80% of Website Content is User-Generated

Digital publishing news for January 1, 2014

According to Antoin Boulin at Folio, 80% of online content today is user-generated. BuzzFeed, Gawker and Forbes are noted as three top publishers of user-generated content (UGC). While BuzzFeed is mostly user-generated (they also have their own bloggers and moderators), Gawker has created a community of people who write, edit and publish all on their own; even comments are monetized.

Forbes, which has been getting good and bad press about allowing so many contributors to its site, is also considered a UGC leader because of the 2011 addition of “Called Out,” which Boulin explains as “a social layer beneath every post’s headline that surfaces selected conversations between the post’s author and individual readers/commenters. It’s a tool that points to the ‘best’ UGC.”

Only at the end of the article does Boulin mention a traditional community subscription website archetype, the one that’s actually known for UGC. “While it started as a social networking site, LinkedIn’s success with its Influencers content submitted by power users has gained considerable attention among specialty publishers. It shows how engaging lightly edited, user-generated content can be when coupled with the right user base and tools, and how blurry the line is between “traditional” publisher and social networking community. To further blur these lines, the company’s ability to cull data from its members’ profiles allows it to work as an aggregator of professional content and push stories to us with better performance than a traditional publisher.”

It’s interesting how online publishing is changing. If your users want to create content for you, and it’s good, why not?


B2B Brand Goes Digital to Increase Circulation

Tech Decisions, formerly a quarterly magazine, will go digital this year as a web-based magazine and eventually build a tablet version. Gary Mirkin, senior vice president at  Summit Professional Networks says, “We see the potential to increase [our audience] by virtue of broadening the editorial focus of the digital publication [and] the ability to reach the other segments that Summit Professional Networks focuses on—financial, insurance, legal and subsets of those.”

“In essence, the strategy should take the circulation much higher,” said Mirkin.

Google Puts a Smart Ad in a Print Magazine

Are “smart” ads the new thing in print? They might be. Google came up with an interesting paper ad for its new Moto X phone which allows the user to change the color of the phone right in the magazine. Not a tablet magazine (that would be too easy) but a paper magazine. See the video here:

Multiplatform Advertising Up 6%

According to the MPA, there’s a “6% increase in the magazine media advertising ‘footprint’ of print pages and tablet units.”

“For the full year 2013, tablet advertising units increased 16% with print pages essentially flat at 0.1%.  The total footprint of print pages and tablet edition units’ healthy 6% increase reflects a marked uptick following several years of transition. This data, which analyzed the 69 magazine media titles that measure both print ad page and iPad unit advertising, affirms that 2013 was not only an inflection year for magazine media, it was a successful year, with consumers responding to the industry’s powerful content, when, where and how they chose.”

Furthermore, “reports from major publishers and recent research confirm this positive trend.”


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