Why the web made editors’ jobs harder

Replica of Guttenberg printing press from wikipedia
Replica of Gutenberg printing press from wikipedia

When Gutenberg invented the printing press, he made the job of making books a lot easier. The Monk monopoly on bookmaking was over, so it sucked to be a monk. Fortunately, monks learned how to make really good beer, and in the long run, that is a good thing, because beer is good. Because the job of making books was made easier, the portable book was born and soon after the precursors of newspapers. With portable books and newspapers came the occupation of editor. (I am not sure if more beer and more editors are a causal or correlational Continue reading

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How To Do More With Less: Ignore Your Email

I hate email almost as much as I love it.

What bothers me most about email how much it can hijack the productivity of a team. One of my favorite podcasts, Manager Tools, has a lot of great podcasts on the topic. Harvard Business Review has a blog about it too, The Cost of Continuously Checking Email

HBR says that it is a good idea to turn notifications off and schedule times to check email, i.e., once in the morning, once after lunch and once in the evening. Manager Tools agrees with this, and so do I. Sometimes you MUST stare at your inbox waiting for critical messages, but I’d wager that is extremely rare.  Continue reading

Efficiency Tip: Do More With Less

Dan’s efficiency tip of the [time period*]:

As a professional, it is your responsibility to find ways to cut time from everyday tasks. If it takes you an hour to do something, figure out how to do it in 55 minutes, or 50 minutes. If you do that with a few tasks, then you’ve just gained 10% efficiency. Now you can do more with your 40 hours.

In carpentry, its akin to marking the edge of a stud and using a speed square as a cutting guide, rather than marking the stud, getting out your speed square, drawing a line, putting your pencil and speed square away, and then cutting the stud.
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How To ‘Do More With Less’ And Still Deliver Value To Readers

InfoGraphic on Las Vegas Housing Data

About 10 years ago I was at a FOLIO: Show presentation by a Time Inc. executive who said something like:

“The future of publishing is that you will have to do more with less. You might as well get used to it.”

He has been correct every single year of my career since then. Over those years, I have found ways to accomplish this at GreenBuildingAdvisor.com, Fine Homebuilding (magazine and web), and most recently, at Builder magazine. The three publications are very different, but two underlying strategies worked at all three places:

  1. Build a bank of content from which to withdraw
  2. Find rich veins to mine, in order to replenish the bank.

Here is one example of an infographic that accomplishes both: A redesigned Builder magazine department featuring charts and graphics pulled from a big-data website.
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