Current Experiments: Reaching niche & broad audiences

At the right you'll find links to some of our current Emerging Media Audience experiments. Here are profiles of these projects (results snapshots following the profiles):

LivingHome. Launched in 1994 as the Web's first home living 'ezine, the site now is experimenting with topics for home living enthusiasts not covered by the traditional lifestyle media. With two 'dueling blogs' on the index page, LivingHome covers the broad topic of design -- good and bad -- in products and homes from companies usually too small to advertise (and get coverage) in the traditional media. The site also covers the increasing use of technology, such as Flash for interior design planning and search technology, for getting information about home living. These tech-info tools are making the traditional home media less relevant for answers to specific questions about viewers' own homes.

Pulp-It. With the increasing popularity of 'Photoshopping', or re-mixing photos and illustrations to tell a story, Pulp-It uses remixed pulp magazine covers and other vintage images for commentary on current news topics. In the 2004 election, millions of people shared their opinions of the candidates not via words and opinions, but instead via sharing links to funny Flash animations and Photoshopped images turning the candidates into goofballs.

MansGland. Why does prostate cancer, which is curable when caught early, kill 30 thousand American men a year? From personal experience, we know a major reason is that men do not care about, think about, talk about or read about prostate health. And, they often don't even know if their doctors are doing the right tests. Not only is this an apathetic media audience, it is one that often winces at the topic. So how can the media -- or the sharing of personal content among friends -- break through this shell? Perhaps by trying to make man's gland funny.

Pups 'N Prostates. The prostate might be the subject of PG-13 humor, but prostate cancer is no laughing matter. Prostate cancer patients will find volumes of information from many sources about their disease. We believe the response is often frustration in trying to relate the information to the patient's specific case. Can very niched personal publishing, like that provided by Blogging, add anything to try to help these men? What about reveling in the amazing bond between men and dogs and the unique fact that they both have similar glands? And that science is proving that dogs as therapy can be as effective as pharmaceuticals?

Visit this site for updates on these experiments, and a recap of previous emerging media audience experiments over the last 20 years.


LivingHome is the only site not published by a media company in the Yahoo Directory's list of the most popular home living magazine sites. USA Weekend twice called LivingHome its Top Pick in the category. Until recently, we were second in Google PageRank order for home & homeowers. Now we're 10th because of a relaunch and broken links, but climbing back.

MansGland has been the subject of two widely syndicated newspaper stories, including a Chicago Tribune piece. Two national magazine feature articles are scheduled before February. Most weeks inquiries arrive asking for permission to reprint the funny pictures about the prostate and its health. Currently, this material is distributed statewide at health info events in Oklahoma, and will soon be available in a book distributed in Montreal. A nursing school requested reprint rights because of the discomfort felt by new nursing school students about men's plumbing. MansGland posters are used as ice-breakers in this school.

Pulp-It. Dave "Doc" Winer, whose blog Scripting News is the longest running blog on the planet, called Pulp-It 'brilliant and funny". One of the U.K.'s most popular blogs, Bifurcated Rivets, said: "a most excellent website! Original and brilliant. I'm adding this to my daily round. And the European blog The Cartoonist, one of the best on the Web covering the history of graphics in the media, calls Pulp-It "Fan-tastic".

Pups 'N Prostates, our newest experiment, is still in early beta, meaning we've not shared it with many targeted viewers: men with prostate cancer. But, consider the rise in popularity of media related to dogs. In our hometown, Minneapolis, we now have two monthly magazines for local dog owners. Recently, we compared the number of photos of dogs in the 254-page November, 1972 issue of Better Homes and Gardens to the similar size October, 2004 issue. The 1972 issue has one ad picturing a dog, and no dogs in editorial shots. The 2004 issue pictures 12 dogs in ads, and seven in editorial photos. If media sharing among personal networks is on the rise, then emotional triggers to simple messages should be of value. And what better message to prostate cancer patients than this: "Did you know science is proving that loving a dog can improve the outcome of your disease?"