Publishing network models

“The newspapers are now the least of our competition. The inflated expectations of investors and executives may one day explode the Huffington Post. And Yahoo and AOL are in long-term decline. But they are all increasingly in our business.” #

Gawker owns the content they publish and pays their staff and contributors for their work. The network of sites share a publishing platform but exist independently and serve separate but similar audiences: Jalopnik, Jezebel, Gizmodo, Gawker, Lifehacker and Kotaku. #

“As a publisher, you make money on every ad impression that appears as part of a Glam App. This includes apps embedded on your site and on pop-up pages generated by an application on your site. Glam App ad revenue is split through a three-way rev share between the publisher, app developer, and Glam.” #

There’s something very powerful about enabling rich experiences to exist in a distributed way.  That was the vision many people shared in terms of the widgetization of the web and a  hypersyndication future for media that still needs to happen, in my mind. #

“The blog setup reframes the relationship between the expert and the outlet — with the Guardian itself, in this case, going from “gatekeeper” to “host.”” #

The trick that few of the publishing networks have really worked out successfully in my mind is how you surface quality.  That’s a much easier problem to solve when your operation is purely owned and operated. But O&O rarely scales as successfully as an open network. #

“The right level of control is an elusive and moving target: Economic dynamism is best maintained by minimizing centralized control, but the very dynamism that individual initiative unleashes tends to increase the degree of control needed. And how to centralize—whether through case-by case judgment, a rule book, or a computer model—is as difficult a question as how much.” #

At the end of the day it comes down to purpose. #


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We are edging away from the binary sterility of the debate between mainstream media and new forms which were supposed to replace us. We feel as if we are edging towards a new world in which we bring important things to the table – editing; reporting; areas of expertise; access; a title, or brand, that people trust; ethical professional standards and an extremely large community of readers. The members of that community could not hope to aspire to anything like that audience or reach on their own; they bring us a rich diversity, specialist expertise and on the ground reporting that we couldn’t possibly hope to achieve without including them in what we do. #

We’re starting our own path towards mutualisation with some baby steps. We will probably make lots of mistakes (and we know you’ll point them out). Where we end up will depend as much on you as it does on us. #

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