When I started writing about our network magazine project, it was greeted with some disbelief in the publishing netosphere. Now that the roll-out is nearly complete, folk are realizing that we really do mean business here at Syntagma.
So, being mildly provocative again — and as it’s Sunday — here’s a list of our projects going forward as far as 2009, including the till-now ultra-secret iSyntagma.
We have created the portals for our three initial network magazines, Allusionz, LifeTimes and 21st-century Phi, and are now adding four new Thord Hedengren designs to all of our 50 sites. We’ve completed a quarter of them, the rest will follow over the next two weeks.
We’ve also embarked on the final step in the process, which is to aggregate our stats-capture by magazine, in addition to by individual site. The reason is that from now our advertising will be sold per network mag rather than by webtitle.
In other words, we’re moving away from 10,000 page-view pitches to a composite pitch for 20 or so similar and related webtitles. This bridges the gap between offering single sites to advertisers, or the whole inventory, which is so diverse only the most general buyers would be interested.
We’ll still carry our classified ads at the top of the posts (see here), and on a per site basis, since we’re looking for $200-$500 a month per webtitle for this space and the classifieds are running ahead of any alternatives at the present time.
Our business plan specified six network magazines by October 2007 — our second anniversary. Since our two shopping portals have been put on hold (see below), I expect we’ll now have four working network magazine titles by October.
I wrote a bit about this here a day or two ago, specifically the glass ceiling we encounted when trying to break into the big-ad retail markets in North America and the UK.
Our two shopping portals : Retailz USA and ShopShape UK required much more input than our current strength allowed when relying on own-resources. Talks with possible partners fell down because they were all stronger than we were, and inevitably had their own ideas on how it should be done.
I’m not temperamentally suited to being a junior partner in anything, so we’ve put these projects back until we have sufficient internal strength to be at least the major determiner in the project. The portals are now scheduled for late 2008 or spring 2009.
Dial Publishing was my first attempt at being an independent print publisher. It concentrated on educational books and courses, and was successful until the market went pear-shaped (see here for more details).
Now it’s being refurbished as the print arm of Syntagma Media, and will publish its first titles in the second half of this year. Two to watch are, The Syntagma Story, and Superdemocracy – The Art of Corporate Governance, both by yours truly. They will be followed by other titles by other authors.
Now we come to our biggest project of all, the top secret iSyntagma, which we’ve been researching and working on for a while under a cloak of invisibility. If you go to isyntagma.com you’ll just see an untouched WordPress Kubrick shell. Amazingly it has a PR of 4.
To prove that my forthcoming book, The Syntagma Story is really going to be worth reading, I’ve decided to spill the beans on this rocking more-than-an-aspiration-more-an-inspiration projectile.
We’ve decided to vault over the podcasting scene completely — too much like blogging, too many amateurs, and too primitive compared with what’s on offer by the broadcasters. And it will never show a profit.
Instead, iSyntagma will launch … trumpets and drum roll … Thank you, orchestra, a bit louder next time. Will launch :
Syntagma Television will be an internet TV channel, broadcasting live TV and video from the West Country of England to a select few, niche audiences, among which will be the tech crowd. It’s a serious project and is well underway.
Just log on to SyntagmaTV.com or SyntagmaTelevision.com sometime in 2008 and weâ€™ll be beaming at you wherever you are.
As a Bob Cringely reader I know of the current bandwidth problems, but also how Google among others are working on the solutions. If 2007 is the year the net collapses under the weight of video downloads (Bit Torrent currently takes more than 50pc of bandwidth resources), 2008 will see new opportunities emerge, and Syntagma Television will be unveiled in that more temperate climate.
Again, we’re going to try to do this within own-resources. If you’ve got a million bucks to invest, do not offer it to us — I might be tempted.
So there you have it. Our future starkly portrayed in all its impossible glory. One thing you should know : we revel in the impossible.