ENTRIES TAGGED "data-driven publishing"

Publishing News: Data is proving to be the backbone of emerging publishing models

Data-driven publishing, ReDigi loses in court, and the Digital Public Library of America is ready to launch.

Data’s growing role in the digital publishing ecosystem

Data is becoming a driving force in the era of digital content. From subscription strategies to target marketing and advertising to content curation and methods of consumption, data is increasingly becoming the backbone of new publishing models.

Mashable’s Lauren Indvik took an in-depth look this week at the role data is playing in the Financial Times’ success in its digital first campaign. Last year, the newspaper notably reported its number of digital subscribers surpassed its number of print subscribers, and today, Indvik reports, the revenue from subscriptions accounts for more than 50% of the Financial Times’ revenue, compared to 39% from advertising.

Financial Times CEO John Ridding told Indvik the digital subscriber success stems from collecting reader data at their paywall to map reader behavior leading up to a subscription, and requiring readers to register to access up to eight free articles per month allows them to gather user-specific data to better target potential subscribers. Their data-driven approach also is helping to target advertising and marketing, and to give advertisers highly detailed reports on a particular campaign’s performance. “We can prove in real-time quite effectively what advertising is working and put that data in front of advertisers,” Ridding told Indvik.

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Publisher: a new role in data herding

To weather industry disruption, publishers essentially need to become leaders of big data and data intelligence companies.

In a recent interview at PBS’ Media Shift, Jason Ashlock, founder and president of Movable Type Management, addressed the changing roles of publishers and argued that they’re not innovating fast enough. Ashlock argues that we’re in the age of the author and direct audience engagement and that publishers need to become conduits for this engagement and curators of communities in addition to curators of quality books.

In a similar vein, Forbes writer Suw Charman-Anderson recently argued that publishers need to become retailers. As retailers, publishers put themselves in a position to collect customer data, which in turn puts them in a better position to offer customers unique additional value and experiences. O’Reilly’s Joe Wikert is a big proponent of the direct sales channel.

To weather the disruption in the industry, publishers do need to become strong multi-media companies as Ashlock suggests and retailers as Charman-Anderson suggests, but more than that — more to the root of that — publishers essentially need to become leaders of big data and data intelligence companies in order to capitalize on the benefits of these business models. They need to learn how to sift through and analyze data to extract meaning, quite a different business than traditional publishers are used to and not an easy task. As Adam Frank argues at NPR, making use of big data and data intelligence requires specialists who understand the intricacies and nuances of data, who know how to “separate the chaff from the real, useful insights.”

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Applications of altmetrics allow for nuanced innovation in publishing

The digital transformation in publishing is bringing forth more than new reading platforms, gadgets and distribution options — it also brings a wealth of data publishers have never before had access to, data that can be applied to new marketing and production strategies, and used to help create more efficient business models.

As data becomes more and more central to publishing ecosystems, traditional methods of metric collection and analysis are proving insufficient. This need for new measurement techniques has given rise to a new metrics approach called “alternative metrics.” I reached out to Todd Carpenter, Executive Director of NISO, to find out what’s behind the changing data needs and more about how altmetric applications can benefit publishers. Carpenter will explore this topic further at TOC Frankfurt on October 9, 2012. Our interview follows.

What are alternative metrics?

Todd Carpenter: Alternative metrics — referred to as “altmetrics” — are a suite of assessment criteria and measures that are being developed, particularly in the scientific and academic communities, to assess the importance of a particular work of scholarly output in a new way.

Traditional metrics have been downloads, citations, or sales — generally based on publication-level data. For example, the Thomson Reuters Impact Factor, one of the most widely used metrics in scholarly publishing, measures quality at the journal level by measuring the number of citations to it in other journal articles. As academic publishing has expanded and diversified, these traditional metrics have been increasingly criticized for issues such as their granularity (i.e., measuring at the publication level, not the item level), or their bias toward citation, which is a common practice among researchers but doesn’t reflect more applied, practical, or public use.

The scope of measures that could be considered altmetrics is actually quite broad, ranging from analysis of usage data to social media references; Google Page Rank; deep statistical data analysis techniques, such as betweenness centrality; and other relatedness statistical measures. Also considered for inclusion in alternative metrics are measures of non-traditional types of content production, such as the release of scientific data sets, blog posting, or social media activity — none of which are addressed in traditional metrics.

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Data-driven publishing is the future

James Levy explains how publishers can use the Hiptype platform to make smarter publishing decisions.

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As our industry shifts from print to ebooks we’re discovering a wealth of new data to study. Retailers hold most of the cards for this data, but a startup named Hiptype is looking to change that. In the interview below, Hiptype’s president and CEO James Levy (@jamtoday) talks about how their platform works and how it can lead to making smarter publishing decisions.

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