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Expanding Our Efforts: A New Platform To Prompt Publishing Conversations

Welcome to our update of the Magellan Media website! We’re making a number of changes to meet the needs of our broad array of clients, all of whom oversee a variety of content-driven businesses.

We last revamped our site in 2009, introducing a blog that is now in its sixth year. I launched the blog with three basic rules in mind:

  • Consistently show my work
  • Add value (don’t just point to other posts)
  • Be constructive: it’s okay to be critical, but avoid the snark

As for the subjects of my posts, I placed few restrictions. If I thought something was interesting and I could make it relevant to one or more of my audiences, then I wrote about it.

Across almost 1,300 posts written since 2009, the blog has covered periodical, book and association publishing – three areas in which we’ve done a great deal of work – with more or less equal attention. Along the way, I’ve covered other topics, as well, particularly content marketing and publishing startups, with growing interest.

As I’ve written, we’ve entered an era in which anyone can be a publisher. In fact, the most effective marketers are taking on the characteristics of successful publishers: understanding markets; linking content to audiences; and telling relevant stories in ways that resonate.

These new publishers are encountering some of the same challenges their traditional analogues face. Trying to “write once, read many” – cost-effectively distributing content across multiple platforms – requires both thought and insight, particularly as the range of audiences and the number of solutions providers continue to grow.

One of the first things you may notice with the new site: the old, format-driven categories have been replaced by a focus on “publishing innovation”. This change is long overdue, particularly for a blog that includes “Context First”, a post that in 2010 argued forcefully against the segregation of content within a set of predetermined containers.

We are also expanding our efforts to reach audiences in content marketing, publishing startup and venture funding spaces. For several years, I’ve been writing posts relevant to one or more of these constituencies, but the content was often hidden within the silos built for magazine, book and association publishers. Now, content for each of these audiences has a home of its own.

Finally, we are introducing a more visual, less text-dependent look throughout the site. Honestly, this was a leap for me, as I truly love (my) words. Truth be told, I also like headlines that are too clever by half.

In revamping the site, we’re not going to reduce our commitment to providing literate, informed posts that add value to the publishing conversation. We are going to do what we can to make those posts more discoverable. I hope to bring you some really good ideas, but even good ideas have value only when they can be found, considered and shared.

We’ll continue to refine our approach to the new site in the weeks and months ahead. We already have a few ideas on the drawing board that I hope will enhance the quality and effectiveness of the conversation that has grown up around some of my posts. As we roll out these changes, I welcome your comments, which have been and will continue to be a source of inspiration and motivation in writing these posts.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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