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

Going down the road

Posted on | May 30, 2013 | No Comments

Yeah, moving on again.

If you’re read Bob Jones’ post at Publitek, Lou Covey’s, or caught a few social-media updates in the past few weeks, you’re hip to the news that I left UBM Tech and the EBN editor-in-chief role for the role of editor-in-chief at Cadence, the EDA giant. photo


Yep. Five years ago I went from the editor-in-chief role at EE Times to Blanc & Otus to run social media and content creation. Then, it turned out to be a place and time that wasn’t ready for content creation.

But what’s happened in the past five years has accelerated the trend of companies getting on the content-creation bandwagon (what’s now called “content marketing”). Cadence is a billion-dollar company that’s down the road a bit on its own content-creation strategy, pioneered by my colleague Richard Goering (who also left UBM at the same time in 2007) and Steve Leibson, ex-EDN EIC, now at Xilinx as director of strategic marketing.

Shifting landscape

Today, too, we see a different publishing landscape. UBM Tech reorganized in April and pushed its chips squarely into the section of the table labeled “events and community.” Paul Miller has been moving the company in that direction for many years now. He does it not because he wants to but because he has to. Publishing companies that have not evolved rapidly in the past 5-10 years have died or simply stagnated (if they were lucky).

Some bemoan the fact that Miller killed print. Steve Weitzner killed print at Ziff-Davis Enterprise years ago. The fact of the matter is, advertisers have walked away from print for years. For a few years, that was a tragedy because readers didn’t. They stayed. They loved it. They were loyal. But they were a passing generation.

Even today, at a marketing event in Phoenix I attended, there were people talking about trying to find viable print outlets for their stories.


You want THAT audience? You want zero measurable ROI? I’d double-check the wall calendar if I were you.

Change management

Humans don’t do change well. Those who anticipate it usually find themselves a little too far ahead of the adoption curve and that has its own problems. Many refuse to come to grips with it until it’s too late.

I got into journalism a long time ago because I could write, and write a lot. I soon found out I loved talking to people and teasing information from them they might not ordinarily surrender…the stuff that makes up great stories. And journalism, even with all its warts, was a noble pursuit.

Today is not then. None of us should aspire to be harness makers and leather tanners with facilities down the road from the Henry Ford’s first factory.

This applies not only to journalists but to communications professionals, marketers and sales people. All these jobs are changing radically before your eyes.

The art and craft of story telling

Posted on | April 11, 2013 | No Comments

Lou Hoffman is a huge story-telling bigot, and he writes often and insightfully on the blog Ishmael’s Corner. We’re the better for it because Lou teaches old schoolers about how to adapt story-telling to digital technologies today.

Marry the message to the medium and the medium to the audience. It’s pretty straight forward.

My son is studying journalism in college (I know, I know: I tried to talk him out of it!). If all goes well, he will be a part of the next generation of story-tellers, molding and shaping how we communicate as the digital age matures.

It’s going to be amazing to watch how we tell stories 10 years from now. Or maybe it won’t be much different at all?

What do you think?

Here’s a neat little story he told for a class assignment in multimedia form. He does something a lot of contemporary story tellers today (regardless of medium) don’t do, which is stay the hell out of the way of the subject.

Journalism Jobs: The Digital Sweatshop

Posted on | April 5, 2013 | No Comments

For those looking for journalism jobs, consider this from David Rohde, writing for Reuters, on the passing of New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis and the need for inspirational journalism:

The long-awaited surge in digital revenues for news organizations appears unlikely to materialize, particularly for newspapers. Since 2003, total newspaper print ad revenues have fallen from $45 billion to $19 billion. At the same time, online ads grew from $1.2 to $3.3 billion.

Given the comparatively small amount of revenue being produced by news websites, there is a danger of them becoming digital sweatshops. Young journalists will be expected to simultaneously write their own pieces, edit others’ work, make complex news judgments and update web pages.

Twelve posts a day is unfair to young journalists and a business model that is unlikely to produce the next Lewis. Even a young Lewis, I suspect, would have struggled to produce a dozen meaningful posts a day.

