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How Big Could New Media Be?


I was doing some research this morning on the difference between ad revenue online vs. print for the newspaper industry. For several years now print ad revenues for newspapers has been declining while online ad revenues have been increasing at double digit rates since at least 2004 (earliest statistics from NAA).

As The Recovering Journalist pointed out in March of 2006, online ad revenue is basically replacing print ad revenue in the newspaper industry.

That got me to thinking just how big could the New Media industry become?

If you have ever heard me get on my soap box you know I believe new media represents the reinvention of newspapers, magazines, radio and television all at the same time. Eventually I guess you could throw feature length films in there as well ($26.7 billion). But lets just stick with the first four for now. 

According to NAA the newspaper business is currently a $59 billion dollar industry.

Broadcast radio sits at $21.3 billion.

Broadcast TV $57 billion.

The best number I can find for magazine publishing is $70 billion annually. This is a tricky category due to the segmentation between consumer, B to B, other niches and tendency of the industry to include trade show revenue  with print advertising but this seems like a conservative number. (If anyone has better data I welcome your input).

That gives us a grand total $2.7 trillion dollars in annual revenue up for grabs. Do I expect New Media to steal every dollar away from traditional media? No but those, revenues will not remain static either. 

Predictions of on line ad revenues eventually equaling their print and broadcast counterparts are numerous so it is only logical to conclude that for new media content creators time is on our side and the revenues will eventually come. That doesn’t mean every blogger will be rich (more on that in another post) but it does mean a lot more will be able to earn living doing it regardless of the genre of their content. And many thousands of bloggers, podcasters, Internet TV and Radio broadcasters will in indeed make it big and become “rich”.

So if you are passionate about your content, keep working hard and one day you very well may be more than just “Internet famous”.

Should Bloggers Blacklist PR Firms?


I agree with much of Stowe Boyd says in his post about PR Spam but I am going to be the devils advocate here and I am hoping we can agree on what I am about to say.

If you are a professional journalist, or editor covering a particular industry or topic then part of your job is fielding PR pitches for products in that industry.

Think of it like a buyer working for a major department store. Let’s say they buy mens clothing. That person’s job is to buy things from people they know, and people they don’t know. In fact a good buyer is actively searching for, and appreciatively receiving unsolicited emails and cold calls from people they have never met who are trying to sell them some new line of clothing they have never heard of. Why?

That new line of clothing just might be the next big thing.

It is that buyer’s job to diligently review that line and listen to that sales pitch to decide if buying that line would give his company a competitive advantage.

A buyer who only buys from his friends and buys lines he already knows about is lazy and should be fired for not doing his job.

In Journalism and PR it is the same thing. Journalists and editors should be actively seeking new stories, from new companies about new products and learning about them with enthusiasm to give their publication an advantage by breaking stories before their competitors.

Will you occasionally get pitched something that is irrelevant to you or that is personally uninteresting to you? Of course. Too bad. Get over it or get a new job. Now if the same PR firm keeps sending you irrelevant information it is entirely appropriate to contact them and politely ask them to knock it off. If they keep “spamming” you then you should complain about them publicly until they get a clue.

Now here is the difference and the fine line between bloggers and “real” journalists. If blogging is a hobby for you and you don’t really consider yourself a journalist, or you don’t really know what journalism is or means then it is understandable that you might be offended when you receive an email from a stranger pitching some product you have never heard of.

Stowe offers some great advice in his post:

I also suggest to bloggers and journalists to do as I have done, and post a persistent link on your blog called ‘How To Pitch Me’ or the like, and state how others ought to — and ought not to — pitch you.

By the way small companies are the ones who are most hurt by being ignored. Big companies will always find ways to get their message out. They have the money and resources to change tactics and to kiss and make up to whoever they have offended. And don’t try to tell me that publishers don’t forgive when they are adequately sucked up to after being offended.

Small companies do not have access, do not have the resources or the cash to pursue every single media outlet in the world that might cover their product individually. It is impossible. So if you get what you consider to be “spam” from a small company take a moment to send them a polite email and explain that you don’t like the way they pitched you and offer them some free advice. Most likely they will appreciate the advice and you might just get the inside scoop when that company makes it big.

If the polite approach doesn’t work you can always blacklist them. It’s your blog you can do whatever you like 8).


Todd Defren defends his ably defends his firm and his profession.
Infopinions points out the difference between Lifehacker’s reaction and Chris Anderson’s.

Jeremy Pepper prefers OG PR.

PR Interactive says They aren’t teaching this kind of stuff in school:

While I can’t speak from the professional side, I can agree with him from the academic side. As a recent grad, I can tell you that I have had minimal exposure to pitching the media. This is, obviously, very difficult to do in the classroom setting, and most of my internships would let me pitch only when everyone else was swamped with bigger clients. For many of my peers, ,

Brian Solis says:

>Nowadays, any mistake made in PR is really an occupational hazard where one wrong move can cause a domino effect that has the potential to eradicate months or even years of hard work.

