Turn the Page: What’s Next for Publishing?
Emerging technologies and strategies to reach new audiences are changing all aspects of the publishing industry, according to speakers at a recent Wharton conference in New York on "The Future of Publishing." In our coverage of the event, we look at the shifting habits of both readers and advertisers and how they affect traditional content delivery; the future of digital books and the new roles publishers will have to play in their promotion; and innovative ways to deliver content that involve consumers pulling, rather than publishers pushing, a product. We also include podcasts with executives from the Washington Post Company; the Palo Alto Research Center; search engine company Cuil; and Electric Literature, a quarterly literary magazine that publishes using a print-on-demand model.
The long-standing habits of both readers and advertisers have been disrupted in ways that are destroying ad-supported media, according to speakers from the newspaper industry, digital businesses and academia who attended Wharton’s recent Future of Publishing Conference in New York. Participants analyzed how the Internet is turning current business models on their heads, and they offered strategies to cope with the new publishing landscape.
As use of the Internet grows and changes, so has the ability of users to search for specific content or stories, photos and videos that relate to certain topics of interest. One of the companies trying to harness and expand the power of search is Cuil, which is developing Cpedia — an engine that promises less repetition, an encyclopedia-style summary for each search, and results that integrate related topics and input and recommendations from users’ social networks. Cuil vice president of business development and finance Seval Oz Ozveren talked with Knowledge@Wharton during the recent Future of Publishing conference in New York.
The book may have a bright future in the digital age, but the road from here to there is full of potholes, according to publishing industry experts at Wharton’s Future of Publishing Conference held recently in New York. While most commentators predicted that digital books will enhance the economics of publishing, some also warned that publishers may have to take on unaccustomed roles. As one speaker put it: "We must be aggregators of information, entertainers, agents and managers. At the end of the day, money has to change hands."
At the Wharton-sponsored Future of Publishing conference held on April 30 in New York, one of the panels looked at the changing nature of content, specifically the increasing popularity of user-generated content spilling forth from an ever-growing variety of sources. The panel included Katharine Zaleski, executive producer and head of digital news products for The Washington Post and before that, senior editor in charge of special projects at The Huffington Post. Following her participation in the panel discussion, Zaleski spoke with Knowledge@Wharton about her role at The Washington Post, the importance of packaging stories, why news sites need to offer other people’s content, and what the future holds for investigative journalists, among other topics.
In cyberspace, it’s hard to push material in front of readers the way it has been done by a bookstore, a newspaper delivery boy or a mail carrier. But bookstores are disappearing. And readers often reject commercial e-mails from publishers. Many online readers use a search function when they want news or information rather than seek out a particular website. "We’re moving to an environment where it will be about consumers pulling rather than publishers pushing a product," noted one participant at Wharton’s recent Future of Publishing Conference.
Teresa Lunt, who directs the computing science laboratory at the Palo Alto Research Center, is involved in a wide range of activities, including ubiquitous computing, security and privacy, and ethnography for organizational environments and technology design. During a talk with Knowledge@Wharton at the recent Future of Publishing Conference in New York, she discussed a few of her current projects — such as research into workplace efficiencies, a study on mobile advertising and the creation of a rich media information service for a customer in Japan.
Plenty of people in the publishing world fear that new media and the Internet will kill interest in reading literary fiction. Andy Hunter and Scott Lindenbaum, however, think of Twitter, YouTube and the iPad as opportunities to introduce new audiences to the art of the short story — and to tell stories in unique ways. They are the founders of Electric Literature, a quarterly literary magazine that publishes using a print-on-demand model and enhances its stories through collaborations between authors and animators, filmmakers and musicians.