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    © 2013, Joseph B. Wikert
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April 22, 2009

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Tom Britt

Just a guess, but probably because magazines are only as good as this month's issue. They/we don't look back that often, and when we do, it's usually for nostalgia and not revenue. Newspapers are worst because they live day-to-day, but point taken. Content is still king, even if the castle is shrinking.

Joe Wikert

Hi Tom. I can see where you might think that's the case, but I just looked up a few of the Sports Illustrated books in the Bookscan service (which provides point-of-sale sell-thru data) and every one I looked at has done extremely well. And every one I looked up is nothing more than a collection of articles/essays that appeared in earlier editions of the magazines. Heck, I've even bought a couple of those books, and they're great!

I'm telling you, there's gold in that archive of theirs...and they're not the only magazine overlooking this opportunity.

Jeff Rutherford

Joe, you're on to something here. Wow, a personalized eBook featuring a friend or family member's favorite players and teams and best games of all time. That'd be an amazing, memorable gift, And, seriously, how hard could it be with the various CMS systems out there to get something up and rolling.

I think Tom is right though. They don't stop to think about the past issues, they're focused on the issue they're working on at the time. But, they should certainly start thinking about how they can make money off the amazing content they have at their fingertips.

Bob Meade

Joe, just in case you don't know, Steve Rushin's blog is here:

http://www.steverushin.com/wordpress/

wherein you will find some links to his recent work.

He tweets here:

http://twitter.com/steverushin

Ann Kingman

I wonder if it's also a rights issue. Perhaps the magazine has publishing rights within the magazine, but book rights remain a separate entity.

Christopher Allen

I've just started to spitball about the lack of clear direction for most print publications online. They are far to quick to give away content and/or duplicate the printed product online just to obtain unique visitors. Give me a purpose driven site that doesn't make every other effort irrelevant.

Check out my thoughts on digital delivery on the iPhone:
http://publishedprinter.wordpress.com/2009/04/28/magazines-on-my-iphone-3g/

Corey Parker

Building a personalized compilation of past articles instantly is a fantastic idea--but Ann Kingman is right to bring up the copyright issue. If Time, Inc. (the owner of SI) doesn't own copyright to the individual articles, then the process Joe described becomes much more complicated, time-consuming, and possibly costly.

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