While many associations are close to or ahead of the online curve, a study called E-Publishing Trends and Metrics from the Angerosa Research Foundation shows that others are just starting to make headway. “Associations have limited resources and need to deploy them wisely,” says Anne Zender, president of the Society of National Association Publications and vice president of communications, Journal of the American Health Information Management Association. “They are not in the business of being early adopters for the sake of early adoption itself.” She points out that associations’ online activities may not be visible to the public, which can make it hard for non-members to see movement.Online Content and E-NewslettersOf the 316 associations questioned, 66 percent post all magazine and journal content online. Forty-six percent offer original content online-which means more than half are not. Meanwhile, 85 percent put out at least one e-newsletter, and 67 percent publish more than one. Twenty-four percent still offer a print newsletter. Online Ads: To Sell or Not To SellWhile e-newsletters abound, most are not selling ads to support them-only 26 percent do. Among respondents, the median annual revenue for a primary e-newsletter is $15,000, with 13 percent bringing in more than $50,000 and a high end of $1.2 million. Eighty-three percent say they follow a non-commercial model-their primary goal is not to create a self-sustaining newsletter-but Debra Stratton, president of Stratton Research and head of the Angerosa Research Foundation, is seeing expanded recognition of e-newsletters as revenue tools. On magazine/journal Web sites and pages in general, one-third of all respondents sell ads. Twenty-six percent plan to sell in the future, while 41 percent have no plans to sell ads online at all but that could change. “If advertisers start to shift money into online publishing, I think we’ll see more association publishers finding ways to accommodate them,” Zender says. Overall, study respondents reported a median of $18,000 in annual Web ad/sponsorship revenue, with a high of $2 million.Protected Versus Open AccessA more even split exists between those who offer open access to content (47 percent of respondents) versus those who require login (44 percent). Eleven percent offer pay-per-view.Trade associations seem more likely to offer open access than individual membership organizations. The debate is between a fear of “cannibalizing membership versus an interest in providing knowledge,” says Stratton. She believes, though, that the number of associations offering open access will grow, as will the amount of open content offered. Zender’s forecast is similar: “The argument that content needs to be password protected to serve as a member benefit is still out there-but the appeal of being available to Google, blogs, and other social media may serve as a tipping point.”Other Bells and Whistles Associations are tapping into other digital media as well-36 percent offer Webinars, 26 percent have streaming video, 21 percent run podcasts (the same percentage as those with RSS feeds), and 19 percent have blogs. Most blogs-70 percent-are focused on general news rather than on the associations specifically. Social networking is also picking up speed, and Stratton and Zender expect this to continue. The International Society for Technology in Education, which publishes Learning & Leading with Technology, started with a MySpace page in November 2006 (they now have 170 friends), added Facebook and Second Life in January 2007 (with 200 and 2,000 members respectively), and joined LinkedIn in March 2007 (on which they have 54 members). Jessica Medaille, senior director for membership development at ISTE, says helping educators learn about Web 2.0 is part of their mission and that while the association considers itself an early adopter, there could be social media applications for other associations. Zender expects associations to advance with Web 2.0 tools, but not all at once: “They may not adopt all, but look for some to try one or two,” she says.More on this topic Associations Adopting Digital, Social Networking E-Publishing: How Associations Stack Up ABM Adds Nine Companies to Membership Roster 2009 Association Publishing Survey Paid Content and Blog Sponsorships Generate Highest E-Profits Association Magazine SurveyJust In PE Firm Acquires Majority Stake in Industry Dive The Atlantic Taps Creative Leadership | People on the Move BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes Editor & Publisher Magazine Sold to Digital Media Consultant The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the MovePowered by
Rain brings fears of landslides againThe inhabitants of Rangamati are in fear of fresh landslides as it rained again on Thursday evening. Drizzling started from the night and has continued till Friday morning, when this report was being written.The people in the hill areas were taking refuge in the shelters. The local administration used megaphones to caution the people and helped them reach the shelters. A total of 12 shelters were opened with a capacity of housing around 2000 people.Shabana Khatun, one of the inhabitants of the hilly area who took shelter at the shelter house said she feared landslides would resume any moment.Rabi Mohan Chakma, the councilor of Bhedbhedi ward no 6, said people are in fear after rain resumed.Meanwhile, members of the fire service have resumed rescue operations in the BhedBhedi area where three people are reportedly still missing.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said the chief minister of a state should be trusted to decide what is in the interest of his state, otherwise it was better to “dispense” the state governments and rule from the Centre directly. He, however, said that that the decision to release separatist leader Masrat Alam was J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s ploy to ensure that the discourse was about anything but the BJP-PDP alliance. “God knows I hold no brief for Mufti Sayeed but a CM has to be trusted to decide what is & isn’t in the interest of his/her state.
March 11, 2010 Register Now » By now you’ve probably heard the term “cloud computing” mentioned in the press, thanks to the PR machines of Microsoft, Sun, Google and Salesforce.com, among others. But what exactly is cloud computing, and what does it mean for small businesses?Simply put, it’s computing that is done on the Web. Rather than installing software on a computer that sits in your office, the applications that you need to run your business are stored on servers in data centers owned by the software company–“in the cloud” so to speak. You access your software and your business data via a Web browser–from any computer that is connected to the internet anywhere in the world. Some of the benefits to this approach include:Lower initial cost: Instead of buying software, you essentially rent it. You pay a monthly fee for each user. You also avoid the expense and hassle of paying for software upgrades. There is only one copy of the software running on the servers “in the cloud” and every time you log in you access the latest and greatest features without having to do anything extra.Lower overhead: Your IT infrastructures needs are greatly reduced with cloud computing. The company that “hosts” your software and data maintains the hardware, upgrades the software and keeps the service running. You can focus on running your business rather than on maintaining your computers. All you need is a computer with a fast and reliable web connection.Maximum mobility: Because your programs and data reside “in the cloud,” you can run your business from anywhere you can reach the Web. With today’s wireless laptops and smart phones, you don’t even have to sit behind a desk. You can check inventory while on a job site or run payroll while lounging poolside.Easier collaboration: Cloud computing makes it easier for you to collaborate with your clients, customers and employees while avoiding the logjam caused by sending large files. Instead of passing around a bulky digital file, such as a spreadsheet or a presentation, and hoping that all parties are looking at the most current version, you can all go to a Web address to view and work on a given project in real time.Increased safety: Cloud computing offers two key safety advantages. First, having your anti-malware software in the cloud generally means better, faster protection against the swarms of viruses, worms and other digital threats floating around out there. Rather than downloading the latest virus signatures to your computer to protect it at the endpoint, your security vendor can zap the bugs while they’re in the air.Second, having your business records backed up in the cloud better protects your data from losses due to catastrophes like a server meltdown. If your hard drive simply takes a nosedive, your data are backed up automatically and continuously at one or more remote locations. Of course, you are counting on the software company to take care of the data, but in almost all circumstances they are going to much greater lengths to double and triple protect your data because their entire business depends on it.What to Look for in the CloudSome key features to look for when shopping for cloud-based business software and services include:Interoperability: Your applications should work together in harmony, not alone in individual silos. For example, your accounting software should mesh with your customer relationship management software. You should not have to toggle back and forth between separate CRM and financial programs when talking with a customer or the phone or when planning a new marketing campaign. Once captured, data should flow freely between these critical business applications.Reliability: Because you are putting your business records and processes in the hands of a third party, you want to make sure that the vendor has a proven track record and will stay with you for the long haul. Choose carefully. If your cloud vendor suddenly goes dark, your business could do the same. Make sure the company you use has a good track record and is going to be around for the long haul.All in all, I’m a huge fan of applications “in the clouds” and recommend it over desktop software to almost all of the small businesses I talk to. The ease, affordability, mobility, accessibility and safety of cloud computing make it one less thing you need to worry about so you can focus on growing your business instead. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 4 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals