Friday, December 31, 2004

Blog history

ABC News has named bloggers "People of the Year." We're all honored, I'm sure, but less so than we would have been if Time Magazine had given us the nod.
Nonetheless, such honors tend to remind me of the inaccuracies that are epidemic in coverage of the blogsphere. Blogging is hardly a new phenomenon. It dates back to the earliest days of the Web, and its first successful manifestation was at
I was a producer, and later an executive, at About back in the boom years. We had hundreds of "guides" -- an early version of the citizen journalists that populate the blog world -- running hundreds of sites that featured brief articles and links to other sites.
I oversaw two collections of sites in my time there -- the Money team, which covered personal finance, real estate, careers, etc.; and the Industry team, which ran trade-magazine style sites covering purchasing, composite materials, insurance and a few dozen other areas of B2B journalism.
But Jonathan Dube is one of the few in the blogging world to give About its due.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Quality trade publishing

Now this is what I like to see -- an article that sings the praises of a trade publisher for being "controversial" and "edgy." Put aside that the author seems genuinely shocked that a trade pub could be so good -- that's the typical attitude of many in the mainstream press. Instead, focus on the positive here: a publisher committed to quality. "Trade magazines have a bad rap. They're looked at as being low-grade with copy wrapped around ads," according to Steve Kane of Power Trade Media . "We're serious about adding genuine substance to the magazine and doing legitimate journalism."

More awards

As long as we're on the subject of awards, take a look at NEPA's contest for newsletter journalists. The deadline for entries is April 1.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Awards season

It's that time of the year again, when journalists compete for recognition by their peers. Every year the contest deadlines arrive...and every year most of the journalists I know don't get around to entering their work.
Here's the application for the Crain Awards and the entry form for the Timothy White award, courtesy of American Business Media.
Some trade journalists are eligible for the SABEW Best in Business contest. Take a look at the rules before Feb. 1. Trade reporters are also eligible for some categories in the IRE awards. (In the interest of full disclosure: I worked at both SABEW and IRE while at the University of Missouri-Columbia in the early 1980s.)
The deadline for the ASBPE's Awards of Excellence is Jan. 21.
You're already too late for the Neal Awards, but there's still time to get a seat at the March 16 luncheon.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Ascend to buy Medical Communications

Ascend Media is buying Medical World Communications, a publisher of 50 B2B titles. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ascend is best known as publisher of Casino Journal.
Of particular interest to me is Ascend's connection to Primedia Business.
Some history is in order here. Ascend is the former Atwood Publishing, which made its mark by publishing limited-run newspapers at trade shows. Primedia Business, where I was once vice president for online content, is the former Intertec Publishing. Atwood and Intertec were both based in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, KS.
When I was at Primedia, I suggested a merger between that company and Atwood. But my plan was rejected.
Now Ascend, filled with talented ex-Primedia folks such as Ron Wall and Cameron Bishop, is growing rapidly.
Congratulations folks!
Primedia, on the other hand, continues to suffer.

B2B ad spending to rise

Let's start this blog with something the trade-publishing business hasn't seen much of late -- good news. Media forecaster Jack Myers expects to see a considerable increase in B2B advertising. “Trade magazines, which have been struggling with marginal growth for several years, are projected to see 5 percent growth in 2005,” he said.