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Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Time to Fly (Again)

Once again, I am blogging from the Omaha airport. Today I am on my way to Washington, DC, for the Publication Committee of the American Society of Nephrology.

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I attended this meeting last year, when ASN Kidney News had published a mere 2 issues. Tomorrow I will regale them with tales of our transition to a monthly publication. We have new columns and features. We respond to current events in a more news-like manner; the renal community’s response to the earthquake in Haiti was covered in the March issue.

Monthly publication does bring a downside, even beyond the added workload. When we cover “breaking” stories, like Haiti or healthcare, requested articles may be delayed in publication. My apologies to those who wondered why their articles don’t appear on schedule, but it happens. We also suffer from the advertising cycle now. Our very first issue, January 2009, had little trouble attracting ads. This year, things became a bit tighter. It turns out that advertising budgets are uncertain for the new year, and companies are hesitant to buy space for a January issue. I had always noticed that trade magazines were smaller in January, but I attributed that to content. Turns out if you have fewer ads, you can run less content, and this cycle is true across most publication categories. Makes me feel a bit silly. I should know that most things are about money!

After the January slump, things are looking up. We ran special sections in February and March. The April issue is up online in flash or PDF files. It features multidisciplinary care of kidney patients, and the articles presented rock! Hard copies should hit mailboxes the third week of the month.

We are always looking for good content ideas. It may be a special section with several featured articles, or just a single column. Nothing is too weird or silly for our consideration, as long as it somehow connects to the world of kidneys.

It is almost time to hit the security line. Later, nephrons!

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