I saw Carla Buzasi, editor in chief of the Huffington Post in the UK, at Publishing Expo yesterday. The growth of Huffpo is a majestic and rather terrifying story, and Carla was just as good in front of an audience of publishers as she was at the Levenson Enquiry. She explained that, while all the blogs that make up so much of the site's content are read, they aren't edited.
Anyone who knows UK defamation law knows why far easier to use an innocent dissemination defence if you really are just providing a channel for views that are not your own.
Still, an interesting model both for brands and rival media owners: building an opinionated community no longer takes hundreds of paid staff. While Huffpo in the US now has more than 600 journalists on the payroll, the UK operation is much, much smaller, yet it's growing fast in both traffic and influence.
A coup for Publishing Expo to have her speak, and a good job moderating by Neil Thackray.
Just back from a day in Amsterdam running a round table with my gtnews.com hat on. We set up The European Treasurers Council as a networking group and Deutsche Bank came in as founder sponsor. A year later, they are regularly meeting groups of 10-15 corporate clients, and they stay in contact with them through the year.
I always enjoy moderating the meetings of this group: it generally starts out a little 'cold' as corporate treasurers aren't all naturally effusive, but it doesn't take much to draw them out an get them sharing their experiences - it helps, of course, that there's no competitive advantage to Company A in knowing how Company B improved its treasury function.
For the bank, it really helps to have their senior European team sharing the same space for a day with decision-makers in companies they' like to do more business with. This time our theme was Risk, and the conversations around it allowed the bank to gently position itself as an expert advisor, without overtly selling.
Oh, and Amsterdam's canals were frozen solid for the first time in 15 years, so I went for walk along one. Amazingly, given my bulk, the ice held...
In just a few weeks it'll be time for another Digital Innovators Summit http://innovators-summit.vdz.de/ in Berlin, courtesy of VDZ and FIPP. I've been moderating this great event since it started, and it has been a useful speedometer for digital change.
Since it has its roots in media owners who started in print, there have been some interesting challenges along the way as speakers and delegates gradually accepted that print mght not always be the main revenue stream . Five years ago, I wasn't supposed to suggest that digital was overtaking print; four years ago content 'wanted to be free'; two years ago tablets were untried but publishers were curious.
This year? I'll be especially interested t hear what Benjamin Faes, MD media & platforms Northern & Central Europe, Google, has to say, and I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more on tablets and social media, but this event always throws up a few surprises. I'll see you there.