My only quibble with this story is that the industry is not at risk of becoming a sweatshop. It is a sweatshop already for journalism jobs.

Crowdsourcing long-form journalism

Posted on | April 1, 2013 | No Comments

This is cool (via Joshua Gillin at Poynter):

The Big Roundtable, which is more than halfway to its startup goal of $5,000only two days into its campaign, promises to provide digital distribution to story pitches that can’t find outlets via traditional print publishers. The project plans to provide 1,000-word excerpts to a committee of readers, which will then read the story and decide if it’s worthy of being distributed via email. The stories will be sent to another group of readers, repeating the process to determine if it’s a successful selection. The story will then be sold to readers for $1 a copy.

We’re staggering toward solutions. That’s the good news.

(Read the rest of the piece at Poynter).

Reading on mobile devices grows

Posted on | March 31, 2013 | No Comments

No surprise, perhaps, but we’re reading more on our mobile devices.

Ken Hess, writing on ZDNet, actually has a clever name for devices we use primarily to get information (as opposed to play games or talk):

I’ll dub it The Infoslab: A decision device. Where you get headlines, stock reports, messages and all of your valuable information in one place.

But perhaps what’s surprising, illuminated by this infographic below, is the modest adoption rates of tablet devices, which in turn cultivate modest rates of content consumption on such devices.


It’s early days to some degree. Would love to see a comparison of the adoption ramp between PCs back in the day and tablets today.



Georgia test cheating scandal? Thank a newspaper

Posted on | March 31, 2013 | No Comments

Thirty-five teachers and school administrators in Georgia have been indicted in a really stunning scandal in which student standardized tests were alleged changed by teachers to improve scores.

How did the state investigation begin?

 The indictment follows a state investigation that was launched after a series of reports by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper found large, unexplained gains in test scores in some Atlanta schools. (via CNN)

If we can find ways to monetize good journalism, amazing things happen, don’t you think?



Newspapers’ decline visualized

Posted on | March 30, 2013 | No Comments

Old days

Posted on | January 26, 2013 | No Comments


Week in Automotive Electronics (Oct. 8-15, 2012)

Posted on | October 9, 2012 | No Comments

Upheaval at Better Place; Audi PHEV slideshow; Ford leverages carbon fiber; Renault, HP in cloud deal.

Storified by Brian Fuller ·
Tue, Oct 09 2012 14:04:27

#0 ·
What Agassi’s ouster means in the big scheme of things…

Slideshow: Audi A3 Plug-In Hybrid Hits the Highway in 2014

£92m #automotive hub to be built at Warwick. ·
New Electronics

via Brian Fuller · Storify

The more things change…

Posted on | September 29, 2012 | No Comments

All you need to do in this exercise is replace newspaper or journal with digital or social feed. Check it out and then guess what decade this was published.

“Our newspapers are overwhelmed with material that is of no importance. The obvious remedy for this would be more intelligent direction in the collection of news, and more careful sifting and supervision of it when gathered. It becomes every day more apparent to every manager that such discrimination is more necessary. There is no limit to the various intelligence and gossip that our complex life offers ; no paper is big enough to contain it; no reader has time enough to read it. And the journal must cease to be a sort of waste-basket at the end of a telegraph wire, into which any reporter, telegraph operator, or gossip-monger can dump whatever he pleases. We must get rid of the superstition that value is given to an unimportant ” item ” by sending it a thousand miles over a telegraph wire.”

It’s from an editor’s note in the 19th century San Francisco newspaper, The Argonaut, Jan. 7, 1882. Price 10 cents.

The editor’s note goes on to summon the patron saint of this blog as it makes a time-worn about what works in journalism. And today, whether it’s a blog, a web page or an e-book or e-article, the principal is timeless:

“Perhaps the most striking feature of the American newspaper, especially of the country weekly, is its enormous development of local and neighborhood news. It is of a recent date. Horace Greeley used to advise the country editors to give small space to the general news of the world, but to cultivate assiduously the home field, to glean every possible detail of private life in the circuit of the country, and print it.”

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