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Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - February 2022

Transactional vs community-based vs societal publishing

There are many things that are different about publishing today, but the biggest change is how we need to be far more specific in our focus as publishers. There are models that define this: Transactional, community, and societal publishing.

Each of these models represent a different focus, and it's vital for publishers to dramatically improve our strategies and focus around this.

Are you transactional, community, or societal in your focus? Or are you all of them, but in need of better defining and splitting things to make that value clearer to your audiences?

In this Plus article, I talk about what each of these models is, how they impact your focus, what is different about them, and why they are so important to get right. This applies to newspapers, but also to magazines ... in fact, it applies to all types of publishers.

First, let's take a look at transactional publishing.

Transactional: A market of one(s)

The thing that defines transactional publishing is the word itself. It's a transaction (obviously), where there is a specific exchange of value between two parties.

Usually, this exchange is in the form of money being paid by the reader, in exchange for an answer or a solution to something that this reader needs.

In publishing this is still a strange concept, but think about this in terms of any other industry. What happens when you go to a shop? Well, you have a transaction, and that transaction is entirely defined by your personal need.

You don't go to a furniture store to buy a couch that someone else needs. That doesn't make any sense. If you go into a clothing store to buy a shirt, it wouldn't make sense if they also forced you to buy a t-shirt that you didn't like. Nor do you go to a supermarket to buy some milk to support the farmers. You only buy milk if you need milk, and if you are allergic to milk like me, well... bad luck farmers, I'm not going to buy any milk. It doesn't matter what other people want. A transaction is based on the individual.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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