Friday, January 29, 2010

New media revenue models

At today's Women in Periodical Publishing annual Women's Leadership Conference, many of the sessions focused on the future of media and how to make money off the media (i.e. how to stay alive, adapt and thrive). Since the speakers were so kind to share what they have learned from their research and experience, I compiled a list.

In no particular order, here are some of the ways (emerging as well as traditional) to make money off of new media in consumer markets:
- advertising - not just banner ads, but used with e-mail, text, video and through third party or localized deals
- sponsorships - special deals where sponsors get extra promotion through events (online and off), articles, ads, buttons, etc.
- micropayments - tips, mini subscriptions, small donations or other crowdfunded models
- virtual goods - creation of virtual products that mimic real life products, sold for small amounts to the consumer for use in virtual environments
- print-on-demand systems - provide a physical publication that's printed individually for the reader
- mobile applications - iPhone, Android, other - licensed app use to view content via mobile devices
- contests - provide a product or service to winners with sponsors or some sort of fee
- content licensing - paid syndication or other licensing agreements for creative content (posts, articles, photos, video)
- subscriptions or memberships - paid use of content either on the web and/or on tablet devices, such as iPad or Kindle (*note this has been more successful in the Kindle market than it has on web browsers)

Of course the panelists noted that some of these models are typically more successful than others, but it does depend on the content and the audience. For those who have research or more detailed information on which kinds of business models tend to be most successful in their own experiences, I look forward to your comments.

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Advice on Being a Solopreneur

I just sat in on a panel this morning at the annual Women's Leadership Conference produced by Women in Periodical Publishing. Having previously been a speaker on how to be a consultant, I wanted to see how this panel would differ since it was all about being a solo practitioner as a journalist, i.e. freelancer, called 'solopreneur' on the panel.

Here are the tidbits shared by the four panelists that I wanted to pass along:
- Most work really does come through referrals or people met directly in person
- Setting personal boundaries is important (like work hours, sleep time, family time, etc.) to keeping sanity and balance
- Make a business plan; make a marketing plan and revisit both often
- Set a rate and aim to stick to it (even when paid by the word as writers, compute how long that roughly takes to write)
- Pro bono work or opportunities that cost money sometimes are still worth it because they can pay back in other ways (networking, perks, education, exposure, etc.)
- "Sometimes you make art, sometimes you make soup" meaning that sometimes you need to work for pay or write not at your best to get jobs done, but sometimes you will make excellent compositions, and it's important to accept that as reality
- Always start with vision first, set strategy second, and employ tactics third

Speakers: Heather Boerner, writer & editor; Grace Hawthorne, co-founder ReadyMade and consulting associate professor, Stanford Design Institute; Lane Wallace, founder & editor, No Map. No Guide. No Limits.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Fem2 and the Politics of Inclusion

I'm submitting a session for the Gov 2.0 Camp LA Women in Technology track. Here's the scoop:

Although the concept of open government & transparent processes assumes equal ability for participation, there are still spaces and situations in the world of online politics and government 2.0 where some or all women get cut out of the discussion or added as an afterthought. This session will address ways to ensure equal possibilities for all.

Transparency and open government assumes inclusion, so questions of how to outreach and include all groups are important. Since Gov 2.0 Camp LA specifically wanted to address problems of women, this session will focus on that (vs. specific ethnic groups, for example). Because as much as we'd like to think this new online world order provides instantaneous equality, there are still areas of gender bias. Online new boys' clubs have in some ways subtly disregarded women of equal status in online communities, causing rifts, bad feelings and a dilution in the quality of the conversation on important political and policy discussions.

Through the efforts of groups like Fem 2.0 and individuals like Allyson Kapin (@womenintech) and Shireen Mitchell (@digitalsista), some of these issues have been getting attention, but we're still not there yet. This session will discuss some of the problems and solutions to this complex issue.

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