What Brian says is true but it is also wrong and shame on bloggers who hold PR professionals to an unreasonable standard. Show me a blogger who hasn’t posted inaccurate information one time or another or flamed someone and later had to apologize for it and I will eat my hat. We all make mistakes.

Btw Brian nails it in defining SPAM. It is not any email you deem to be unwanted.

Broadstuff disagree’s with Brian’s definition…..He’s wrong.

more to come I am sure.

Gary Vee on The Big Idea with Donny Deutch


Gary Vee is just the latest new media guest on The Big Idea. Remember the episode with Robert Scoble, the blogger bus and BlogWorld Exhibitor Mogo Mouse?

Check out the segment with Gary Vee here.

Gary has his second appearance on Conan May 12 coming up and his book coming out May 13.

On another note Donny knows New Media is a Big Idea. Wouldn’t it be cool to get Donny to do a Big Idea show from BlogWorld?

Using Blogs To Build Traffic For Your Podcast


That is the topic of Scott Bourne’s talk at NAB. Here is the big take away:

If all you do is build a blog and create show notes from your podcast you will build your audience. If you learn that one thing today then you will have gotten your money’s worth.

Scott has several other good tips:

  • Use your blog to build relationships and convert your audience into a community.
  • Sell ads on your blog to ad revenue to your podcast.
  • 4 – 5% of your readers are bold enough to comment.
  • Create an archetype to be provocative drive traffic
  • Visit KDPaine’s Media Measurement blog to find out which keywords will help drive traffic to your blog and podcast.
  • Pick 10 keywords no more to be effective and avoid risk of being branded a spammer. Then focus on three to really own.

Interesting note here. Just like Tim from French Maids, Scott says he has been involved with traditional media since he was 16 years old but has never had more fun or felt more connected to his audience than he has since he has been blogging and podcasting. 

New Media Rich!


Tim Bourquin from New Media Expo has a must read post up today. Here is a small excerpt:

In the “old days” anyone who was famous in the media had the big bucks that naturally accompanied that fame. But these days, there seems to be a whole lot of folks that are “Internet famous” because of blogging, podcasting, Twitter, flickr, etc. and yet need to ask their audience for donations in order to buy a better microphone. It’s a bizarre and ironic result of the ability for anyone and everyone to start producing content and gather an audience.

I think we just need to be patient and if you look at the history of traditional media you will see lots of similarities to where we are today but more on that later. Tim Continues:

Twitter, blogs, podcasts and new media in general have created a wave of “famous” people – people with a “wealth” of attention and inbound links, but can’t pay their bills at the end of the month. Worse yet, some seem to think that if you do find a way to make your living successfuly, you’ve “sold out” and are no longer true to your audience. That’s a shame and it needs to change.

The “link” and “attention” may be the currency of the Internet, but until someone can show me how to pay my mortgage by linking to my bank once a month, that just doesn’t fly with me.

A commenter on Tim’s blog Trey hit on it, and another commenter Nick touched on it as well. I will begin to play the broken record I have been playing for a couple of years now. We are at the beginning of this “new media” thing. Of course very few are getting rich. (quite a large number are making some kind of money) . Most people in this “industry” don’t even realize they are in an industry. Many of them are just hobbyists with no real aspirations to grow beyond that (like Nick’s analogy to bands).

As Trey pointed out when radio first came along DJ’s weren’t rich, very few musicians were rich in the early days either. Actors weren’t rich when movies first came long. Athletes certainly weren’t. Sure they might have been famous but they were lucky to eek out a living. Sound familiar?

As those industries matured the money came. What brought the money?

First audience then advertisers and sponsorships. Along with those things came producers, distributors, and of course managers who took their cut.

Even today there are bands with very little “fame” who make a damn good living playing their brand of music. While countless others who may have more talent make little to nothing. In most cases the difference is a good business sense or a manager who has that business sense to go along with their talent.

Good content creators are not common, great content creators are rare. There are very few Madonna’s or Elvi, or Harrison Ford’s and a lots of character actors with bit parts or working in commercials. There are hundreds of thousands of musicians playing small clubs or making jingles for commercials and countless waiters out there who consider themselves actors, singers and artists.

In fact it is a testament to the awesome power of new media that so many people are making money or even making a living and in some cases getting rich already. Anyone see the recent list of the 25 most valuable blogs?

Gawker media worth $150 million? Huffington Post $70 million? TechCrunch $30 million? Yes those are subjective estimates but by any measure the owners of those sites are “rich” at least on paper.

What New Media has done is to lower the barrier of entry for all of us. At least some musicians were able to make a living without being “Rock Stars” before new media came along, but radio broadcasters? Actors? Producers? Writers?

No way. You needed to land a job with the local paper, network affiliate, movie studio or land a book deal with a publisher. Not any more. I am not saying we have cut out those middle men, but they are no longer mandatory to success. Now you can be successful on a much smaller scale with very little to zero investment. You can scale your “brand of content”.

That doesn’t mean that all other business rules are out the window. If you believe yourself to be a great content creator who should be rich and famous but don’t know how to make money doing it, then learn or find yourself a manager who does, or go to work for a network that can help you make money.

