Editorial Quality in a Google Aggregated World

Each of us in the media industry continues to review our models for content creation, particularly during this advertising recession. We often look toward the Google (GOOG) model of aggregated content from sources around the globe with envy and realize that they identified a model, with paid search, that allows them to monetize their significant audience with great efficiency. We also realize that their cost of content creation is not a significant expense line in their model. Most of us also understand that this model is not one that can be easily replicated. While we need to find more efficient ways to publish and distribute our content, we should focus on producing high-quality editorial content that becomes high-demand information and can be re-purposed many times across multiple platforms.

Over the course of my career, I have been privileged to have a front-row seat when talented editorial teams created high-quality, must-have information products. For example, in the ’80s I was able to witness the rapid growth of the personal computer revolution and the many first-class products created by the Compute! editorial team led by Robert Lock and Richard Mansfield.

During the early ’90s, I watched and supported the impresario of events, Stewart Alsop, establish the Agenda Conference as the event that set the course for the PC industry as it exploded. His fireside chats with Bill Gates are memorable, even today.

In the late ’90s, I supported and applauded the efforts of John Battelle and Jonathan Weber as they launched The Industry Standard, which became the primary information source for the Internet revolution. It was a publication that was in such demand that its publisher, Steve Thompson, and his team set the all-time advertising page record of 7,700 ad pages for a single year.

Today, we are one week away from the launch of the ai5000. When it launches on June 15th as a digital publication (you can get a sneak preview and a complimentary subscription at www.ai5000.com), it will fulfill a vision of high-quality and must-have information that the asset owners around the globe deserve. The original vision for this dynamic launch came from Charlie Ruffel, the founder of Asset International. Much of the first-class editorial came from the efforts of Kip McDaniel, a unique talent. Together with the rest of the AI team and a group of talented contributors, they have produced a level of excitement for our global capital markets that our industry can use after a long and deep recession,

As we migrate more and more of our assets and events to the digital world, we must renew our quest for quality content. This will insure that we can once again grow during the recovery cycle that has just begun.