Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is Your Business Ready for the Cloud?

My latest article in Smart Enterprise magazine provides "7 Ways to Determine Your Cloud-Readiness." The article gave me an opportunity to talk with some interesting people about key decisions, technology choices, and more that play into an organization's ability to move into the cloud or to expand its cloud presence.

Smart Enterprise is a custom magazine sponsored by CA and published by UBM. Its target audience is global enterprise CIOs.

You can read the entire article on the Smart Enterprise digital magazine site.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Magazine Cover Copies

A continuing (if very irregular) (and just odd) feature in this blog is my highlighting of magazines that use the same cover images. Years ago, someone did a study of Time and Newsweek covers to see how many times they used the same images on their covers, and it turned out that they did it very, very rarely.

But the genre of the fantastic appears to be less lucky. Or less picky. Here are some dual-use images from several decades ago. In the ancient past, when America ruled the world and the future looked bright.
The Japanese edition of Starlog magazine ran this arresting cover image – which apparently also made it to the cover of the Japanese edition of Omni magazine.

Fantastic Films, Dynamite, and Starlog all made use of this Luke Skywalker lightsaber picture from Luke's sojourn on Dagobah to promote their cover stories about The Empire Strikes Back. The strange thing about its popularity is that it's not a very good photo; it's too dark, grainy, and simply unclear. However, it is moody, which is good. But there are better Empire pics they all could have run with.


Daryl Hannah's starring role in Clan of the Cave Bear got the cover treatment in Heavy Metal (which is odd, because HM never put film shots on its cover, unless it was for Heavy Metal's own movies) and Starlog (which is also odd, because Starlog was a science fiction magazine, and Clan was a caveman film). Same photo, horizontally flipped by one of the magazines.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

3,000 Very Smart Science Fiction and Science Fans Agree

Galaxis is the choice of the smart ones. The people who've read this free digital magazine – all devoted to science and science fiction – now number more than 3,000, which makes it even more popular than the first issue.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Innovative Magazine Number 3: The Commonwealth Unbound

In the third installment this week on innovative magazines of note, I am being self-serving. Proud, but admittedly self-serving.

The Commonwealth Club produces a bimonthly magazine called The Commonwealth, the production of which is the highlight of my job here at the Club. We decided to experiment with a digital version; not just a digitized version of the print product (we already do that on issuu.com); but a magazine produced specially for digital download and print-on-demand. We call it The Commonwealth Unbound.

And just today I learned that Amazon.com has listed the print-on-demand edition on its website. So now millions of people can purchase our 116-page, all-color magazine featuring politics, economics, science, technology, art, literature, fashion, and food. From Robert Reich to Ted Danson, from Patricia Wells to the founders of Twitter, from an examination of Richard Wagner's "four-headed hydra of controversies" to young creators of graphic novels, The Commonwealth Unbound is an intelligent general-interest magazine that should interest many different people.

Buy it on Amazon in its hard-copy, print-on-demand edition, or download a PDF version from The Commonwealth Club's store.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Reuters in Print: Reuters magazine

This seems to be my theme this week: Unexpected one-shot magazine covers. Yesterday, we looked at the horror magazine Fangoria launching a new series of "Legends" one-shots, the first focusing on George A. Romero. Today I've stumbled across the magazine pictured above, which comes from the news operation Thomson Reuters and is titled, appropriately, Reuters.

A Davos-themed magazine, Reuters looks like it would be a pretty interesting experiment in publishing. Reuters is a news gathering and syndication company (I know, it has other arms and divisions, but as for news consumption, you usually get your Reuters fix from the Reuters website or from other media organizations that run Reuters stories). Daily news differs greatly from longform journalism, and daily journalism is something that the internet simply does better (and often worse, but mostly better) than print. But a weekly or semi-monthly magazine of longform Reuters journalism ... has promise.

