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AMC 2007

It’s ‘Miss AMC Wrap-up’ To You

AMC.jpgWe came to windswept Boca Raton, we saw mag editors’ eyes widen at all the online work they had to do to keep pace with readers’ needs, and we conquered our fear of being wrapped in our colleagues’ cigar-scented embrace. Check out all the news that was fit to type on the 2007 American Magazine Conference, and we’ll see you next year in San Francisco, where we’ll all be another year behind the technologies our <a href="Silicon Valley siblings will be lined up to tell the magazine industry it should’ve gotten into already.
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    AMC 2007: ‘Don’t Put Content on Lockdown’ Google Exec Urges Mag Eds

    Tuesday AMC 2007 Google.jpg
    Even the most highly branded magazines, like Forbes and TV Guide see their online traffic dwarfed by that of “media interlopers” like Yahoo! and MySpace, Eileen Naughton, Google’s director of media platforms, said today at AMC.

    “Search is a proxy for a brand’s vitality,” Google media platforms director Eileen Naughton asserted to a roomful of magazine executives at AMC today in Boca Raton. “Search is a core consumer behavior that defines our times; it’s an activity at the essence of what it is to be human,” she said in her keynote talk entitled “Insights From Google,” urging the content providers in the room to make their material as accessible as possible to users so magazines might benefit from the kind of online popularity driving tens of thousands of users to younger brands such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo!. “Newer entrants to the media landscape are quite disruptive to the media status quo,” Naughton said. But why?

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    AMC 2007: ‘Privacy is an Old Man’s Concern’ LinkedIn Prez Says

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    From left: Josh Quittner, Fortune‘s EIC, and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman talk social networking.

    “What does a social network have to do with a magazine?” If this morning’s AMC conversation between Fortune executive editor Josh Quittner and Reid Hoffman, chairman and president, products, LinkedIn, could be boiled down into one question on the minds of the hundreds of magazine executives in attendance, that’d be it. In response to this and other questions from Quittner aimed at getting Hoffman to break down what Quittner deemed “the hottest new thing around.” But magazines need to look beyond their own capabilities and brands to draw some of that heat, Hoffman suggested. “People tend to juxtapose user-generated content against editorial content,” he said, an approach that is “partially mistaken.”

    “The natural inclination for people who are producing content is [to say] ‘I should have my own social network. That doesn’t actually work,” Hoffman said, urging the magazine industry to look to established social networking players like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn to form relationships that would help magazines take advantage of social networking more speedily — as Quittner suggested, “finding the social network that exists out there where you think your [magazine's] readers might be.” In referencing those and other hot online startups, Hoffman disclosed his investor status for some, prompting Quittner to joke, “You’re an investor in everything.” “Everything good,” Hoffman shot back tartly. He also pointed out why age means everything, when it comes to users in fear of who’s got access to their information.

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    AMC 2007: User-Generated Content Cues: ‘Set Up the Scenario and Then Get Out of the Way’

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    From left: Michael Skoler, executive director, American Public Media; Ann Shoket, editor-in-chief, Seventeen; Wired News editor-in-chief Evan Hansen

    “In the spirit of user-generated content, I’ve basically let my users create my presentation for me this morning,” Seventeen editor-in-chief Ann Shoket said just before screening a video submitted by one of her teen users. The clip was one part of Tuesday morning’s AMC session on “The Web, User-Generated Content, and the Future of Journalism,” with Shoket and Wired News editor-in-chief Evan Hansen, moderated by Michael Skoler, American Public Media’s executive director of its Center for Innovation in Journalism.

    Reiterating conference chair Dave Zinczenko‘s oft-repeated theme, Skoler bludgeoned told the audience, “Magazines are brands and brands are relationships.” But picking on the “promiscuity” endorsed yesterday by Arianna Huffington in her afternoon session, how did Shoket wind up with 13 million teen girl “partners?”

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    AMC 2007: Adam Moss on Being EIC: ‘You Get Paid to Be a Dilettante’

    Monday afternoon AMC 2007 Editor Octopus.jpg

    From left: The New York TimesDavid Carr; Stephen Adler of BusinessWeek; ReadyMade‘s Shoshana Berger; Angela Burt-Murray of Essence and New York‘s Adam Moss

    New York Times media reporter and columnist David Carr did his best to deviate from panel-talk formula while moderating “The Editor as Octopus” this afternoon at AMC. Taking the stage with four editors-in-chief — Stephen Adler of BusinessWeek; ReadyMade‘s Shoshana Berger; Angela Burt-Murray of Essence; and New York‘s Adam Moss — Carr tried to keep it interesting by asking the EICs everything from whether they miss old-school editing and “yelling at writers” to which songs they’d karaoke in place of being on the panel.

    Overall, the talk centered around “how these guys’ lives have morphed and changed,” as Carr put it, in the ever-evolving EIC role. Berger seemed to feel she had it easy, since “the beauty of ReadyMade content is it’s evergreen and fairly extendable.” Burt-Murray cited the challenge of positioning Essence not just where her female reader is going, but also “where she wants to be.” But what had Adler connecting his business-minded readership with 12-steppers?

