Innovation That Matters

Top 10 media & publishing business ideas in 2006

Publishing & Media

We’re deviating from our regular schedule to bring you the best new business ideas we covered in 2006. Next up: media and publishing.
  1. Everyone’s publisher: As readers of’s briefings will know, Generation C (the content generation) is a force to be reckoned with. Or, better yet, catered to! Which is exactly what Blurb is doing. This still in beta publishing software and services company partners with the world’s leading book printers to offer would-be authors bookstore-quality publishing. As they put it: “Holding a finished book with your name on the cover is a truly amazing feeling; it’s one of those experiences everyone should have." More »

  2. Bounty hunters armed with cameras: Spy Media, a Silicon Valley-based news photo marketplace, lets both amateur and professional photographers sell their photos at a price they set. They’ve just added a new twist: buyers can request a photo of an event, place, person, product or whatever, and place a bounty on the image. Buyer sets the price, and the first photographer with the right image gets paid. More »

  3. JPG 2.0 | Customer-made magazine relaunched: JPG Magazine, a photography magazine that our sister-site covered as an example of user-generated content, recently relaunched. In its previous incarnation, the magazine allowed photographers to submit photos based on one theme per issue. While anyone could submit, JPG’s founders (Derek Powazek and Heather Champ) decided which photos made it into print. Now, for a publication that’s even more customer-made, JPG has made some significant changes. More »

  4. Angelic crowdsourcing: Whether you call it the Power of Us, Customer-Made or Crowdsourcing, new business concepts continue to pop up that involve large groups of consumers pre-funding an artist’s album, pre-purchasing an olive farmer’s harvest, buying shares in a whiskey distillery, or colonising a remote island. Case in point, from the movie world: A Swarm of Angels. A British project, the team behind A Swarm of Angels has set out to make a GBP 1 million film and give it away to 1 million people in 1 year. More »

  5. Agency connects bloggers & press: Scoopt, the world’s first commercial citizen journalism photography agency (see our recent article for more), just launched ScooptWords to help bloggers find a commercial market for their writing. Scoopt strongly believes that many bloggers produce content as good as or better than what appears in newspapers and magazines, and Scoopt aims to bring that content to larger audiences. The process is simple: ScooptWords members place a “buy this content” button on their blog, indicating that an article is available for republication. More »

  6. Channeling online video: TurnHere — “Short films. Cool places” — offers exactly that: short, online videos that give viewers an insider’s look at destinations around the world. Created by experienced filmmakers specifically for TurnHere, the website’s videos offer an alternative to travel books, with obvious benefits to consumers: they’re up-to-date, super local, highly personal, free, and they communicate the sense of a place more directly than traditional guidebooks ever could. More »

  7. Citizen journalism | Update: Nearly three years after we first featured OhmyNews, the South Korean online newspaper co-written by ordinary citizens, a similar venture has popped up in South-Africa. “For the people, by the people,” is a news website written entirely by its readers, and publishes articles, images, audio and video they send in. Riding the wave of user-generated content, gives its readers the opportunity to determine what they regard as news, and to raise issues that might not make it into mainstream media. More »

  8. On product publishing: Developed in Melbourne by Modern Media Concepts, iLove is a 32-page, full-colour magazine contained within a glossy label on a 600ml bottle of spring water. It’s the world’s first magazine on a bottle, and is published in four separate editions fortnightly. iLove’s female target audience should love its purse-sized format, which makes it great for reading on the tube or while having lunch, and advertisers will be enamoured by its reach – a weekly circulation reaching 150,000 this month (March 2006) and growing, which will soon make it Australia’s largest women’s magazine. More »

  9. Life story caching: Dandelife is a social biography network: a social network built around telling life stories. Building on the notion that stories are best shared, Dandelife offers everyone the opportunity to write and share their personal memoirs online, one story at a time. A user’s ‘vanity page’ shows a horizontal timeline, with events neatly placed in history, as well as photos, videos, tags and favourite stories. Tagging is an important part of storytelling on Dandelife, allowing users to create common threads within their own stories, and connect with those of other members. More »

  10. Yearbooks for Class of 2007: Now a US phenomenon, Facebook enables 7.7 million members with a valid email address from a supported college, high school or company to create a profile to share information, photos, and interests with their friends. Sure, there are numerous sites like this, but opportunity, especially outside the US, remains: this is not this is capturing a new generation in such a way that they will never need a reuniting website! More of an ongoing meeting space, Facebook actually ranks as the seventh-most trafficked site in the US. Next? More »