So What Do You Do, Samir Husni, Mr. Magazine?

Husni shares his take on monetizing digital content and the outlook for print publications.

If print is dead, Samir Husni has been working in a mausoleum. Running a $30,000 annual tab for his magazine collection, the issues are overflowing from his three storage units and onto his office floor and couch at the University of Mississippi, where he educates the next wave of journalists and runs the Magazine Innovation Center.

From his first comic book at age 8, Husni's passion for print grew to the point where he was publishing a daily paper from his bedroom in Lebanon, writing his own news stories and using candle wax to imprint the ink from old newspaper images. When he set out to earn his Ph.D. in magazine journalism 30 years ago, there was no such thing. When he wanted to turn his magazine research into a book on which publications succeeded and failed, his peers said, "Didn't you do this last year?" Husni recalls complaining to his wife, "They just don't get it." She said, "Why don't you put it in a book and just send it to the industry?" He pitched the idea to Jim Autry, then president of Meredith Publishing, and he bit. Within two weeks of publication, every copy was gone, and he became a household name -- as Mr. Magazine, a moniker from a student who couldn't pronounce "Husni." "At the end of the semester, he gave me a plaque," says Husni. In 1989, The New York Times ran a photo of his desk in a profile story, and the name stuck. "I figured, if everybody wants to call me Mr. Magazine, so be it."

Today he lives up to the title as the country's preeminent magazine expert. On the eve of the 25th edition of his eponymous Guide To New Magazines, coming out in June, caught up with Husni to discuss what it takes to succeed in today's magazine marketplace and the real salvation of print (Hint: It's not the iPad).

...keep reading at media bistro

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Your logo on pizza (yes, I said P-I-Z-Z-A). Yum?

Gee, Your Logo Tastes Terrific!Pass the Pistons pizza and Timberwolves toast! Soon, you'll be able to put your favorite NBA team where your mouth is, thanks to brave new licensing initiatives designed to fatten up the NBA's bottom line.

The league is betting that basketball fans, having lost interest in team-branded apparel, will have bottomless appetites for logo foodstuffs. "As key licensing categories have matured, it's an ongoing goal of the NBA to expand the brand into places that may attract new customers," Sal LaRocca, head of global merchandising, told USA Today.

...keep reading at media bistro

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The best beer and food pairings

"Good food can make good beer taste better, and vice versa," says Aviram Turgeman, a beer sommelier at Cafe D'Alsace in Manhattan. Select the food you're eating to learn his picks for which beers are the perfect match for your main dish.

Pizza, Mackerel
Drink this: Pilsner, lager
Why it works: Structure. A dry, crisp beer with balanced hops can overcome strong flavors, like seasonings on pizza, or the oiliness of fish. Plus, the hops can scrub your taste-buds between bites, enhancing the flavor of both beer and food.
Health bonus: When steaks were soaked in pilsner for 6 hours before panfrying, a suspected carcinogen in the meat was reduced by as much as 88 percent, according to a Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry study.
Also try: Stella Artois, Kronenbourg 1664

Burger, Chicken, Lamb
Drink this: Amber ale
Why it works: Intensity. "Strong flavors overwhelm light beers," says Turgeman. That's why you need a complex, heavier brew.
Health bonus: The hops in a beer like an amber ale may help lower cholesterol and prevent blood clotting, according to a 2007 study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
Also try: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale

Beef, Sausage, Pork
Drink this: Farmhouse ale
Why it works: Region. European beers taste great with meat cooked in European styles. Carry the lesson to other cuisines, to complement undertones in each: Asian beer with sushi, a Mexican cerveza with tacos, and so on.
Health bonus: The barley used in ale's brewing process contains flavonoids—a group of compounds, also found in wine, that may interfere with the multiplication of cancer cells.
Also try: La Choulette Blonde, Castelain Blond

Green Salad, Egg
Drink this: Belgian white
Why it works: Weight/body. Citruspacked, lighter wheat beers make food taste fresher and cut through the richness of yolks or hollandaise sauce.
Health bonus: Wheat beers may help lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases, say Austrian researchers. A test-tube study found that compounds in beer helped prevent tryptophan degradation and neopterin production, two factors that are linked with coronary-artery disease.
Also try: Hoegaarden, Blue Moon

Cheese, Salmon
Drink this: Trappist, Abbey
Why it works: Body/strength. The mild sweetness and yeastiness of Trappist beers play off the charred flavors of smoked or grilled food or pungent cheese.
Health bonus: Brewer's yeast contains B vitamins, protein, and minerals, but it rests on the bottom in Trappist beer bottles. So pour most of your beer into a glass, then swirl the last bit to pick up the yeast.
Also try: Leffe Blonde, Goose Island Matilda

Chocolate, Fruit
Drink this: Stout, Porter, flavored lambics
Why it works: There are no rules. "Experiment with sweet beers," Turgeman says. "You can make great combinations." To cap off a dinner date, pair chocolate with cherry lambic.
Health bonus: The black-cherry juice in cherry lambics is higher in disease-fighting antioxidants than cranberry and orange juice are, says a 2008 UCLA study.
Also try: Smuttynose Robust Porter, Young's Double Chocolate Stout

...via Men's Health

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Innovation is the enemy of recession

Razorfish 2010 Outlook: "You Can Innovate Your Way Out of a Recession"Razorfish isn't labeling their digital trends outlook as "digital" this year. And it's no accident. The marketing and design agency that’s been rooted in digital since its inception in 1995, is making a statement that digital’s not only here to stay, but it’s an assumed part of the mainstream ad world.

And with the first surprise built right into the title, the 2010 report is off and running.

The data crunchers at Razorfish had to examine the data differently because of the double dip recession that persisted throughout 2009. "We analyzed how our clients adapted to the challenging environment, what media proved effective, what didn’t deliver as expected, and how this information can be used to direct successful strategy moving forward," Jeremy Lockhorn, vp of emerging media, tells

The result? Many clients acted conservatively and stuck with proven strategies that were in place before the economic slump.

Another surprise was the relatively small investment in social media. "Only 4% of dollars go into social," says Lockhorn but admits the figure is misleading. The money going towards creating content and in the people who power Twitter feeds and Facebook pages is often not included in a traditional advertising budget. "It doesn’t by any stretch represent the total investment our clients are making," Lockhorn notes adding that in mobile, it’s the same deal.

One company that’s making a bigger investment in social media is MillerCoors, with Facebook pages for every beer brand. Director of media relations Julian Green asserts that the company’s "Playing in the space where consumers are living," and points to deals with Yahoo! Fantasy Football and Twitter as other examples of the company's non-traditional media push into sites where at least 70 percent of the audience is adult over 21 years of age.

...keep reading at Fast Company

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Now THIS is a greenhouse

Jungle Home: Green Tree-Filled Interior & Moss-Lined WallsAt one extreme there are ultra-minimal, super-modern white-and-black interior designs that seem almost medical in their clean simplicity – at the other, this house feels more like a forest or jungle landscape than an indoor living space or work of architecture.

...keep reading at Dornob

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