Monday, April 28, 2014

Journalism Is At A Fork In The Road

The survival of print has gotten a little more challenging with two events this past week. First, Ladies Home Journal, once a dominant women’s monthly magazine, is now slipping off into irrelevance and plans to publish quarterly after seeing a loss of half of its ad pages in just five years.

However, the 130-year-old mainstay still has a circulation of 3.2 million, so it does seem to be that people still enjoy the printed publication. It’s too bad the magazine is a step closer to extinction.

Another longtime publication is transitioning from being a daily printed newspaper to a weekly print publication – with a daily edition posted digitally. The paper in question was founded 137 years ago and will be the first Ivy League newspaper to make such a move. The Spectator is published at Columbia University, long held as the leading campus paper in the country. Columbia trains so many would-be journalists, but now these students will have to deliver a digital issue instead of one in print.

Are these two glaring examples of what’s to come? Will the New York Times go to a weekly format or Cosmo to a quarterly? It seems crazy, yet possible. I have long defended the need for print to exist. Nothing beats holding it in your hand or having it to thumb through. Further, with an overcrowded, endless universe of digital competition, the way to stick out is to print a publication. Otherwise, people will devalue what they will pay for content. If it’s online, I want it for free. Print needs to defend its territory aggressively.

One Book That’s Not Needed

Do we really need a book called What to Talk About: On a Plane, at a Cocktail Party, in a Tiny Elevator with Your Boss’s Boss?

I read about it in Newsweek. It’s a book that helps those who are horrified at the prospect of making small talk. Conversation shouldn’t be forced. It should just come naturally, shouldn’t it?

If you feel bored, nervous, or stumped as to what to say to someone, then maybe there’s a reason for that. Maybe you already know the person is lacking – dumb, rude, unstable, competitive, jealous? Maybe you’ve tried talking to this person before and got nowhere? Maybe you feel intimidated by their position or looks? Whatever it is, you feel awkward talking to that person. Why fake a forced conversation? Just politely value the silence and be relieved you both seem willing to ignore one another.

USA Leads The Arts

I was so happy to see that the US leads the world in the sale of art and antiques. According to the European Fine Art Foundation, 38% of the $66 billion in sales last year came in the US. 24% came from China. This means that just two countries are responsible for over 60% of the market. Britain was a close third with 20% of the market. France was a distant fourth, with 6% of the marketplace. This may speak to a number of factors – economy, tastes of the citizens, and the availability of great art and historical objects. But if one wants to find some art or antiques, I’d suggest they go to another country, and then resell in the US whatever was purchased overseas.

Shakespeare Has Outlasted Many

It’s hard to believe that William Shakespeare – 450 years after his birth this past month – still resonates with millions of people. How many writers from his time are still relevant to readers today? His works endure for a reason. The Bard tapped into something deep and meaningful with plays like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and King Lear. His 39 plays and 157 sonnets and poems yielded 884,647 words. Will any of our works be read in 2464?

by Mark Victor Hanson and Robert G. Allen

Those who “network the networks” gain the most leverage. The value of your network is the square of the number of people in it.

“Givers Gain” is your networking motto. Give something away for free that is valuable to network members. It brings attention to you and it builds trust. Do not accept reciprocity.

Once you have created a network, do whatever it takes to maintain it.  The Golden Rule of Networking is: “Be very quick to build connections and extremely slow to break them.”

Layer your activities. Use your waiting time productively. Do two things at once. Constantly ask yourself this question: “Is this the most productive use of my time?”

You can learn to persuade. You can learn to sculpt your words and phrases into masterpieces that evoke the response you want.

The Things That Get Rewarded Get Done. If you reward yourself for your most positive actions, you will get more of them done

Do your FTF: Feared Things First. Which activity on your list do you fear the most? That’s your FTF. When you start your day, ask yourself, “What’s my FTF today?” Start your day with that activity.

Every great actor rehearses many times before stepping on the stage. Don’t step on the stage of life without rehearsing your performance.

Failure to live your values is not a setback; it is a real failure.

Determine what your natural strengths are.  Then look for others who have complementary abilities. This way you can hand off your “weakness work” to someone who has strength in that area.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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