Archive for the ‘Books, Magazines, & Reading’ Category

John Irving at the Ryman Auditorium

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

“Suppression is very American. … If you don’t like abortion, don’t
have one. … Why should it matter to straight couples if gay couples
get married?” - John Irving, Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, November 8,

Look here, youngun. I’m a danged EXPERT, and I say…

Monday, August 4th, 2008

My first article in Circulation Management’s “Monday Morning Expert” column is now up on their web site:

Circulation Management Magazine - kate artice.png

Can’t believe anyone believes a word I say with a promo picture like that. :)

Kiss and make up, kiss of death, or how about just vamping for the camera.

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

You know all those articles I’ve been linking about Maghound? Well, in case it wasn’t obvious, it’s an initiative I’m keeping my eye on. Time Inc. is launching this online magazine service in late Q3, and oh by the way, Time Inc. happens to be an investor in an online magazine service called, too, so… I guess that’s a little weird, right?

Anyway, last week at this conference I was speaking at, I got chatting with Dave Ventresca, president of Maghound. We’d met once before and were having a nice enough conversation, and then… someone approached us with a camera.

Quick: what’s the best thing to do when someone wants to take what they think will be a caption-worthy photo?

Why, make it MORE caption-worthy, of course.


Your caption suggestions welcome here.

A wordle of my own

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

I’ve seen some cool wordles, but it wasn’t until a friend posted one she created using a recent research paper that I got inspired to create one of my own. This wordle uses my “manifesto,” which was a 37-page, 6,889-word document outlining a proposed strategy for how we at interact with our customers to optimize lifetime value.

No surprise that “email” and “customers” are the prominent words for a visualization of a document describing, essentially, how best to communicate with our customers.

links for 2008-06-28

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Tree-friendly reads for Earth Day

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

We’ve just launched a promotion on that spotlights titles printed on recycled or sustainably harvested paper. Earth Day wasn’t originally on our seasonal marketing calendar (silly oversight) so we pulled this together on very short notice, and I’m proud of us for making the effort.

Two more to add to my magazine addic-… er, collection

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

One of the things that intrigues me about magazines is that, taken as a set, the magazines you bother to subscribe to have an awful lot to say about who you are and what you’re passionate about. Of course, not all of our passions have publications dedicated to them, but you might be surprised how many do.

For example, I just stumbled across two magazines I didn’t know existed and now I’m really psyched about: Birds & Blooms, which “celebrates the joys of attracting birds and tending to beautiful backyard flower gardens” and Wild Bird, which provides “fascinating information about birds and birding from your own backyard to touring hotspots in the field.”

Did I subscribe? Oh heck yes, I most definitely subscribed. OK, I don’t know that I’m quite enough of a bird lover to get into the whole “touring hotspots in the field” thing, but I’m definitely excited about bird-attracting gardens. And yes, I already have subscriptions to a bunch of gardening-related magazines, and occasionally they have articles about attracting birds and butterflies, but these! These are dedicated to attracting and admiring birds. Hee! I’m actually giddy about it. (Don’t tell Karsten, though. He’ll roll his eyes about me signing up for yet more magazines.)

Now the trick is to actually find the time to read the magazines. Because see, that’s the other interesting thing about magazines. They seem to represent our best selves: what we, in an ideal world, would be paying attention to. Instead of leaving to pile up in a corner.

I kid! I really do read my magazines. Most of them. Most of the time. OK, sometimes. But I mean to read them! What kind of obsessive nut would sign up for a whole bunch of stuff she knows she isn’t going to have time to read? What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Femininity and feminism, and a magazine called Skirt!

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

theogeo critiques a new magazine called Skirt! (yes, the banger is part of the title) with which she is obliquely associated:

Tell me you’ve got a publication for strong, successful women and I’ll usually be all, “Okay, right on,” thinking we’ve got a political-minded, informative, thoughtful outlet on our hands. Tell me it’s called “Skirt!” and my brain will start shutting down. Suddenly you’ve introduced fashion and feminine markers into the premise. Not to mention the secondary verbal definition of “skirt,” which means to avoid or work around. It’s indirect; it’s passive.

The whole premise is bewilderingly patronizing. And it’s not like I don’t subscribe to fashion magazines — I do! several! — but I subscribe to them to follow fashion and admire clothing design. I know what I’m getting into when I open a copy of InStyle, and believe me, I don’t read it expecting to encounter thoughtful essays written from a feminist perspective. Those types of publications simply have no credibility with me for that sort of content. But when I want those feminist essays (Bust, perhaps, or Off Our Backs? I admit I don’t subscribe to either — blogs provide me with ample content), I don’t expect to be condescended to with fashion and beauty advice. And here the credibility issue works basically in reverse: include fashion and beauty advice in your progressive women’s publication, and, for me, you cease to be a progressive women’s publication.

This sort of mental partitioning may be uncommon, but I sort of doubt it. That’s not to say that a cross-market magazine (or even cross-cross-market, if you think fashion-feminist-local) can’t work, but this appears to be the reason to undertake such a venture with extreme caution.

"What I read on my summer vacation" by Kate O'

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

Finished reading Nick Hornby’s How To Be Good last night. I haven’t read anything else by Hornby, but I enjoyed both the film adaptations of About A Boy and High Fidelity, and in the commentary for the latter, the Weitz brothers talked about how easy it was to make that film because of the great writing in the book.

So I thought I’d start with one I haven’t seen on film yet, and that was probably a good idea: no comparisons to make about how the story develops, the characters arc, or why the adaptation did this or that. Purely on its own merits, I think How To Be Good is a very well-written book, if a bit challenging in spite of its pervasive humor. Challenging in the sense that it’s like reading distilled anxiety on every page. (And hey minnaleigh: the narrator is, in a sense, unreliable. She’s flawed, for sure, and her flaws render the retelling of events that could be depicted in a very charitable, almost saintly way instead as very nearly malicious. Fascinating stuff, that.)

Overall, I recommend it. Just don’t read it when you’re on vacation. ;-)

Sometimes I really doubt my ability to do anything

Sunday, July 25th, 2004

I’ve been skimming through “Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal: The Art of Transforming a Life into Stories” (what kind of book, I ask you, has two subtitles?). I think I don’t use this forum enough to be honest with myself.

Today, for instance, I had plenty of self-doubt about whether I really have what it takes to be a songwriter. Why is it I so rarely seem to be able to finish anything? I’m much better at starting out ideas, even getting them written in part, but following them through or coming back to them to finish them is something I would rather not do. Actually, I want to do it intellectually. But whatever force drives motivation, whatever means the difference between saying “I should do something” and doing it, that’s what I think I lack.

I have a lot of lofty goals. My aspirations have always been large and have been the main motivator for me — I don’t really have the work ethic some folks think I do. I want money, I want comfort, I want recognition.