Over the last 6 months there’s been a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes at sportEX, stimulated by 4 main motivations:
In order to achieve our goals, we’ve completely rethought and restructured just about every aspect of what we do from the financial modeling, planning and budgeting, to the way we commission and pay for content, and finally through to the way we deliver this content.
(1) Ethiconomics = a name given by author Philip Birch, for the principles and practice of ethical business
At the heart of everything we do is the interaction between you and the content we produce. We want to create the very best content we can to help you do your job in the most effective way possible. In order to achieve this we’ve done several things:
In collaboration with some of our longest serving most committed subscribers, we’ve identified the ‘streams’ of content that you feel would add most value to your work (see Box 1 for details of the content streams).
We’ve identified 1-2 commissioning editors per content stream who are responsible for commissioning articles under that topic area. These are people who have a strong track record for developing ‘translational’ content. ‘Translational’ content has always been our USP – the ‘read it now, use it in an hour’ approach. We publish for practitioners, these are hands on people who want to know how to translate the research evidence into practical application.
Authors will earn up to 25% of all sales of their content and commissioning editors will earn 1-2% of sales for every article they have commissioned for the entire time that the content is live and available through our platform. The clever bit is in the algorithm that calculates how these royalties are divided particularly when content is sold as part of a ‘subscription’ to a bigger product. Here we use an algorithm that takes total sales and then divides it proportionally based on number of times that piece of content has been purchased as either a single item or as part of a group, combined with a range of engagement measures like social media influence, discussion activity and viewing statistics. The end goal is that great content is rewarded - the more an article is purchased, read, engaged in and shared, the more of the content royalty pot it will earn.
The platform allows (and actively encourages) authors to regularly update, enhance and improve their content so that not only does it always remain current but the author always has the power to make it better (and encourage more sales). If the content isn’t updated then after a period it expires and ceases to earn royalties.
It’s a simple philosophy both in functional as well as economic terms that is designed above all to be fair, transparent and one in which everyone wins.
Our goal with this new platform has been simplicity, transparency, mutuality and ongoing self-refinement.
At last we have a whole range of advertising opportunities available also. You can advertise at any point on the site. This could be within a given content stream, under a given tag (keyword section) or even down to a specific article (particularly useful for authors of articles wanting to promote other activities such as books they’ve written or courses they’re running). And as you’d hope, the process is simple and transparent.
STEP 1: Navigate on the site to the position you want to place your advert
STEP 2: Pick the advert type you want ie. Banner size – just under the existing banner will be an “Advertise here” link – go ahead and click it!
STEP 3: Choose the start and end dates for your ad and the system will calculate the price and display this as well as some other options in the same area so you can adjust your booking to fit your budget
STEP 4: Once you’re happy, place the booking and you will be asked to upload your artwork which once approved will go live at the time designated.
Throughout the site you’ll notice a start on the community building aspect and content engagement through the discussion forums at the end of all pieces of content. There are also many social media sharing opportunities throughout the articles.
From a purchasing perspective you can now buy as little or as much content as you want right down from a single article, a stream of content, a ‘tag’ or a bundled subscription to the journals.
Our previous system had 7 different payment types with discounts based on payment methods. It was over-complicated (if you’re currently paying by one of these methods, don’t worry, we’ll continue to support it and you don’t need to change anything), but going forward it’s not only much simpler but also much more flexible thanks to the existence of a next-generation payment system known as Stripe. (see Box 2 for more details).
Initially we will be working backwards from recent to the older material, to add the content archives. The April 2015 journals will be the first fully functional content to be launched along with PDF versions of articles as far back as we can go at launch. By the end of April 2015 the site will contain every article we've published since our launch in 1999!
While we’ve launched initially with articles (as historically this has been our main format of content), the platform is built to host all types of media securely including video, audio, presentations and any type of media you want to throw at us and we’ll be expanding the media offerings as we take on more content creators.
We will also be adding two new dedicated streams of content on taping and business development commencing later in 2015.
This is a very short overview of the foundations of a much more complicated project that I believe will form a new way of publishing and growing communities in professional sectors not only in our core area of physical and manual therapy but across a whole range of vocational groups. This is just the start. I hope you enjoy the new site!
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Tor began her professional life training as a physiotherapist at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, UK. She went on to complete a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Birmingham whilst also achieving a WTA international tennis ranking.
After graduation she worked for a London marketing agency and then moved into medical journalism where her passion for publishing was born.
At 27 she established sportEX medicine, a quarterly journal for general practitioners focusing on sport and exercise medicine.
sportEX grew into an internationally known journal for all sports medicine practitioners, including physical and manual therapists; articles covered the practical application of evidenced-based research alongside professional development with expert contributors drawn from across the world of medicine and rehabilitation.
With a passion for technology as well as publishing and sport, Tor's leadership grew sportEX into the Co-Kinetic journal and website which included a more collaborative, royalty-based form of publishing as well as a wider content remit. As well as the quarterly magazine Co-Kinetic, offerings now include e-learning opportunities, breaking clinical research infographics, marketing kits for therapists, business growth tools, and a business discount club.
Tor's focus is providing resources to help practitioners and therapists develop their businesses and to work more efficiently and effectively, a topic that she speaks regularly on at global conferences.
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