By the way New Media has opened lots of doors for folks in those more mature industries of entertainment. Quite a few traditional journalists, photographers, etc are now striking out on their own to make a living with new media. BlogCritics, and The Politico would be two great examples of that. Founded by traditional journalists who are now creating and controlling their own content and syndicating it back to traditional media. Sports like MMA that used to be drowned out by the MLB,NFL and NBA have new ways to reach their fans and new doors that may have never opened to them without new media.

So be patient my friends. The money will come and like so many other things Internet related, it will come at warp speed compared to traditional media’s history.

One last note if you are serious about learning how to monetize your content then Tim’s show is a great place to do it, and of course so is BlogWorld.

Should your business be blogging?


If you are a business owner, or work for a company that is thinking about blogging then read this excellent post by notable blogging guru and all around smart guy Dave Taylor:

Finally, your bonus question is when to start blogging for your business, and I would say that the best answer is start writing your business blog entries immediately. It doesn’t really matter if you’ve been in business for six months or aren’t opening the doors for another eight weeks: your blog is a way to get noticed, to gain visibility, to engage your current and future customers and to participate in the ongoing discussion in your industry. If you’re trying to gain visibility for both yourself and your business, why wouldn’t you get started as soon as possible?

You really should read the whole thing.

More on The Blog Council


I completely understand why so many bloggers like Dave Taylor, Robert Scoble, Brian Solis and so many others are skeptical of the new corporate Blog Council.  Corporations do not have a good track record overall of understanding or playing well with the blogosphere. Not to mention the aforementioned and thousands of others have been giving these large corporations free advice for years . Advice which has largely fallen on deaf ears.

Which brings me back to what I keep telling my blogger friends over and over; most people, smart people including the people who make decisions at these large corporations have no idea what a blog is let alone how the blogosphere works. For as long as people like Dave Winer, Jason Calacanis, Robert Scoble, Shel Israel, and so many others have been talking about this media revolution the general public at large and the business community (including big media) are just starting to listen. 

I take the formation of this group as a sign that these particular companies are finally ready to listen. They want to do it in a way that makes them feel comfortable and safe.  That’s fine.  I say the blogosphere should give this group a chance to succeed. Instead of mocking their formation, let’s offer advice and help them succeed. We all (bloggers, corporations, consumers and advertisers) will benefit from it if they do. If and when they fail there will be plenty of time to jump on the band wagon and pummel the man.

Corporate Bloggers Form Blog Council Organization


Just announced this morning:


Top Executives from 12 Global Brands Form Private Community to Develop Best Practices, Measurement, and Idea-Sharing

CHICAGO, December 6, 2007 — The Blog Council, a professional community of top global brands dedicated to promoting best practices in corporate blogging, officially launched today. Founding members include the leading companies from a diverse range of business sectors: AccuQuote, Cisco Systems, The Coca-Cola Company, Dell, Gemstar-TV Guide, General Motors, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, Nokia, SAP, and Wells Fargo.

The Blog Council exists as a forum for executives to meet one another in a private, vendor-free environment and share tactics, offer advice based on past experience, and develop standards-based best practices as a model for other corporate blogs.

The CEO of the organization is Andy Sernovitz; Founder and President Emeritus, of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Andy literally wrote the book on Word of Mouth Marketing and has his own blog Damn I wish I’d have Thought of That.

This is a very good development for corporate bloggers, the companies they work for and the blogosphere in general. Corporate bloggers do have their own unique issues to deal with and do need a “vendor free” environment to discuss them. This will undoubtedly raise awareness in other large companies who haven’t yet figured out the blogosphere or fail to take it seriously. As for the blogosphere in general the formation of a group like adds another stamp of credibility that corporations, advertisers and the MSM will take note of.

Here is wishing the Blog Council many years of success.


Several folks have posted opinions on this now. Techmeme is tracking the conversation here, here and here. Lionel Menchaca explains why Dell is involved:

It’s also not about control. For me at least, that has been decided—companies don’t control the message, customers do. I hope that Dell (and other companies in the council that have made the leap into digital media) can work together to move companies past the false notion that we are still in control. I’ve talked to folks from other large companies and that reality scares the heck out of them.

later he says:

Good corporate blogs force companies to look at things from a customer’s point of view. That’s why I want more large corporations to blog, and I want them to do it the right way.

That is exactly the kind of attitude corporations need to succeed in today’s new media world.

Duncan Riley doesn’t care much for the name but is willing to give the group a chance.

My friend Dave Taylor is much less optimistic:

My translation: “we’re all clueless, but don’t want anyone to realize just how unplugged our organizations have become from the world of “marketing 2.0″, so we created a club so our ignorance can be shielded from public eyes.” Alright, that’s probably a bit harsh, I admit, but having helped organize the terrific Blogworld Expo last month in Las Vegas, why weren’t these companies there?

ahhhem; Dave a couple of them were. Namely SAP, Cisco, and Microsoft.

More opinions, advice, and consternation at Read/WriteWeb, Mashable, and Scobleizer.

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