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    AMC 2007: NBC Prez: Content Providers Must Know Consumers ‘Like We’ve Never Known Them Before’

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    Who are the people in your “viewser” neighborhood? Addressing “What Magazines Can Learn From TV” at AMC, NBC Universal Integrated Media president Beth Comstock makes the introductions.

    In a slideshow-laden presentation that miraculously managed to keep AMC attendees’ after-lunch attention today, NBC Universal Integrated Media president Beth Comstock advocated allowing consumers to govern all parts of the “viewser” — viewer+user — experience in her keynote talk, “What Magazines Can Learn From TV.” Video, according to Comstock, is where NBC sees “a lot of activity,” and the company is currently trying to shift its ideas on small-screen consumption, with NBC is “trying to get our head around the fact that day time is primetime” in the world of online video. In addition, she painted an either terrifying — or terrifyingly familiar — picture of just what those viewsers are getting up to in bed.

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    AMC 2007: Rather Warns of ‘Inevitability’ in Presidential Race

    Monday am AMC 2007 Rather.jpg
    From left: Dan Rather, anchor and managing editor, Dan Rather Reports; Newsweek senior editor and columnist Jonathan Alter; and Mark Halperin, Time editor-at-large and senior political analyst

    “Let’s get to it,” said Dan Rather, anchor and managing editor of Dan Rather Reports, kicking off the panel discussion he moderated today at AMC with Newsweek senior editor and columnist Jonathan Alter and Time senior political analyst and editor-at-large Mark Halperin. “Handicapping the 2008 Election” had Rather at his TV-inspired best, calmly informing the audience of approximately 500 magazine professionals, “more on that later” and “we’ll get back to that,” whenever conversation veered away from an interesting subject. Envisioning the ideal shakeout of presidential candidates for Election ’08, Alter asserted, “The best possibility is a subway series,” acknowledging with both Rather and Halperin that Hillary Clinton had clearly emerged as a frontrunner for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. “She has to make some mistakes to blow it,” he said.

    “Senator Clinton and her staff are trying to create an aura of inevitability” among both voters and journalists to suggest that she’s the Democratic frontrunner, Rather pointed out, and “you’d better get on board,” he said. Still, he cautioned AMC attendees to “beware of the inevitability.” But how does the conference’s hottest topic — new media — play into it all?

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    AMC 2007: Mag Publishing ‘Behind’ on Integrated Marketing

    Monday am AMC 2007 Marketing.jpg
    From left: Ad Age editor-in-chief Jonah Bloom; Deirdre Bigley, vice president, worldwide advertising and interactive, IBM Corp.; Scott Neslund, CEO, Mindshare America; Donna Speciale, MediaVest president of investment and activation; and Brian Perkins, corporate vice president, corporate affairs, Johnson & Johnson

    “You have to break the code on this,” MediaVest USA president of investment and activation Donna Speciale told magazine executives at the 2007 American Magazine Conference. Speaking on a panel dubbed, “Will Marketing Ever Be Integrated? An Agency/Client Perspective” moderated by Ad Age editor-in-chief Jonah Bloom, Speciale’s urging was echoed by fellow panelists Deirdre Bigley, VP of worldwide advertising and interactive at IBM; Brian Perkins, corporate VP of corporate affairs at Johnson & Johnson; and Scott Neslund, CEO, Mindshare America. The “holy grail” of integration as the marketers see it? “How do I attach this to revenue,” Bigley answered in the brief discussion, during which Bloom interrogated and needled in equal parts, at one point answering a panelist who asked if she could add to another’s comment, “I don’t know — can you?”

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    AMC 2007: ASME Opens Eight Ellie Categories to Online Entrants

    Digital entries will be welcomed across eight traditional National Magazine Award, or Ellie, categories next year, ASME president and Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive announced this morning at the American Magazine Conference in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition, Leive told attendees that magazines published by newspaper companies will also be eligible for Ellies. Further, a new digital category will be introduced:

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    AMC 2007: Online, ‘The Consumer Is Way Ahead of Us’

    Monday am AMC 2007 Future.jpg
    From left: Mark Edmiston, AdMedia Partners Inc. managing director; Jonas Bonnier, Bonnier Corp. chairman; Wenda Harris Millard, president, media, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; and Philippe Guelton, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc., executive vice president and COO

    Online media was the subject of a bracing dose of reality this morning for the 500-some-odd magazine executives gathered in Boca Raton for the 2007 American Magazine Conference. In a panel talk entitled “How Publishing Companies Position Themselves for Growth: Best Bets for the 21st Century,” it was panelist Wenda Harris Millard — a former Yahoo! executive now serving as president of media at Martha Stewart Omnimedia — who delivered the strongest words to magazine industry members. “There’s no question in my mind that this is a revolution,” she said to the crowd of online media. “There’s no question that the consumer is way ahead of us.”

    Her fellow panelists, Bonnier Corp. chairman Jonas Bonnier and Philippe Guelton, executive vice president and COO, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc., echoed her sentiments in response to moderator and AdMedia Partners managing director Mark Edmiston‘s questions. As Guelton described the consumer’s outpacing of the magazine industry in embracing online media, “I’m still amazed … we started the conversation [about online media] in 1994,” he said, marveling that “still, we missed out.”

    Even Millard’s more positive comments on magazines’ advantages carried caveats.

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