[kwlug-disc] Linux-Format Magazine

Insurance Squared Inc. gcooke at insurancesquared.com
Thu Mar 5 10:37:38 EST 2009

I suspect the underlying issue is with their revenue model and 
marketing.  Traditional media models are really struggling these days, 
and even more so in the last 6-8 months.  KW Record laid off a bunch of 
staff and they're not anywhere near being alone.  The media aren't 
trumpetting it too loudly, but it's happening everywhere. 

The traditional media model has not transitioned smoothly to the web, 
and the economic downturn has exascerbated the problem.  End result is 
that these folks have to struggle with keeping some sort of control over 
their content; because it's that content that drives their revenue.  
Even linux based publications still have to struggle with this, and the 
authors and publishers have to put food on the table.   And the last six 
months the heat's getting really turned up.

My response to these difficulties is the same as Kevin's in the movie 'A 
fish called Wanda' when he found out that his enemy was beaten as a 
child - "Good!" :).

Part of the struggle is that the oodles of ad cash isn't being handed 
out on the web.  I can advertise in a small trade journal one time only 
for say $3000-$4000.  And likely get nothing out of a one time 
placement.  Or I can spend a few hundred bucks a month advertising on 
some of the highest profile sites in my industry and get measurable 
sales from that.  I'm not alone in figuring out those numbers.  I won't 
pay $3000 to advertise in trade journals as I've done in the past.  I 
won't pay $400 for a help wanted ad in the Record, when I can get better 
results for free elsewhere.   The result, the traditional media is 
trying to maintain some control over it's content.

Chris Irwin wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 4, 2009 at 19:00, Chris Frey <cdfrey at foursquare.net> wrote:
>> On Wed, Mar 04, 2009 at 06:32:42PM -0500, unsolicited wrote:
>>> Brent - well said.
>>> Chris - don't also forget that bandwidth costs real $. In the end,
>>> that factor comes into play.
>>> Otherwise, especially with what Brent says, we would all be hosting
>>> ourselves everything GPLed ever. But in the end, the ISP costs real $.
>>> R. Brent Clements wrote, On 03/04/2009 6:16 PM:
>>>> A truely "free software licence" would imply that portions of the
>>>> work, namely articles, could be freely used under the same conditions
>>>> that code segments can be used in free software.  Obviously they don't
>>>> want their articles highjacked and republished.
>> *sigh*  I'm the only freak in the crowd. :-)
>> It's bittorrent.  This doesn't have to cost much money at all.  The key
>> here is that they want to be THE source of Linux related articles, and
>> they want people to think of them first when they want to get their copy.
> (...snip...)
>> I'm sure there are _plenty_ of people who would willingly donate a few
>> hundred megs of bandwidth to help seed a truly Free magazine.  I'm one of
>> them.
> bittorrent only saves money on popular things. If nobody else is
> seeding, you don't get a whole lot of benefit if you have only one or
> two downloading and nobody else seeding. Some parts of the magazine
>> Any why not let their articles, at least the articles in this free issue, be
>> "highjacked and republished" with a free software license?  That's the
>> best of both worlds.  Other magazines reprinting your articles after you've
>> already published them and made them available for free, and printing
>> your name on the bottom as the source?  Mondo free advertising.
> Linux Journal, as an example, doesn't own the copyright on articles
> they publish. The original author retains copyright and instead gives
> first-publish "rights" to the magazine. They also have quite the lead
> time on articles, so I'm sure how much trouble going back and
> renegotiating would be. Linux Format may be different, juding by their
> PDF archive page having the following note: "PDFs are (C) Future
> Publishing and may not be redistributed without permission from the
> editor."
> That said, I did notice Issue 116 in their archives list seems like a good read:
> # Issue 116 - Feature:  The tragedy of the commons - The Creative
> Commons is full of potential for artists everywhere - so why is most
> of it untapped? Let's find out... (Marco Fioretti)
>> It's time that people stop thinking that "no DRM" is a selling feature.
>> That's like a restaurant claiming to have "no Salmonella!"
> I didn't see DRM as a selling feature ("We have no DRM and therefore
> you should read/subscribe us") but as an answer to a frequently asked
> question ("If I download this will I actually be able to read it").
> I'd liken this more to a restaurant during that big tomato scare last
> year posting that their tomatoes are not from an affected supplier (as
> numerous sub shops and burger joints did).
> Their FAQ seems a little tongue in cheek:
> Q: I downloaded it. Can I give it to my friends?
> A. Sure. There's no DRM, so you can give it to as many friends as you like.
> Q: Is it true the issue is now on The Pirate Bay?
> A: We wouldn't know. We wouldn't recommend you go and search there for
> yourself. And we certainly wouldn't recommend you download it from
> there to enjoy the issue at your leisure. Come to think of it, we
> don't even know what The Pirate Bay even is

Glenn Cooke
Insurance Squared Inc.

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