Widening gyre

The Daily Beast, an online journalism site launched by Tina Brown a year ago, has partnered with Perseus Books to form “ a new imprint … that will focus on publishing timely titles by Daily Beast writers — first as e-books, and then as paperbacks on a much shorter schedule than traditional books.”

Although much of the coverage has focused on the shorter formats and lead times, another part of the joint venture offers a useful lesson for associations. As my colleague Mike Shatzkin points out, Perseus is paying The Daily Beast for “eyeballs” – access to the audience that the web site has assembled. Mike aptly sees this as the latest sign of a power shift from publishers to (in his words) “owners of eyeballs”.

By forming a content-driven community around like interests and ideas, the Daily Beast has lowered the cost of marketing and risk associated with publishing a new title. It is also leveraging relationships it has built with its contributors, whose reputation and financial leverage are bolstered through this deal. Associations have the same opportunity to leverage content and relationships to strengthen their own reputation and financial results.

Over the last several months, we’ve featured several posts about the power of associations, particularly as it relates to the use of content:

• Every association should have a book publishing strategy
• Refocusing associations as barriers to entry fall;
Surround your members with content-driven products and services;
• The convening power of associations; And most recently:
• Leverage the power of content

Effective associations have been built on community, engagement and service to members. As opportunities to engage and serve move online, content remains the coin of the realm. Social media may represent the latest tools, but relationships and the ability to capitalize on them remains a strength and an opportunity for associations.


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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