ‘Would you like a magazine or a newspaper on the subject? Is so, what frequency and what format and how much would you pay for it?’ And if there’s enough demand we could go to the advertisers and say, ‘Here’s the audience, here’s their buying power, would you be interested in buying advertising in a print publication?’

This is a good interview, well worth reading the whole thing. I worked for IDG for almost 10 years (not in magazines, but at IDC, its research company). Yes, I got my Xmas bonus hand-delivered. The one of the 10 Corporate Values I memorized in case I met McGovern in the elevator was “Keep the corporate staff lean.”

Making a Best-Seller the Old-Fashioned Way? March 28, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Colleague Joe Laszlo posted on HarperCollins’ clever new media viral YouTube promotion for The Average American Male. But if you want to see clout, check out good old fashioned media. Oprah’s picked Cormac McCarthy’s The Road for her Book Club. Amazon puts that news on the front page, and The Road is number three already. I liked it — kinda bleak for the masses, perhaps (Amazon’s consumer-supplied tags: “depressing,” “end of the world,” “horror”) — but I like McCarthy in his Faulkneresque mode better.

Of course, Random House (Knopf, Vintage) has no control over Oprah’s picks. I hope they talk McCarthy into appearing, though. Not like some people.

Video Rawks at Time Inc. Or Maybe Not March 27, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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As I type, Iwantmedia has these dueling story highlights, one after the other, atop its column (my emphasis):

Time Warner May Spin Off Publishing Business
Forbes.com
Time Warner shares jumped Monday on hopes that the media giant might unlock value through restructuring, possibly by selling off its publishing unit. The publishing segment is said to dragging down growth because it lacks synergies with Time Warner’s “video centric businesses.”

Video to Get Star Billing at Time Inc.
MediaPost
Video will play a starring role in Time Inc.’s digital future, and the publisher sees itself in an ideal position to compete with networks by creating original content from its magazine brands. Says Time Inc. exec John Squires: “We can now compete with television for ad dollars.”

The Forbes.com story is based on the analysis of a single Wall Street stock shill analyst. The Mediapost story is based on listening to a Time Inc. sales pitch media briefing. I love Internet journalism.

Morning Music Bits March 27, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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It’s over. Finally.

    Bertelsmann, the German media giant that provided financial backing to Napster when it was an illegal file-sharing service, has agreed to settle with the last of the major record companies that had sued it for copyright infringement. Under the settlement with the EMI Group…Bertelsmann will pay an undisclosed sum but admit no liability.

And in other, more fun, music news, Sprint will adopt a 99-cent price for its over-the-air music downloads (full songs, not ring tones). That’s down from $2.49. I don’t think pricing is the big issue, though Sprint will find out. And it’s nice to see an aggressive move by a telco. Colleague Joe Laszlo will be exploring the demand for impulse-purchase OTA music in an upcoming report. That’s the issue.

Mr. Toad’s Latest Wild Ride March 26, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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I’m kind of psyched for Masterpiece Theatre’s upcoming adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, one of my all-time favorite books.

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Doing it with live actors and no CGI or lots of prosthetic makeup is not actually original. I wonder if they’ll keep in the weird pantheistic spiritual bits.

Tech Trade Pub Infoworld Apparently Going Web-Only March 26, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Various reports have IDG’s Infoworld shutting down print operations to go Web-only. The only surprising thing is how long it took. Should we interpret that Teen People’s print demise indicated kids are webbier than IT execs? Possibly, but it’s more complicated than that. Zia’s working on a report to show how teen early adoption patterns evolve. Meanwhile, check out our some of our online teens research.

Everybody’s a Consultant March 23, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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Apparently, you don’t even have to be a former low-paid hack for a large media company, you can just be an unemployed college student. This morning NPR’s latest piece on YouTube vs. the world staged an extensive interview with self-appointed YouTube campaign advisor, EmergencyCheese, for his take on the Obama vs Hillary 1984 videos. (Not long after a Forrester analyst’s YouTube comments, I have to add. I continue to wonder at the real marketing value of getting quoted, for all my own press-ho’ behavior.)

In ‘Cheese’s opinion, neither one was authentic. His own favorite is Dennis Kucinich’s response to his YouTube posted advice to appear more like “one of us.” Well, ‘Cheese, the proof’s in the ratings. As of right now, the anti-Hillary vid has been viewed over 3 million times on various YouTube postings, the lame Obama counter 400,000, and Kucinich’s personal response to you 4,900. Let’s see if your on-air plug does anything for his numbers.

My People Will Call Your People March 22, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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As if Tribune Co. needed any more turmoil, there’s a little scandal percolating in the naval-gazing world of journalism. The LA Times’ editorial editor has resigned, publicly, on his LA Times blog, because his publisher spiked a special section guest-edited by a guy who’s PR’d by the editor’s girlfriend. Avoiding that old “appearance of impropriety.”

But the best part of the story is who the scandal involves. The LA Times, in its wisdom, first tried for Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet to be the inaugural Guest Editor. Upon being turned down, the Times went with Brian Grazer. Yep, that Brian Grazer. The producer of “A Beautiful Mind.” If you can’t get a visionary titan of investment or technology, hey, go with the next best thing, a Hollywood producer. (And Steven Spielberg wasn’t available.)

I love el Lay. I’m probably gonna have to move back there someday.