As authoring, repository and distribution tools become both much cheaper and more widely distributed, the format-driven organization of content (newspapers, magazines, books etc) is giving way to a new, more granular and perhaps deeply uncomfortable model. The new model presents specific opportunities for publishers, particularly those who can use their expertise to tag content and make it both more discoverable and reusable. It also presents challenges to publishers who cannot let the “container” metaphor go in moving to digital platforms.
Brian O’Leary is founder and principal of Magellan Media, a management consulting firm that works with publishers seeking support in content operations, benchmarking and financial analysis.
O’Leary writes extensively about issues affecting the publishing industry. With Hugh McGuire, he is editing “Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto”, a collection of forward-looking essays on publishing that is being published in three parts by O’Reilly Media.
O’Leary is also the author of a research report on the impact of free content and digital piracy on paid book sales, as well as the editor and primary contributor for a study of the use of XML in book publishing. Both reports were published by O’Reilly Media in 2009.
Before becoming a consultant, O’Leary served as senior VP and associate publisher with Hammond Inc., an internationally recognized geographic reference publisher. Responsible for database development, editorial content, production, and operations, he restructured editorial operations to benefit from the firm’s prior technology investments.
O’Leary came to Hammond after a 12-year career overseeing production and distribution operations at several of Time Inc.’s weekly magazines. He earned an A.B. in chemistry from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
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