Posted on June 30, 2008 in Magazines, by Bill Hudgins
When the night has come/And the land is dark/
And the moon is the only light we’ll see …
The opening lines to Ben E. King’s classic song “Stand By Me” describe the situation American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan face every night when their enemies are on the move. Fortunately, the U.S. leads the world in night-vision technology, which helps deny the bad guys their would-be invisibility cloak.
“Magazine” originally meant a storehouse for supplies — especially weapons and ammunition. So magazines held a variety of things in all shapes and sizes. For most people today, “magazine” means a periodic publication filled with — you guessed it — a variety of items in all shapes and sizes. Today, small is the new big.
Posted on June 29, 2008 in Editorial, by Bill Hudgins
Editors kick the word “style” around a lot. Like spoken Chinese, what we mean often depends on the context and inflection. We work diligently to create and maintain style in its various meanings, but like all rules, style sometimes improves when you break it.
Sometimes style refers to a publication’s “style guide.” Ours is based on the Associated Press stylebook, but customized for different clients. For instance, our clients tend to treat elements like titles, dates and state names in different ways:
In Semper Fi, which we publish for the Marine Corps League, we use the two-letter USPS abbreviations for states, dates are written 10 November 1775, and ranks are used with names at all times.
NFIB’s MyBusiness magazine follows AP for abbreviating names and dates, and titles are used only on a first reference.
American Spirit uses its own approach to these and other elements.
Our own suggested online style guide calls for using bullet points. Sentence fragments. In bold, and no puns (obviously this guy deserves a few bullets).
The point is that every publication has its own set of style rules for consistency in spelling, grammar, even the tense used in attributed quotations.
Then there are times when “style” refers to the overall voice — some call it sound or tone or feeling — of a publication. The style guide can have an effect on this:
For instance, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal use titles before names. So one reads about Mayor Michael Bloomberg on first reference, then Mr. Bloomberg thereafter. The tone is more formal, not so much deferential as polite. Quite different from, say, Rolling Stone.
According to a study recently released by Forrester Research, by 2013 the average person will watch five hours of video a day. That’s a 25 percent increase from the average today of four hours. What makes experts predict this rise in video consumption? Forrester explains that the increasing availability of video programming through computers, phones and other devices will propel the growth. “People love their content and want to watch it no matter where they can get it. They’ll even watch it on a small device, if that’s the option they have,” says James McQuivey, author of the study.
Other predictions from the study include:
The percent of video viewed on demand will increase to 45% in 2013 from 20% in 2008.
The percent of video delivered via the Internet climbs to 35% in 2013 from 10% in 2008.
The percent of video consumed on mobile or portable devices increase to 15% in 2013 compared with 8% in 2008.
At Hammock, we believe video is powerful tool to keep in your communications arsenal. Video content engages your members or clients in a unique way that is a very effective complement to an organization’s print and digital media content. That’s why earlier this month, video was a focal point of the website we created for our client NFIB for its National Small Business Summit event. We posted video from the event to YouTube and pulled that, and content from other social and conversational media tools, into the Summit’s website.
Several years ago, American Spirit, the magazine we publish for the DAR, covered the fort’s annual Yule Fest, a celebration of an early American Christmas. The fort’s dedicated re-enactors and authentic living history demonstrations have made the 18th century come alive for thousands of visitors. We believe it’s a site worth preserving, and we’re happy to hear that the volunteers at Mansker’s Station are rallying to keep it open. Learn more at Albert’s, excuse me, the Doctor’s blog.
While I’m plugging friends’ good causes, I wanted to send a shout-out to Gin Phillips, Hammock freelance writer extraordinaire. On Wednesday, June 25, she’ll be reading from and signing her first novel, The Well and the Mine, at local independent bookstore Davis-Kidd. Set in 1931, her book follows one family in an Alabama coal-mining town after a nine-year-old girl sees a woman throw a baby down the family well. The novel touches on death, race, hard work and family in the Depression-era South.
Gin is already enjoying positive buzz: Award-winning Southern novelist Fannie Flagg wrote the introduction, the book got a great review in O magazine and Gin was named one of Barnes and Noble’s “Discover Great New Writers.” Check her out if you’re in the neighborhood!