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Social Media Through The Eyes of a Child

 “Dad, when are you going to be done with the computer? I want to go on Youtube!” my 9-year-old daughter said with annoyance in her voice. “Yeah dad, get off the computah, I want YouTube and watch Goosebumps, hurry up” my soon to be 4 year old chimes in right behind his big sister.

This literally happens every day in my household, several times a day. I never thought I would be competing with my kids for computer time, because when I was a kid I was playing with GI Joes and Monster Trucks. Oh, how times have changed!

“Guys, you like YouTube?” and both of them shook their heads while jumping in the air as if the Packers just won the Super Bowl all over again.

“What is it that you like so much about YouTube?” They looked at me as if they couldn’t comprehend the question, as if it was “the world’s dumbest” question ever asked!

“Well duh dad” my 9-year-old daughter began, ” I can watch i-carly clips, Lemonade Mouth music videos” ….”Don’t forget Goosebumps, I like that” my son with hand raised was squealing through his wide smile.

“Well guys, what if I told you I was on YouTube?” They both looked at me as if to say “Yeah right dad, you’re not that cool!” It’s a sad day when your kids stop believing your cool 🙂 ! So I pulled up a video I had made on YouTube, and hit play.

Their faces said it all, my son screamed “you’re a star” and my daughter asked “How did you do that? I want to be on YouTube!” The astonishment they both were feeling made me feel happy, because I once again became cool!

But there is more to learn here than “How to get your kids to still think you are cool!” So I took it a step further, and asked my son and daughter, “What if I told you I was in a magazine?”

I was half thinking they wouldn’t care, but they both again told me to “prove it” with the same excitement. I pulled out a magazine that used some of my quotes and had given me credit for them, and showed the two miniature YouTube experts that were standing in my office. They couldn’t believe it, and were just as excited.

The next day I came home from work, on the fridge hung the magazine article I was mentioned in cut out, and pasted to an orange paper background that had hearts all over it. When I walked into the living room I could hear my own voice, but I wasn’t speaking. So I walked into the office, and there were the two of them watching me on YouTube.

Sure my kids were proud of me, but that isn’t the lesson I am looking to point out here. What I am saying is the more things change, the more things stay the same.

Change is inevitable, I never would have thought kids would be so caught up in things such as social media. I recently read a blog that stated 72% of internet users are on social media, I can’t believe it isn’t more than that!

However, because there is change, doesn’t mean that things from our past aren’t as relevant as they ever were before. Maybe even more relevant? Studies have shown print still offers the highest credibility to your message and ad.

Take it from my two YouTube experts, seeing their dad on YouTube was pretty cool and “in the now” trendy, but being in the magazine solidified that I was still their cool dad!

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May 25, 2011 Posted by | Digital Magazine, Publishing, Relationships, Social Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Web vs Sheetfed? Which is best for you?

First and foremost, I’m baaaaack…..! I have some up coming blog’s that will be the best yet. An interview with a well known and respected executive in the publishing industry as well as an overview of the IMB vs Postnet, and what you need to know. I’ll also have a very special give away that will be coming in a few short months. To my friends like Paul Castain, Jeff Zuelke (a mentor, friend, and father in law), Bevery Sturtevant, and Sandy Hubbard, thank you for continueing to inspire me,  I highly suggest getting to know these people if you haven’t already!

Now lets get down to business!  You have heard of sheetfed presses, and have heard of web presses, but don’t know the difference and how it effects you both in cost and in quality.

First, let me give you a quick overview of the two. Sheetfed presses print on actual sheets of paper. Typically, there is much less waste with a sheetfed press. As well, the quality of printing is higher as compared to a web press, which means you are being printed on one continous paper roll. In printing with a web press waste is typically much higher, however the quality is good, and it gives you the ability to print in a higher page form count.

Currently there seems to be positive signs in the market, and publishers are looking to grow. As of late, I have been speaking with several publishers with circulations under or around 10,000 whom are looking to double their quantities. I have also been speaking with publishers whom have started off as a digital magazine, and are now looking to test the waters with a printed publication.

My advice, once you reach the thresh hold of print quantities over 10,000, look to see if a printer with web presses is going to be more economical for you. On average, you will see a nice savings due to less setup costs. Keep in mind though, page counts vary when going from sheetfed to web. On average, web presses print in 16 and 32 pages forms, and if you don’t stay in these breaks, you are not maximizing your efficiency. Compared to sheetfed presses that can print in page counts of four’s efficiently. Finally, make sure to compare the web samples to your sheetfed product. You may notice a slight difference in the quality of printing, but chances are they will not be enough to give up the savings of a web.

That all sounds pretty good, so I’m sure you’re wondering what the advantages of using a sheetfed press are.  The advantages of a sheetfed press over a web press come in to play with run quantities under 10,000. If a publisher is looking to test the waters with a printed product, and looking to start off around 3-4M with lower page counts, my advice is sheetfed. With less waste, a sheetfed press is going to be the most economical choice for your pocket book at these quantities.

I have spoken to publishers with print quantities well over 10M, and found out they are printing sheetfed. Vice versa, I have also spoken to publishers with print quantities well under 10M, and are being printed on a web. Printers aren’t going to turn down your business, and if the printer doesn’t have both sheetfed and web capabilities in house, you are only going to get the one option they do have which may not be the best for you.