I have no idea if that's what the company is contemplating. But it would be an interesting way of exploiting their brand, their vast and respected news-gathering operation, and the medium of print, which isn't nearly as dead as the skateboard crowd would have you believe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fangoria Announces New "Legends" Magazine: George A Romero

Those folks at Fangoria continue to try new things. After an apparently successful one-shot revival of its old Gorezone sibling magazine last year, Fango is announcing a one-shot magazine devoted to horror legend George A. Romero. It's appropriately dubbed Fangoria Legends Presents George A. Romero, and it will be sold only via Fangoria's website beginning in March 2012.

They're only printing 1,000 copies of it, so order it ASAP when it's available, because it's not likely to last long in the online store.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Self-Funding IT Innovation

I don't just write articles on politics and the publishing industry and science fiction; I also occasionally contribute to CA's Smart Enterprise magazine, a custom publication produced by UBM.

Smart Enterprise is published (online and in print) for CIOs at large enterprises around the world, so it is fun as a writer (and a reader) to see how businesses and other organizations in different conditions around the globe deal with business technology challenges. In the issue pictured above, I wrote "6 Ways to Self-Fund Innovation."

In the following issue, I have an article on how to know if your business is ready to move to the cloud or to expand its operations there. I'll post it when it's available.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Announcing Week to Week: The News Review Program from The Commonwealth Club

On February 24, 2012, we will be premiering a brand new series of programs at The Commonwealth Club of California, and I'm very excited about it. It is called Week to Week, the news review program from The Commonwealth Club, and it is something I've been wanting to do for a long time, but the opportunity only presented itself recently. I will be producing and hosting a weekly live program featuring a panel discussing the week's news, audience Q&A, an in-depth discussion with a newsmaker or journalist or expert on one topic, a news quiz, and thoughts about the coming week.

One thing I did not expect to achieve with the very first program in the series is to get the very first panelists I contacted – but we did. I have been very impressed with Dr. Larry Gerston, a professor emeritus at San Jose State University and a frequent commentator on NBC 11, and the San Francisco Chronicle's Debra Saunders, a frequent commentator on CNN's "Reliable Sources," because they have shown the ability to talk intelligently, civilly, yet engagingly about important news events and trends. I know they'll make a great panel.

The program will begin with a semi-monthly (twice-a-month) schedule, but it will eventually become weekly. Taking place at 12 noon on Fridays, Week to Week will likely become a must-do event for the Bay Area's news-hungry residents. We'll even have box lunches they can buy beforehand, if they want.

So if you are in the Bay Area and would like to spend your Friday lunch period surrounded by people who are engaged with the news, come on over. And if you can't make it, you'll be able to get a 99-cent download of the audio from The Commonwealth Club's online store shortly after the program ends.

Find out how you can attend or how you can download the audio: visit the Week to Week website for details and ticket information.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Helping the Examiner Find Its Voice: Opinion from Northside San Francisco

From the February 2012 issues of Northside San Francisco and The Marina Times:
Help the San Francisco Examiner Find Its Voice
By John Zipperer 
On a typical day in January, San Francisco Examiner readers picked up their paper and found something missing: an editorial page. It is something that is missing frequently from that tabloid, and though it might not be missed as much as an AWOL sports section or a celebrity gossip column, it is more important than either.  
Many San Franciscans are used to not having a voice in the media. Though this city is famously known as a liberal town, there is a working majority of moderates that regularly gets its way in mayoral elections, although it is ignored by most of the politicians and local press the rest of the time.

Living in the Cheap: My Latest Northside San Francisco Column

In the February 2012 issue of Northside San Francisco:
Living in the Cheap 
By John Zipperer 
Britain’s Prince Charles rendered his greatest service to his nation in 1987 when he complained about the ugliness of postwar London architecture. “Give this much to the Luftwaffe: When it knocked down our buildings, it didn’t replace them with anything more offensive than rubble. We did that. Clausewitz called war the continuation of diplomacy by other means. Around St Paul’s [Cathedral], planning turned out to be the continuation of war by other means.” 
Those tough comments by the heir to the British throne were pretty widely denounced by the modernists who rule the architectural criticism world. But give the man credit for bravery; he made his speech about the sins of urban planners to a meeting of the London planning committee.