Tag Archives: Magazines

Media World Dumber in 2010

Seriously, someone’s been munching on a shitload of paste. In Q2 2010, 44 more magazines launched than in 2010. This means two things (1) people have more money than they did last year and (2) they have no clue what the fuck to do with it. The former makes sense, given that in Q2 2009, we were still reeling from the September 2008 financial crisis. So, it would make sense that, as we turn the corner, there’s more money floating around … and it’s looking for a home.

And the latter? Yeah, fools and their money and such.

I don’t know what would possess someone to launch a dead-tree edition in this (or any) market. Look for the giant flushing sound in a few quarters. It will be those new magazines getting pushed through the plumbing.

via FishbowlNY

Where I Write

working1A friend of mine e-mailed me last week to ask where I write. He can’t sort it out through all the tweets and links and so on. I can understand; I’m all over the place. So, if you’re interested in following my work, see the following links:

Gadling (travel): http://www.gadling.com/bloggers/tom-johansmeyer (If you want to read about hostels and backpacking, go read someone else. I tend to roll upscale)

Luxist (art and cigars): http://www.luxist.com/bloggers/tom-johansmeyer/ (Occasionally, I do a luxury travel or real estate story here, too)

BloggingStocks (finance, economics and markets): http://www.bloggingstocks.com/bloggers/tom-johansmeyer (I do a bit on the clean technology sector, venture capital, private equity, hedge funds and social media for this blog, in addition to all my work as a generalist)

DailyFinance (finance and economics): http://www.dailyfinance.com/bloggers/tom-johansmeyer (I don’t have a specific beat, though I do write a lot about cleantech, social media and the alternative investment space)

Envy (travel): http://envymags.com/index.php?s=johansmeyer (It’s not a regular gig, but I am starting to do more with this magazine)

Playing with YouTube

I’ve been away for a while. That’s the curse of finding paid work: not as much time to spend on the fun stuff. But, I have been able to squeeze in a bit of time to experiment with video. I’m trying to spice up my posts for Gadling and Luxist with footage that I’m shooting with a Flip HD. So far, my work is nothing short of amateurish, but I’m hoping it at least brings a bit more life to the stories I’m pulling together.

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Print Blames the Web

newdsc04041Look, it’s pretty obvious that the media industry turmoil is the result of print companies who have spent the past 10 years fucking around rather than putting together business models that could make money on the fucking web. Now, print companies are dying in droves, and the layoffs are endless. Sure, we’re losing a lot of mags that shouldn’t have existed anyway, but some classic books, like Playgirl, are becoming casualties as well. Okay, maybe Playgirl deserved to go, but some good ones are getting nailed.

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Gray’s Papaya, Part II

dsc03722The price increase at Gray’s Papaya does bug the shit out of me, even though it doesn’t price me out of the market. C’mon, $1.50 per hot dog is not a big deal. Nothing at all. But, it irritates me that they didn’t announce the price increase, as they have in the past.

I would have had my story up earlier, but a pretty big magazine expressed some interest and then bailed. So, after the jump, you’ll get the backstory, a cool hot dog price chart and links to other interesting articles on the price increase.

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I’m back, for a second

The past week has been gruelling, non-stop at day job, and I’ve been putting in nights for CPA Magazine and a few others. So, my blogging fell of a bit. I think I’m clear of the insanity for a while, though. Time to enjoy the fruits of my labors. I’m in the current issue of New York magazine, for a contribution I made to the Winter Travel edition. I added a few lines to the story on Reykjavik, Iceland. Also, I’ve been busy at TraderDaily.com. My latest piece is on hunting for art in Helsinki.

Currently, I’m working on a story for a major national. It’s exciting … and killing me that I can’t release any details yet. I’ll say something just as soon as I can.

My thoughts on citizen journalism

Unlike a lot of people in my line of work, I suspect, I’m a big fan of citizen journalism. I read it, and I participate in it. Perhaps I could be a bit more active, but I write something when the mood hits me. My recent stories have been on private equity investment trends in China and the manufacture of phthalate-free dildos. So, why do I do it?