My best advice to you….get to know your printers capabilities and equipment, it does affect your bottom line. There are advantages and dis advantages, and you need to take action to maximize all the advantages you can to continue to produce the best publication possible.

So now you know what web and sheetfed presses are the best fit for, evaluate what you are doing and take action!

February 13, 2011 Posted by | Digital Magazine, Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Plain Jane or GI Jane….Which one are you?

How many of you remember the movie GI Jane with Demi Moore? If you saw the movie, I am sure you still remember it. If it were simply a movie about some women trying to make it in the military, I doubt it would have had the impact it did. Instead, the movie was about a women who was in the military not just to prove the point that she could do it, but that she could do it better than the men, and kick their ass (excuse my language) while doing it! She was one fierce trooper! To this day this movie is still remembered by many, because she was no Plain Jane!

Now, think about your publication, how do you take it from being a Plain Jane to an ass kicking GI Jane? Sure QR codes and Augmented reality are cool, innovative, new, and helps to bring the web into your printed product, but does it make you any different than any other publication? I am not saying stray away from using these, but let’s take a look at some other things you can offer to make you more memorable.

The other day my wife opened up her new issue of Elle, and as she was paging through it, she said “Holy cow honey, come look at this!” I thought there must have been a major printing error, but instead we pulled out this wierd looking advertising piece that was tipped on to a page. It was a printed 3D advertisement for underwear, and it had a women modeling the underwear over the past three decades. Now this is cool! And I am sure my wife could tell you the name of the advertiser that utilized this advertising vehicle.

So what are some things that you can use, I understand a 3D printed piece that gets tipped on to a page may not be economical for all of you. So let us bring it back to the basics, inform your sales reps so that they can inform your advertisers of all the unique things that are available to them:

  • French Door Cover- Think of this as two doors side by side both needing to be pulled open on your cover. Underneath lies a hidden ad, talk about unique, you still have the cover, and an ad under your cover!
  • Gatefolds- These can be 4 panel or 6 panel. Think of this as several connected pages on top of each other. This works well for an advertiser that wants to have an ad that is bigger than just a page in your publication. Maybe the reader could tear it out and have a poster!
  • RPN- These are your average sticky notes with an ad on it. You can place these on the cover or inside of the publication.
  • Bellybands- Think of this as a belt for your publication. It goes around the outside of your publication and the ends glue together.

Don’t forget about polybagging, this is a great way to offer an advertiser a way to send their catalog or digest sized ad along with your publication as on onsert. Also, printers can pretty much tip on or bind in anything into a publication, from a cd, dvd, to a BRC. You will want to give your printer ample notice so that they can perform an analyses of the object to show you how to utilize the greatest efficiency of binding or tipping the object in. As well they should be able to tell you how this will effect your mailing rates.

Finally, if you are really looking at spicing things up or opening your ad sales market up, check into a flip book. For exampley,maybe your publication is Tucson magazine which is all about the city of Tucson. You typically cover the night life of Tucson.  However, in one issue you can have 32 pages about the night life, then you can flip the publication over and you have 32 pages of a dining guide for the area. This allows you to find new advertisers that you normally would not call on, as well as keeping your publication fresh.

These are just a few ideas for you, if you want to see samples give your printer a call to see what they look like (or myself, and I would be happy to send you samples!) Ultimately it is going to be the advertisers call, but if you are not advising them of what is available (or if your printer isnt advising you) then going from Plain Jane to GI Jane just isn’t possible!

September 27, 2010 Posted by | Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

QR Codes for Dummies!

Do you still have questions about QR Codes?

I know it has been covered in the media quite a bit, but I personally never realized how easy it was to get one until my interview with Kyle Blades from Rebel (check out my blog “A Rebel with A Cause” for more details). Kyle handed me his business card, and when I looked at it there was a QR code next to his name. I thought to myself, what a great and unique way to be remembered, but then immediately wondered how much time and money went into that. I was dumbfounded when Kyle told me no money went into it, and all he had to do was go to a website he found on the internet to generate a QR code for him. If you are like me, and still learning, I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Immediately after I got back to the office, I jumped onto Google, typed in “Free QR Code Generator” and up popped several websites dedicated to do exactly that!

I always knew what a QR Code did, you scan the code with your reader (ie iphone, smart phone, webcam, etc) and it takes you to what the QR code is linked to, such as your website etc, but never realized how easy it was to get one. I went to one of the QR code generator websites, typed in the URL to link up with the code, hit generate, and out came my very own QR code! You can even customize the artwork if you would like. From there it is as easy as Copy and Paste to where you want it. Then shoot it off to the printer and you are set! All this time I thought I would have to get a firm that specialized in these types of things, now I know that just isn’t necessary! It feels great when you empower yourself, although I feel kind of like a dummy too!

Needless to say, I will be using QR codes a lot more often! It is easy to see how such a simplistic advertising vehicle can be used to your advantage. You can link it to your website. How about a commercial you make on YouTube? Other thoughts….. LinkedIn page or Facebook page, the possibilities are endless.

So there you have it, QR codes for dummies (like me!)

Want to see a demo of how a QR code works? Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a33uCPOywA

September 23, 2010 Posted by | Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment