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Editors and Information Overload

Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 9:42 AM

In the news: Paul Bradshaw of the Online Journalism Blog discusses how magazine editors can overcome information overload.

In a December 19, 2011, article, Paul Bradhaw of the Online Journalism Blog shares some tips to help magazine editors overcome information overload. With today's editors inundated with information from every cyber-direction (e.g., social media updates and various newsfeeds), it can sometimes be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Bradshaw advises editors to expose themselves to a wide range of sources, but to organize that content into folders according to what is most vital. Editors on Twitter can organize their "follow" list into subgroups to collect important sources in one place. Social bookmarking sites (e.g., Digg, Stumbleupon, etc.) provide yet another means of organizing preferred websites and newsfeeds. Read more tips about overcoming editorial information load here.

Also notable:

AP's Style-checking Software

The Associated Press has just announced the release of AP StyleGuard, a software program that will sweep documents for AP style violations and inconsistencies. The software is only in the beta phase, but that hasn't stopped a rash of speculation. On its main page, EditorandPublisher.com asks readers, "Do you anticipate staff reductions due to the new AP style-checking software, AP StyleGuard?" The bar graph of responses shows that a majority of readers anticipate just that. Read more here.

On the Rise: Magazine Launches in 2011

According to Mediafinder.com (as reported on Foliomag.com), new magazine launches rose 23.8 percent in 2011. The news gets better: The number of magazine closures fell by almost 14 percent. Leading the new magazine pack was the food category. Hardest hit were the regional and bridal categories. Read more here.

Also on the Rise: QR Codes in Magazines

Now that smartphone use is so mainstream, magazine editors are working overtime to engage their smartphone-using subscribers. As a result, use of QR codes (which we discussed in the September 2010 issue of our sister newsletter, STRAT) are popping up in more magazines, including several Meredith Corp. titles. These scannable smartphone codes first started showing up in U.S. magazines during the past few years, but with smartphones overtaking the mobile market, they are bound to become even more widespread. Read more here.

Reader's Digest Association Layoffs

Although Reader's Digest brands have recovered somewhat this year, the company is looking to consolidate where possible. As a result, Reader's Digest Association has laid off 150 employees both in the U.S. and overseas in hopes of focusing future efforts on its most successful brands. Eliminated staffers will stay on until the end of the year. Read more here.

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