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Gawker and the Nano-Publishing Trend

Gawker, for the un-initiated is a New York based weblog describing itself as "a live review of city news, and by news we mean, among other things, urban dating rituals, no-ropes social climbing, Conde Nastiness, downwardly mobile i-bankers, real estate porn -- the serious stuff."

Gawker is a "nanopublishing" venture edited by Elizabeth Spiers, designed by Jason Kottke and published by Nick Denton.

Nick also publishes Gizmodo, a weblog covering the latest and greatest in technological gadgetry.

Gawker just had their official launch party last night which I am sure was a blast. Gawker, Gizmodo, and my other site, MarketingFix are nanopublishing ventures that will turn around online media as we know it. The operations of most current online ventures require so much in the way of resources that it is not surprising a profit is rarely made. Nonopublished sites, on the other hand, don't require much more than free blogging software and one human to add content. Now that's oversimplifying it just a bit but this model brings the economics in line with reality. Very low overhead so that even minimal revenue can turn a profit.

For advertisers, "nanopublishing" yields the ability to "nanotarget". It's just another progressive step in the ability to more finely target and customize your advertising campaigns. There will be a shift from coverage to composition when crunching numbers. The quality of the audience will become more important then the quantity. Will that make media planning more difficult? Perhaps, but it will make for far more successful campaigns. And, interestingly, one of Denton's "nanopublishing" ventures just might make this "microtargeting" effort easier. Called The Lafayette Project -- a working title -- , this service will mine the editorial selections and commentary on weblogs to produce an improved personalized news service to consumers. It will identify the stories which have generated the most buzz in the weblog community, and allow readers to track the writings of their favorite weblog authors. I would imagine this to become the entry point into the "nanopublishing" world the way Google is the entry point into the web. I'm sure it will be more then that but we will all have to wait until it's launched later this year to find out.

Like most new media, nanopublishing will not replace existing media. It will just shift the playing field and that, in itself, is what is so fascinating about it.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    




B2B Publishers Go Digital

101communications, publisher of Federal Computer Week, Microsoft Certified Professional, Application Development Trends, and Syllabus, has launched digital versions of its publications.

Launched in October of 2002, these publications are available for download in PDF format for viewing on screen or printing.

"With the introduction of the tablet PC, viewing of online publications will only grow, and we plan to be in the forefront of offering that to our readers and advertisers," says Jeffrey S. Klein, president and CEO, 101communications. "Digital delivery provides greater flexibility, timeliness and additional enhancements that will enable our readers to stay ahead of the curve in the fast-changing IT sector."

Whether reading on the screen will replace paper is up for debate but offering the option is a step in the right direction.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    




Coke's Future: Brand Driven Content

"The television executives among us ... better recognise, you are prisoners of media fragmentation and proliferation and the changing media consumption habits of younger generations," Mr Heyer said. "And the agency executives among us ... your model is in need of a wholesale redefinition ... your future will be in working with, not against, content creators. Agencies should be quarterbacking [directing] the collaborations ... most undermine them."

That's the view of Coca-Cola Co's chief operating officer, Steven Heyer. Sounds like he is endorsing 'advertainment' and product placement to me. The buzzword for this is "brand-driven content". Whether this buzz takes us down the 'advertainment' or product placement road or some yet to be discovered road no one knows. But it will certainly be exciting to watch.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    




No More Kids Programming on UPN

UPN is cancelling its kids programming and will let affiliates fill those hours with local programming. This amounts to 12 hours of Walt Disney programming per week. Ratings for those time periods have been down significantly.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    




Brit Hume to Stay With Fox Another Three Years

Brit Hume has signed on for another three years as Fox News network Washington correspondent and managing editor.

"Brit is the ultimate newsman," Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes said in a statement. "He is the personification of fair and balanced, and everyone in news knows it."

