I did pick up one actual piece of B2B journalism news during my week in Kansas City. Sosland Publishing has launched a new, biweekly publication called "Food Business News."
Sosland, the 83-year-old publisher with offices in the Kansas City Board of Trade, is best known as the owner of Milling & Baking News. Sosland's latest venture reaches a bit beyond its traditional coverage of grain-based food companies, as the company tries to reach executives "throughout the food processing industry."
In some ways, Sosland is the archetype of a trade publisher. It's a family-run business (the last name of the top three executives on Food Business News' masthead is Sosland.) The company has its roots in the industry it covers, not in journalism. And Sosland is tied to the community where it's based -- funding charities and maintaining a positive corporate reputation in a small community while remaining invisible at the national level.
But despite the sort of old-fashioned feel of Sosland, it's a remarkably modern and professional company. The editors produce clean copy that's mostly free of the industry jargon and boosterism that plague many B2B publishers.
Also of note is that unlike many of its trade journalism brethren, Sosland seems at ease in the online world. The company's Web sites are crisp; Navigation is simple and intuitive. Even the print version of Food Business News seems to be a creature of new media: the front page features brushed-metal coloring and has a table of contents that resembles left-hand navigation.
So imagine my disappointment to find that Sosland named its new magazine Food Business News without buying the domain name foodbusinessnews.com. That URL will take you to a site from the World News portal. To see Sosland's magazine, you'll have to visit foodbusinessnews.net.