Entries Tagged as 'Print'

Why Niche Magazine Subscriptions Aren’t Worth It

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Most people have subscribed to some sort of magazine in their lifetime. I mean any sort of magazine.

But I can tell you right now that the journalism industry is doing so poorly that it’s not even worthwhile to buy these subscriptions no matter what sort of deal you’re getting. Why? The chance of that niche disappearing is very likely and all you’ll end up with is holding the empty bag.

In this household, we’ve already had two different magazine subscriptions disappear from under our noses in the span of about two years. Just one day, you’re thinking that it’s been a while since you’ve had the last subscription. Then you go on the Internet and find out that the company has folded or the publisher just refuses to put out another copy and laid all of the writers off. What really drives me nuts is the fact that they don’t even have the courtesy to at least send a bulk mailing postcard to all of their subscribers to tell them that they basically are folding one of their publications. Just one day:


Magazine disappeared. I think the nice thing between this and the newspaper industry is that at least they’ll tell you if they’re going down. Flames and all. Common courtesy and it really helps the subscriber to take the side of the struggling industry instead of getting them annoyed with the publishing corporation.

So if you run a magazine business, regardless of how successful you are, perhaps it’s time to budget out some money for postcards and stamps. Just in case there comes a time that you have to turn the lock and shut the door for the last time. Because remember that customer service is still your business and no matter where you’re going, if you want your loyal followers to come with you, don’t slap them in the face with you failed current venture.

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When some newspapers just don’t get the web

Newspaper and tea

Image by Matt Callow via Flickr

Sometimes people just don’t understand how the Internet works. It’s really evident in the GateHouse Media lawsuit against the New York Times:

“Boston.com’s local pages, like hundreds of other news sites, aggregate headlines and snippets of relevant stories published on the Web. They link back to the originating site where the interested user can read the entire article,” she wrote in a statement.
“Far from being illegal or improper, this practice of linking to sites is common and is familiar to anyone who has searched the Web,” Mathis wrote. “It is fair and benefits both Web users and the originating site.”

Here the New York Times is exactly correct. From a perspective of just headlines and first sentences, that has always been fair-use in the aspect of blogging, websites, and the like. And by precedence, this has been a set rule pretty much since… well…the dark ages of the Internet. To think that headlines and first sentences is violating copyright is absolutely preposterous.
Now I can totally see violation of copyright if they did a verbatim dump. Without prior permission and no credit, this would be plagiarism at best and copyright violation at worst. But headlines and first sentence with links back to the original article give the original article full credit. That’s the blogger way, not to mention the Internet way.
I’m not sure how GateHouse will pull this off, but I’ll be surprised if they do. From the Internet’s perspective, it seems like the NYT has the weight of history behind them.

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