Hume anchors "Special Report With Brit Hume" nightly at 6PM which averages 1.1 million viewers.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    




MarketingFix Online Advertising Headlines

From MarketingFix:

RentMyChest.com
SMS Marketing Does Work
Be Careful Using SMS
Coca-Cola Joins Branded Content Bandwagon
Wealth Gap Widens Online
Shoe E-tailer Focuses on Low Acquisition Cost
Business 2.0 E-Marketing Ads Award
Freerazor.com Makes Gillette Mad
Surf's Down as Direct Navigation Becomes More Prominent
Paid Subscription Model Helps The Street.com
Pointless Surveys as a PR Tool
Lexus Tried Soft Sell Advertising
Better Search Means More Business
Sponsored Text Links In-Content at USAToday.com
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by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    




Cosmo Girl is Looking Good

Cosmopolitan is winning big these days on the newstand with sales up 5.5% over last year and total circ up 9.3% to 3.2 million according to the latest ABC statement.

More.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    




Pepsi Avoids Ozzy Superbowl Ad Induced Boycott

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pepsi will pay several million dollars to urban charities, heading off a threatened boycott over its decision to fire controversial rapper Ludacris as its pitchman, the soft drinks giant said on Tuesday.

The agreement came after hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons charged that the food and soft drink company unfairly yanked an ad campaign by black rapper Ludacris last year.

Simmons complained that Pepsi pulled the plug on Ludacris as a celebrity pitchman over complaints about his profanity-laced lyrics -- then hired equally foul-mouthed white rocker Ozzy Osbourne for a Super Bowl spot.

New York-based PepsiCo Inc., the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, founded by Simmons, and the Ludacris Foundation jointly announced the settlement on Tuesday.

Under the deal, Pepsi and the Ludacris Foundation have agreed to distribute million of dollars in contributions from Pepsi to grass-roots, nonprofit organizations targeting disadvantaged youth in the United States.

Precise terms were not disclosed although a source close to the matter said Pepsi pledged less than the $5 million that Simmons had demanded last week that the company make in charitable contributions to the Ludacris Foundation.

A demand for the company to reinstate the canceled Ludacris Pepsi television ad was also rejected.

"We've come to an agreement where the common ground is young people. We're working together on a multiyear, multi-city effort that will encourage kids to express their creativity in the visual and performing arts," Pepsi spokesman Bart Casabona said in a statement.

The controversy began last year when conservative Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly assailed Pepsi as "immoral" for featuring Ludacris and urged his viewers to boycott the beverage company. Pepsi yanked the 30-second television spot, saying it had received complaints about Ludacris' profane song lyrics.

Atlanta-based Ludacris, one of the biggest names in hip-hop's "Dirty South" movement, has earned a reputation for his explicit lyrics, including "Move Bitch," a hit featured on his 2001 album "Word of Mouf."
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by Steve Hall    Feb-11-03    




CBS Keeps Top Prime Time Ratings Spot

Even though ABC had the number one show last week with the Michael Jackson Freak Show, CBS retained its top spot in prime time ratings for the week ending Sunday, Feb. 9.

CBS led the prime-time ratings for the week ending Sunday, Feb. 9, averaging an 8.8 rating/14 share and 13.3 million viewers a night. NBC, 8.1/13 and 12.4 million, finished second, followed by ABC, 7.4/12 and 11.8 million, and FOX, 5.9/9 and 10.6 million. The WB was fifth at 2.9/4 and 4.6 million viewers, while UPN trailed at 2.4/4 and 3.6 million viewers.

Among adults 18-49, the demographic group advertisers target most, FOX and NBC tied for first with 4.9 ratings. ABC averaged 4.6, CBS 3.7, The WB 2.1 and UPN 1.6.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-11-03    




Things Are Looking Up For Murdoch's News Corp

"We went through all of our operations only yesterday at our management meeting here and the advertising outlook for the next several months is extremely good."

That's what Rupert Murdoch had to say about the healthy second quarter performance his company is about to report.

News Corp.'s Fox Network, with it's reality series successes, are turning that networks fortunes around and is planned to turn a profit by the end of 2003.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-11-03    




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