The new face of publishing?



Joel Makower (above) has been kicking around environmental issues for some 20 years. I’ve interviewed him on occasion for newspaper articles on the green energy trend and so was pleased to see a profile of his publishing startup in the magazine Media Business.

In that article writer Matthew Schwartz notes how Makower is leveraging his expertise and the public interest in green energy to form:


“Greener World Media—a b-to-b media company created last year to focus on business and the environment—(it recently) . . . hired b-to-b media veteran Pete May as president-publisher . . . (May) will oversee an aggressive growth plan, including the launch of newsletters, Web sites, multimedia channels and a networking platform for green professionals. New products will focus on greener operations, greener computing and greener design.”


The East Bay Business Times also recently reported that the company was relaunched in January “with a $300,000 capital infusion from angel investors.”

I’m thinking back now to a breakfast that Makower and I shared in Oakland not long ago when I was picking his brain for an article on the 50th anniversary of the solar cell. In that piece, written in the tech doldrums of 2004, I used one of his quotes that rang true — at least then:


“Solar energy has been just around the corner for about 30 years,” (he said) adding the industry’s inside joke: “And it’s still just around the corner.”

Now, to extend the metaphor, technologies that used to go by the hippy-dippy “alternative energy” have finally turned the corner into the mainstream — leading right to where Makower has been standing all along. Cool.

Now as he tries to seize his time, I’d offer two bits of advice: worship your sales force and match your ambitions to your cash flow. And have fun!


More green ($) publishing: The Wall Street Journal continued to prove that readers will pay for premium content, Staci Kramer reports:


“Overall, online ad revenue was up 30 percent year over year while online circulation revenue rose 13 percent.”

The Journal continued to gain paid subscribers for its online edition, which increased “9 percent to 830,000 based on online-only and corporate sub growth.”


But where else has news content for a mass audience proven as valuable?