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The Year in Venn 2013

Every week we give you our take on media and marketing in our Week in Venn newsletter. You give us your attention because, we hope, we reward that attention with an interesting perspective, an insight you can develop, or a quick chuckle at our diagrams.

From digital publishing and content marketing insights to ruminations on how we use our mobile devices, these were your favorite Week in Venn columns from 2013.

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Pageviews Are Dead, Long Live Engagement

By Paps Shaikh

For the last 10 years, media watchers and content creators have been talking about how consumers are time-poor, and advertisers have to fight that much harder to get the attention of consumers. And yet media is not sold based on how much time people spend engaging with the content. I'm not talking about buying a 30-second TV spot, or a 15-second radio ad here. I'm talking about people reading an article and taking the time to comment on it or share, peopleplaying a game and posting a high score, or watching a video – again and again.

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The 5Cs of Really Great Content Marketing

By Brian Clark

Unlike other Internet fads that have been hyped to death only to go gently into that good night, content marketing has been around for more than 100 years. It's the mass adoption of the Internet that has brought this effective, though formally obscure, persuasive art to the forefront of online sales and marketing. Access to vast amounts of information via search engines and online social interaction has placed the leverage squarely in the realm of the prospective buyer and has redefined what the sales process looks like for most companies.

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20 Things You Shouldn't Do at SXSWi (and 5 Things You Should)

By Ted Rheingold

One of the few things I've done more often than go to SXSWi (9 times) is go to Burning Man (11 times). Politics and mission aside, they're both a celebration of individual creativity and spontaneous interaction. While Burning Man is (blissfully) free of commerce and professionalism, SXSWi celebrates it. But, please, don't waste anyone's time by confusing SXSW's celebration of all things interactive with some sort of right to force your wishes on anyone who's there.

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The Future of Journalism Is Data-Driven

By Owen Thomas

Everyone seems to assume that Jeff Bezos, the founder of, spent $250 million on the Washington Post as some kind of hobby or charitable move. And some question whether he even has a plan on how he'll run the newspaper. Tech investor Keith Rabois, whom I recently hosted at our ReadWriteMix event in August, has me rethinking those assumptions. When I pinned Rabois down on where value was going to be created in the future, he answered, "Data science."

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You’re Doing It Wrong: 5 Ways to Do Sponsored Content Right

By David Tokheim

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Sponsored content (or native advertising if you prefer) has been the Holy Grail of integrated marketing - the ability to tuck a brand message into the editorial experience in a seamless and responsible way is every brand manager's dream. But then The Atlantic forced a Scientology advertorial on their site and suddenly sponsored content is getting a bad rap.

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4 Secrets of Effective Brand Storytelling Across Channels

By Jon Thomas

The value of brand storytelling in today’s hyper-connected world isn’t in the technologies we’ve created (though they are amplified because of them). Storytelling has been around for thousands of years, effectively transferring knowledge and emotion from one person to another – and in that classroom there was one audience, one storyteller and one channel. None of us were tweeting 140-character quotes, nor was the story being live-streamed. That’s not to say that in the 21st century elementary school students are tweeting during class (they’re not, right??). But the notion of brands telling stories through a single medium is long over.

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Four Interesting Media Trends for 2014

By Beverly Macy

It's an incredible time to be in the business of media. The power to shape opinion is shifting from the faceless editorial voice of magazines and newspapers to individuals. Add to that the global proliferation of smart technology and smart devices and we’re entering into a transformational time. Among the catalysts…

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Mobile Is Killing Media – and Here's What We Need to Do About It

By Matt Sanchez

Digital publishing is headed off a cliff if we don’t get back behind the wheel. There's a five fold gap between mobile revenue and desktop revenue for the same page. In other words, for every page viewed on a mobile device, publishers currently see only 20 percent of the revenue they’d receive from a desktop visit. What makes that gap even starker is how quickly it’s happening. By the second half of next year, we predict that greater than half of all time spent with online content will happen on a mobile device. On the industry’s current course, that’s a recipe for disaster.

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Top 7 Consumer Mobile Trends of 2013

By Stuart Dredge

2012 was a big year for smartphones, apps and mobile entertainment, but 2013 promises to be even better. Here are seven areas worth getting excited about if you're in or around the mobile, media and/or entertainment industries. Watch for these to be big items at this year's Consumer Electronics Show next week as well.

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The Art and Science of Online Engagement

By Aziz Hasan

Here's the trouble with old-school media: It's two dimensional. A TV spot only has two options a 60 second anthem spot or 15 second promotion. Viewers can watch or not watch – they can’t actually opt-in and become a part of the experience. Ditto print, where you can look at an ad or turn the page. As an advertiser, you hope a consumer views your ad and then you pray they take action on their own, at another unrelated time. If they do want to interact, they have to go to a second screen, like their phone, tablet or computer.

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