My brain has a useful balance of creativity and organizational ability that does well with developing creative concepts and bringing them to reality. This is but a glimpse into how I work and what makes me tick. I host a podcast in Louisville called STARTUP: Conversations With Louisville Entrepreneurs

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The Internet and Marketing Report: PRINT EDITION?!?

December 17, 2010 - Author: Dan Vonderheide - Comments are closed

If you’ve met me, you know I’m a pretty positive guy.  A silver lining finder.  A benefit of the doubt man.  But somebody plopped something on my desk this week with which I’m really struggling to find the positive.

Behold exhibit A:

Nice paper, huh? It’d line the bottom of a bird cage just fine.

The newsletter pictured above is a bi-weekly publication that is sent to interactive executives across the country.  Every now and then they send a sample to prospective subscribers in the hopes that it will help so much that said prospects will be willing to spend $300 (!) annually on a subscription.

Where do I start? How about with the obvious.

Looking at my calendar, I see that we’re a little over two weeks from the year 2011.  The blogosphere has been a very real, productive, and (for some) PROFITABLE entity for what….5-10 years?  What you’re looking at is essentially a blog…printed on paper that costs real money, sent with postage that costs real money and requesting real money for the “privelege” receiving it.

I am a proponent of paid content.  I think there is a way for publishers to share some stuff and sell some stuff.  Could these guys increase their bottom line by eliminating printing and mailing costs altogether, charging a lesser fee (even $50) for an online subscription, and using social media to further their cause? I think yes.

Oh…they blog.  You can find it at  That’s right.  A non-branded URL that you can find if you type in the exact name of the publication.  The last post is from June 2010 and December 2009 before that.  Hey…I take some time in between posts sometimes too but my profit center isn’t sharing information in a publication.  And you know what? I’ll bet that this blog post out SEOs them at some point.

Exhibit B:

You’ll see that they’ve included URLs that you can type in to your browser to read more on the article they’ve repurposed.  You’ll also note that they’ve mercifully used the shortened URL to save you some time.  You know what would save me more time?  Actually clicking on a link.  The link shortening runs rampant through the entire newsletter.

Exhibit C:

Nothing personal, Canada. I hear it’s very nice up in America’s tiny hat.

I don’t ship to Canada (or anywhere really), but those that do might be baffled by printing a mere teaser and a shortened URL that seemingly makes no sense.  Notice just to the left, they’d like to share a video with you…in their print publication.

I took a couple more images with my smartphone but I just don’t have it in me to share any more.  You get the point.

The thing is that what this newsletter contains really isn’t that bad.  It’s most likely very helpful for a lot of people.  This publisher is encouraging digital success but they really don’t practice anything they preach!  The articles would make a really useful blog that would garner some traffic and decent SEO because they’re obviously interested in updated, relevant content.  But for a company to portend to assist in digital success to not walk the walk is a little inexcusable.

Needless to say, I will NOT be requesting that Cox Media Group shell out $300 per year so I can learn from this desk clutterer.

Categories: Media Criticism