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Creative Links

Book publishing in the digital age

It’s critical to understand Thought Catalog Books in the context of the website because when went live in 2010, it wasn’t a viral publisher. The non-buzzworthy “Thought Catalog” name reveals a total lack of foresight into the viral publisher trend. Thought Catalog was supposed to be an “experimental cultural magazine.”

The problem was, the experiment with journalistic writing had a conclusive and dire result. Long-form writing like profiles of musicians, book reviews and cultural analysis would bankrupt us, and we pivoted. Audience insights from Facebook data become our publisher, Google data our editor in chief, and Twitter signals our managing editor. Thought Catalog was one of the first magazines built by data from social media and that made us, along with BuzzFeed and a few others, part of the first gold rush of digital publishing.

“The lack of video, the lack of audio,” writes Richard Nash in What is the Business of Literature?, “is a feature of literature, not a bug.” This is exactly how we look at the book business at Thought Catalog. Books aren’t an antiquated technology. Books are cutting-edge technology. In fact, books are the greatest virtual reality machines on the market. While virtual reality gear like Oculus engulfs the brain to present a different reality, books engage the brain and present a different reality through a more creative exchange between medium and self.

This should be reassuring for publishers, and, while a book publishing company will never grow at the exponential speeds of Facebook or a traditional technology company, that’s their charm. It’s an industry about deep engagement, not quick growth.


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The war on talent is over, and everyone lost
In 1998, after a year-long study on the subject, McKinsey researchers declared that a “war for talent” was underway. In the years ahead, they said, organizations’ future success would depend on how well they could attract, develop, and retain talented employees–an ever more valuable asset in ever higher demand.

From screen to paper: How three Twitter users put together a publishing house for emerging writers
"The world needs more storytellers, and that's the principle Timeline Publishers work on," says Akhil. While that might sound like the standard spiel of most publishing houses, it sounds entirely different coming from a student in the third year of his Engineering degree in Kerala.

Advertising is key for radio's future
As consumers, we value third-party validation, whether that is word-of-mouth referrals or reading product reviews online. There is a certain credibility and authenticity to hearing the morning show host talk about the amazing experience she had this weekend at a local spa. It helps create a much better user/listener experience than interruptive stop sets, as the native 'ad' need not sound like an ad at all, but rather, like it's just part of the show.

It may be art, but in-game images aren't 'Photography'
It used to be that video games would run at 640x480 resolution on your computer, bad guys would like a clump of pixels overlaid on the screen, the quality was so bad. But now with faster processors and better hardware, 4K is even possible – big enough to print 24” x 36” at full resolution in high quality. That’s better than some “actual” cameras. But does that make it photography?

Inside the fake news fight
How can social media platforms effectively curb viral misinformation, now that we recognize it exists? After all, one recent study found that 75% of people believe the fake news they see. If it’s a problem we don’t solve now, it might be a problem we’re too stupid to solve ever.

The Super Bowl proves one thing – consumers still love great advertising
Robert Strohfeldt of Strohfeldt Consulting says The Super Bowl is brilliant for reinforcing a few given facts about the art of Advertising… At $US5 million for a 30 second ad and 50 million-plus viewers in the US alone, there is almost as much interest in what TV ads are going to run as there is in the game itself.

To keep a consumer brand top of mind, consider old-school advertising
Digital media is great for reaching a specific set of consumers with targeted messages quickly, efficiently and at a lower cost. But new Bain & Company research has determined that it is far less effective than traditional media in getting consumers to recall an advertisement for a well-established fast-moving consumer goods product and may not be enough to increase their interest in purchasing the product.

Google got it wrong
The open-office trend is destroying the workplace. These new floor plans are ideal for maximizing a company’s space while minimizing costs. Bosses love the ability to keep a closer eye on their employees, but employers are getting a false sense of improved productivity.

Thousands of college kids are behind a 'clickbait' publishing platform
For a website most people have never heard of, Odyssey has managed to rank up a substantial following, averaging 30 million unique views a month. But what IS Odyssey, and why is it so big?

Metropolitan Museum of Art puts 375,000 public-domain images in creative commons
As part of a new initiative it is calling Open Access, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has placed 375,000 images of public-domain works in the Creative Commons. This major move means that users can now access pictures of many of the Met’s holdings on Wikimedia, and that these images are now subject to free use, with no copyright restrictions.

We don't pay visual artists properly
With 85% of Australians saying they highly value the rich and meaningful contribution the arts make to their lives, the National Association for the Visual Arts maintains that it is time for practical steps to be taken to ensure that the people who generate the cultural wealth of Australia are given the same dignity and respect as all other workers.

People are turning to women’s magazines for quality political coverage
In the small world of politics and media Twitter, one of a few tropes emerged this year: astonishment — isolated and seemingly brand-new each time — when woman-centered outlets published high-quality political reporting and opinion pieces.

Visual Trends Guide 2017
Nowadays, photography trends evolve and die quickly. In 2016, according to Deloitte, 2.5 trillion photos were shared and stored online, and 90% of them were taken with a smartphone.

Creative industries are key to UK economy
The government should not underestimate the value of the arts’ output in terms of global branding and wealth generation The sector that, more than any other, wanted a different result in the EU referendum could now be at the heart of what we might call an international rescue mission.

Productivity resolutions to simplify your workday all year long
Most New Year's resolutions don’t survive long enough to see February. There are myriad reasons why our January 1 ambitions disappear, and many abandon ship as soon as they realize just how difficult the journey will be. But having a more productive 2017 doesn’t require any life-changing revelations or complete lifestyle overhauls.

Why some magazines are going back to print
At a time when print publications are shuttering their physical editions, Paste is going back to print. And it’s not the only magazine publishing physical products either.

Media and advertising predictions that didn’t come true in 2016
It was an eventful year in the media and advertising business. This industry loves its predictions and broad declarations, especially at this time of year. And most of them never come true.

Is Amazon serious about visual recognition?
Amazon is the latest big company to throw itself into the visual content recognition market. Armed with the late 2015 acquisition of Orbeus, makers of ReKognition and Photo Time, it just launched its own APi service, also called ReKognition.

Eurobest: The future of creativity
Creative minds from across Europe descended on Rome for Eurobest, which took place between November 30 and to December 2. Agency faces debated the future of creativity, the changing role of the creative director and how to inject more ingenuity in to advertising.

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