Our web publishing updates continue to split the focus between online and print publishing. Often, it turns out that they influence each other, as well as impacting the other industries stuck in the middle (read: advertising!)

Impelsys Creates Global Publishing Boon!

Impelsys, a global leader in electronic content delivery solutions, has registered more than 150 publishing clients worldwide using its iPublishCentral platform. Quite a “Publishing Boon”, considering that when we last spoke with Impelsys, they had come off of their launch at the Frankfurt Book Fair with more than 60 registered publishers?

So from where did these publishers come and why are they choosing iPublish Central? First, publishers in every industry -- trade publishing; science, technology and medicine; K-12 and higher education -- are initiating e-publishing business with iPublishCentral's basic, no-cost package, which offers publishers access to standard features and functionality, finding that they can reduce costs and risks by launching an online strategy.

Secondly, traditional publishers are desperate. As they struggle to respond to the growth and popularity of the Internet, Impelsys has positioned themselves strategically to support global publishers with online content delivery strategies.

Freedom of the Press

Newspapers are in quite a pickle. Readership is up, especially among younger audiences, but no one is paying for their 24-hour access to news, which has essentially become free. Print newspapers are becoming obsolete, the Web has become the primary means to offering editorials, breaking news, and local, national and world coverage, yet how to provide it from within or without a walled garden is subject to huge debate. Time Magazine offered a substantial look into the challenges being faced by the news industry.

Both print and web are being subjected to great financial instability. Relying on advertisers to support an industry seems absurd to those who think that the integrity of the written word should inspire readers to pay to read, yet others fundamentally and literally support a freedom of the press.

Walter Isaacson, the author of the Time article, maintains that “those who believe that all content should be free should reflect on who will open bureaus in Baghdad or be able to fly off as freelancers to report in Rwanda under such a system.” He has a point. Perhaps the news industry should follow the model upheld by National Public Radio and readers should pay what they think the news is worth to them. Perhaps Isaacson sums it up the best:

“Charging for content forces discipline on journalists: they must produce things that people actually value. I suspect we will find that this necessity is actually liberating. The need to be valued by readers — serving them first and foremost rather than relying solely on advertising revenue — will allow the media once again to set their compass true to what journalism should always be about.”

Under the Influence

PopularMedia, Inc., has introduced Influencer Ads, an online advertising format that lets marketers expand their social advertising campaigns beyond destination sites like Facebook and MySpace. The hope is that marketers can create social ads for nearly any kind of website, boosting the flexibility, impact and results of their campaigns.

The new format injects standard display ad units and marketer sites with rich social networking functionality, allowing marketers to create truly social experiences around their brands. Designed to be relevant for today's socially connected consumer, consumers who engage an Influencer Ad can invite their friends to join them in a social experience hosted at the advertiser's site. Recipients who click on invitation links are then "welcomed" at the advertiser's site by the friend who invited them.

Is advertising lacking a social connection? After the auto and bank bailouts, it’s safe to assume that consumer confidence has diminished significantly. Perhaps Influencer Ads will help to reinforce trusted bonds between consumer and company, which could inspire consumers economically as well as creatively.

Google vs. Amazon

Finally, a white paper that analyzes the effects of the Google settlement with publishers (remember the Google Book Search?) and identifies new opportunities that result from it has been released. It focuses on the initial set of business models that Google and publishers will implement, as well as future opportunities for publishers. Of course, this and the US$ 30 million dollars Google paid to establish a Book Rights Registrar are all a part of the settlement.

Ultimately, offering online books for sale and allowing publishers to keep 30% of the revenue of Ad sales signals that Google is about to challenge Amazon. It will also allow a slew of functionality, from print on demand, to custom publishing, future business models that make Google not just a discoverability channel, but also a distribution channel.