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Jim McBee
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Jim McBee

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Not the most supremely original concept, but it worked out nicely. 
 
One of our favorite covers. Photo by +Benjamin Weatherston 
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Jim McBee

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G+'s 'what's hot and recommended' posts are getting lamer by the day. And I never found them very clickworthy.
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hi please add me in ur list.
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Interesting concept.
 
So I think I've figured out a way to make 40+ royalty arrangements per month and automate payments.

That means that the magazines we produce, should be becoming paid markets via royalties on individual issue sales. So whenever an issue is sold (via Amazon, B&N, our website, wherever), contributing authors receive a percentage of the revenue generated. 100 sales in a month at 3.99 = $280 if an author receives 10% that's only $28. But that's only for one month. After a few years, the author will still be receiving royalties, so sales might jump up and sell 1000 or they might dip and only be 1 that month. But after a few years, sales find a common ground and those royalties add up. The best paying market I know of offers $1000 for a story (this is a very exclusive magazine that has NYT bestselling contributors). With this model, there's no maximum limit to compensation. It could total in the multiple thousands over time. Or it could be a couple bucks if the issue doesn't sell. 

No other fiction magazines on the market offer this, as far as I'm aware. I think it is a superior payment option to flat rates and pay based on word count. This option fairly compensates writers for their contribution. I also think that this gels well with the current push for "authorpreneurs" or entrepreneurial writers who promote and sell on their own. Some writers will hate it (and perhaps we'll have a flat fee option for them), but overall it is best for the company and I think it will be yet another great selling point for publishing with eFiction. If the 5-10 authors who contribute each issue for each magazine work together to promote it, they'll each receive more cash, eFiction receives more cash to reinvest into the company, and more readers get better quality stories. Everybody wins! 
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Dr. Scott Moore's essay on the disrupted future of higher education -- a good weekend #longread. Let us know how you think things will shake out for higher ed, for the University of Michigan, for Ann Arbor.
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While I was looking at this because of my personal obsession with news design, this outtake fits with The Ann magazine's current focus on the future of higher ed: 

'Someone interested in learning a new medium no longer has to show up to class to become an expert. Online classes and tutorials are changing the game.

'“The barrier of entry is so low now,” Hatch said. Not to take anything away from the traditional classroom setting, he agrees there will always be a place for that type of learning environment in education. But there is also no good reason why someone cannot have a better understanding of the journalism industry’s changing technologies, even if they’re not looking to change their expertise.'
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Jim McBee

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I'm an old page builder, not a CMS guy or coder of any sort. But this is interesting. "Like responsive design allows us to be ready for any device on the front-end, more intelligent story modeling could prepare us for any type of story a publication wants to produce." and "We still haven’t figured out how to systematically approach the format of our storytelling."
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Weather Report: Mostly Cloudy During Sunshine Week
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Jim McBee

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Allow me to admit up front I'm no data journalist, investigator or even visualizer. What I'm primarily interested in at the moment are digital tools that can aid in resurrecting public/civic journalism -- ways to connect journos with citizens and citizens with their civic interests and responsibilities. I don't have an immediate project, but some broad ideas that need honing, and fast. Anyone here have experience in such areas? 

Obvious concerns: The decrepit state of American discourse -- how to beat the trolls and defuse the shouting matches. The fact that civic journalism efforts keep petering out. 

Apologies if this is the wrong forum or the post too nebulous.
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On the off-topicness: Yes, in a perfect world we'd have a different community with moderators. Joy Mayer would be the expert on academic research into community engagement. But my brain would asplode if I had any more places to go. (Once class cranks back up after spring break, it'll get worse.)

At least community comments and story ideas could be seen as unstructured data, crowdsourced.

So a quick idea, for here, for now, and others can just turn off notices or delete email notifications (or tell me to quiet down):
Wilmington Star News has a tipline/ask a reporter thing that has thrived. Sister Halifax paper in Gaston is picking up the idea. No endorsement of the design here, just a basic level of welcoming readers to get involved:

http://www.myreporter.com/

How it works: http://www.myreporter.com/?p=17793

No defense against the "Robert E. Lees" of the South, using caps lock. They're still there. But if one has a moderator and a way to delete comments or pick up the phone and talk crazies off the cliff and to a higher level of "discourse," it could help.
http://www.myreporter.com/?p=9174

For the wicked problems like the Economist tackles, on a more magazine depth: Something like "My Reporter" could be a gateway drug and also identify decent sources in the community, rewarding them in some way.

That's the lacking component in the "My Reporter" or tip-line model: Others in the community might have the answers, not just the news org. employees. Echoes what +Lisa Williams said recently: Community is when people talk to each other, not just to you. https://twitter.com/lisawilliams/status/309489238020333569
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Jim McBee

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Ever wanted to run a magazine? Now's your chance. Let us know what you want to see us focus on in 2013. http://www.theannmagazine.com/2013/01/22/your-t/
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He makes it sound so easy. Ha ha hahahhaha.
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