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Friday, November 04, 2005

Electronic Show Dailies 

How Not to Produce an Electronic Trade Show Daily

I was prepared to disagree with Prescott's criticism, linked above, of the Folio: Show electronic daily. I kinda liked its shiny presentation, and was grateful to be able to read about some of the doings at the event, which I couldn't attend.

But then Prescott sold me in his close:

Not to say that we have it right, but I think that our trade show daily blogs and enewsletters provide far more content and capture the spirit and goings on’s of a show far better.

I agree. RSS-fed show blogs are a much better replacement for the traditional print daily. And they're more readable on portable devices--which adds to their usefulness in the show environment itself.

And Folio: should be blogging as well.

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Speaking of Community... 

The community of b2b bloggers is woefully small, as I've noted in the previous post. And that's why it's incumbent on those of us doing it to encourage as much quality b2b blogging as possible.

My friend Rich Westerfield dissed one of those quality bloggers, inadvertantly, I think. He wondered why his blog was linked to from ProHipHop.com.

My friend Clyde Smith, who runs ProHipHop, responds:

As a trade blogger I'm always interested in other trade blogs, whether they're focused on entertainment or on business, that's why you'll find both music industry and business blogs listed in my sidebar link lists. Not all of them carry news or commentary to which I'd link at ProHipHop, but they provide a sense of the range of material I consider in putting this blog together and the kinds of sources that inform my commentary at ProHipHop. They also represent my interest in building the trade blog scene, because I think that's a really cool phenomenon.

I'm not in the HipHop business, but I read Clyde's blog regularly, for his insights into business and business media.

Clyde concludes: I think that trade bloggers should raise their awareness of each other and do what they can to support each other's work because we're doing something new, in many respects. We could all benefit as individuals from some simple group awareness.

Couldn't agree more.

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When Bloggers Meet 

My business partner Scott Chase and I had the opportunity to attend Rafat Ali's DC MediaNext Mixer last night. The highlight, among highlights, for me, was spending some quality time with Rex Hammock, the godfather of magazine bloggers (though his interests, posts and audience are more broad ranging than that). We chatted about blogging, community and the still-surprisingly small number of magazine and b2b-media oriented bloggers (check out the links to the right to visit a few of the best out there).

But we also spent a few fascinating minutes on a common challenge that Rex and I both share: do businesses built on services contracts (his, for custom publishing, mine, for media management) have equity value...that is, can they be sold? Rex had some terrific insights into building equity value in these types of businesses, which I'll leave to him to blog if he chooses, and which I'll gleefully borrow.

I also came across another blogger, Josh Greene, who directs e-marketing for Time Warner Cable. I'll be checking out his work often. I've already picked up on a funny link from Josh, to a blog by Scott Ginsburg, who's been wearing a "Hello My Name is Scott" name tag for more than five years, and who has evidently now gotten a name tag tattoo on his chest.

Grab: HELLO, my name is Scott! And since November 2, 2000, I've spent every single day of my life studying approachability in a unique way: by wearing a nametag 24-7.

Personally, I'll leave the wearing of nametags to networking events. Many thanks to Rafat and Staci Kramer for hosting a wonderful event.

A postscript: I'm also looking forward to meeting Dave Jung face-to-face at Russell Perkins' InfoCommerce 2005 event in Philadelphia on Monday.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Few M&A Notes 

There continues to be some lower profile M&A activity in the b2b market, as we await news on the disposition of Advanstar, VNU's business media group and 101Communications.

The former Bev-Al Communications recently bought a chunk of Adams Business Media properties, and has now reorganized and renamed itself m2media360. Interestingly, I can't seem to find an overall Bev-Al website to link to, and m2media360 isn't up yet either. The Adams Business Media website is far out of date. But what used to be Adams Business Media seems mostly sold off now.

And via BtoB, news that Randall Publishing's controlling shareholders have sold the business to CEO F. Mike Reilly and Wachovia Capital Partners.

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Monday, October 31, 2005

To Infinity and Beyond 

INFINITY SOLO FOR AD AGE

Advertising Age's current issue showcases advertising from a single sponsor, Infinity Broadcasting. According to the New York Post article, linked above, Advertising Age is sensitive to the criticism leveled at the New Yorker for its "Target" issue.

Grab: The American Society of Magazine Editors criticized it for failing to tell readers the single sponsor had no impact on the editorial content. Ad Age's current issue will include such a box.

Infinity is working hard to convince the advertising community that it won't be affected by the loss of Howard Stern to satellite radio. See Ad Age's website for some online versions of the advertising.

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When To Flaunt Success...and When to Hide It 

The publisher of the Ft. Worth Business Press, in introducing his paper's list of the Top 100 Private Companies in his area, decides to publish his own numbers as well.

Grab: Which brings me to this question: How’d the Business Press perform in 2004?

Glad you asked.

Our revenues were just over $2.5 million and that was an increase of 21 percent driven by advertising revenue increases of 22 percent. We followed it with the best quarterly profit in the company’s history, which dates back to 1987.


This disclosure makes perfect sense in the context of publishing a list of hard-to-find and harder-to-estimate private company revenues. I wonder how many other b2b "top" list publishers would have the guts to print their own figures.

But it also reminded me of a lesson taught me by the single best advertising sales executive I know. This guy owns a pretty hot Porsche. But he keeps an older, less powerful and less expensive car for sales calls. Even though he earns every penny he's paid, he prefers not to have his clients thinking about how he's spending the money they pay him. He doesn't even drive the car to his magazine's office.

A few months ago, I was tooling around in my almost-seven-year-old BMW 3 Series, when the president of one of my clients passed me in his theoretically lesser car, honking his horn and calling out: "Hey, you consultants must do pretty well."

Ouch.

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