Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Vendor as publisher

Posted on | December 11, 2007 | No Comments

Sam Whitmore has done a valuable service lately by bird-dogging a red-hot trend in publishing: vendor-driven editorial. In today’s email blast, he enlists the help of the sage David Strom who writes about the shift of some heavy-hitting editors into corporate environs.

“Microsoft, Cisco,, and Oracle all try to mimic the level of professionalism and technical authority of the trades. These vendors are all worth taking a closer look at — but know that you may never see it all: in Cisco’s case, at least one former trade editor has been hired to publish content behind a gate exclusively for customers, employees and partners.

If you’re a Whitmore groupie (as I am), you can read the complete piece online; if you’re not, you can sign up! Suffice it to say that the movement is in line with my little mantra, “the company is the medium is the message.” With the barriers to communication torn apart by the internet, savvy companies are beginning to grok the fact that they can be their own publishers, their own networks for a variety of publics. They have the brand recognition that they’ve built over a period of years or decades and there’s no reason not to leverage the internet to its fullest.

Does it doom traditional gatekeepers? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, it may improve, at least in B:B publishing, the quality of editorial. Part of the traditional value-add in B:B was audience+relationships with technical sources=happy parties on all sides. But the technical sources have their own forum now (blogs, podcasts etc.). So the engagement with B:B reporters is going to have to yield much more provocative and insightful stories. Or B:B has to get more opinionated, and that’s a road you don’t want to travel too far down.

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No Responses to “Vendor as publisher”

  1. David Strom
    December 12th, 2007 @ 9:56 am

    Brian, thanks for the kind words. You can also read my recommendations that Sam has kindly posted on his blog here.

  2. Anonymous
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