Honestly, I don’t have to. I have gained some decent traction as a freelance writer this year, with articles in Penthouse and Boston magazine, not to mention some high-profile rejections. And, my work is picked up routinely by Fleshbot and ValleyWag … and from time to time by Gawker. So, I shouldn’t have to “stoop so low,” right?

Wrong.

I find that citizen journalism does a few things right. First, it is a great way to communicate as much news as possible. Quite frankly, the publishing business is designed to let good stories fall through the cracks. You have to pitch the mag, hope our idea aligns well enough with its editorial calendar and finally write and publish. This means that several good stories fall away. I had one pitch go out to several high-profile magazines. All said it was a great story, just not right for them. This wasn’t a line of shit. If they didn’t care, they would have ignored me (which has happened in the past).

So, a lot of good stuff is never communicated. I think that’s a damned shame.

Next, citizen journalism makes it easy to get news out quickly. When I get a story, I can go right to “press.” Normal, mainstream publications don’t work that way. Even if you have a good relationship with an editor and publish online instead of in print (which I prefer), it can still take a few days to get a story out. It’s easy to get scooped (happened to me by a day with the Zivity story I wrote for AVN Online in January 2008).

Finally, citizen journalism empowers the people closest to the news. If you seen news happen, you can get the story out. Fast. Easy. The way it’s supposed to be done.

Sure, most citizen journalism websites lack the writing panache of major publications, but they make up for it with breadth of coverage. If nothing else, the readers get to decide … resulting in a market-driven solution. Since newspapers and magazines are not non-profits, it should be the readers who decide winners and losers. This is a great formula.

Citizen journalism seems to be gaining steam. Popular website OhmyNews.com, which is mostly non-United States, continues to get copious amounts of press coverage. I noticed today that art market blogger Nick Forrest, of ArtMarketBlog.com, has begun to write art market opinion pieces for my current citizen journalism fave, DigitalJournal.com. Whether he is just looking to drive traffic to his blog or has become a citizen journalism convert, the fact that he is writing at all– let alone voluminously– tells the whole story. He is investing his time in citizen journalism.

“Real” journalists may feel that citizen journalism is beneath them, but I don’t think they realize that this is yet another threat to the old way of doing business that they seek to defend. The old school journalists are losing. They tried to stay in print, and the web has gained momentum. They tried to rely on “proper” journalism, but the blogs have encroached on their market. Now, there is yet another threat, and it is developing a readership.

The old way of doing journalism continues to lose ground.

If nothing else, I like citizen journalism for the instant gratification. When I come upon a story, I can write it and post it immediately. I get feedback quickly. Further, the major blogs evaluate the story on its merits rather than where it was published. Both Fleshbot and ValleyWag have picked up my stories for Digital Journal and OhmyNews. They are looking at the information rather than the masthead. This shows me that the world is changing.

I vote for citizen journalism with my time. You should, too.

ValleyWag gets it right on NYT and print

As everyone should know by now, the Migrant Blogger hates print. It still tends to pay the bills better than online journalism, and the prestige factor is probably a big part of that. After all, to be in a publication that has limited space, you have to be pretty damned good. This thinking is what holds reporters back.

Well, it seems as though I have a kindred spirit at the NY Times. Technology editor Damon Darlin is looking to beef up his online team, ValleyWag reports. NYT staffer David Carr predicts that the “horizon line for when a newspaper on the street is serving as a kind of brochure of a rich online product does not seem far off” (also in the ValleyWag article).

It’s about fucking time.

You can tell a better story online than in print, and you can do it in real-time, as the story unfolds. Being first to market matters, as the reporter will not be constrained by a production process. This is where real journalism will happen … hopefully not too long in the future.

I, for one, am sick of waiting for printers to finish printing.

My first travel article is up!!!

I’m so excited!!! My first travel article is up on TraderDaily.com. If you ever wanted to go to Iraq on vacation, check it out to learn how. Many thanks to Helpareporter.com for helping me find great sources, and props to Brian Sayler for the photography.

A new article will appear every week, and I have some great destinations coming up soon, including the place I checked out in Florida when JetBlue screwed me over.