Hi All,

I was just discussing the future of publishing—in particular, the future of the magazine I edit, Home Energy—with our publisher Tom White. Tom had a great way to describe the transition we feel we are in as a magazine: We are moving from the Sage on the Stage model to the Guide on the Side model. Leadership from within, leadership that shapes and facilitates the conversation. I have worked in very top-down hierarchal systems and those that professed to be consensus/consultative based, and each has it’s drawbacks. The Guide on the Side model is an attempt to bridge the gap with something that works in the information-packed free roaming world of the internet and social media.

The problems with the hierarchical model, where the Sage imparts wisdom to the hungry masses, are clear and well documented. But an organization I worked for professed to operate as "circles within circles." What we soon discovered was that some circles are more equal than others. It was never very clear how decisions were actually made. We knew there was an editor in there somewhere deciding policy. And individual circles could be dominated by the loudest and most attention-needy. When it worked well it was because someone was a great facilitator.

I guess the Guide on the Side, when it comes to magazine publishing, depends on editors and publishers that can listen to many voices and ask some to join in a conversation—about the best way to ventilate kitchens in a Passive House, for example,  in our case. Then we invite our readers into that discussion, all the while trying to mediate for clarity and to stay on topic.

Just some thoughts at this point. But wanted to practice what I want to preach. So... what do you think?

Tags: leadership, magazine, media, publishing, social

Views: 31

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

tedkidd commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
"Absolutely agree Ben, "How much do I use, how much do others use, and what is my reasonable…"
36 minutes ago
Profile IconTauran Ivall, Alex Burnham and Annika Brink joined Home Energy Pros
1 hour ago
David Eakin replied to Jamie Kaye's discussion Flickering LED lights
"I also thought that, but I tried to put a CFL in the A-19 outside fixture at my…"
1 hour ago
Ben Jacobs commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
" I believe a major problem of government, of energy utilities, and home energy efficiency…"
2 hours ago
Jill Lindman posted an event

EEBA Houses That Work Education & Training at Johnson County Administration Building

August 22, 2014 from 8:30am to 4:30pm
About the SessionsIntro to Houses That Work: In this session participants learn how the many…See More
3 hours ago
Glen Gallo replied to Tom Conlon's discussion Whole House Fans - Love 'Em or Not?
"Title 24 requires whole house fans in zones 8-14 in the prescriptive path only. With many…"
4 hours ago
Jenn Saunders replied to Jenn Saunders's discussion iEnergyApp: Quickly generate professional reports for homeowners and get more contracts!
"Hey Tom, You are most welcome.  iEnergyApp is not free, but it is reasonable and pays for…"
4 hours ago
Jenn Saunders posted a photo

Automatically Generate Clean Simple Reports for Homeowners

Stop spending hours cropping and resizing images, formatting and reformatting a Word document to…
4 hours ago
Eric Sperline added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
Thumbnail

Beware ebay seller "supermomofps"

I bought a blower door system on Ebay from "supermomofps"  The item was never sent and…See More
5 hours ago
Larry Nissman replied to John Shillito's discussion Fixing a water heater?
"I have to agree with Kurt. 2000 ppm is exceedingly high. I have tested hundreds of hot water heater…"
5 hours ago
Tom White's video was featured

Passive House Revolution - Film Trailer

Looking for energy-efficiency in buildings? There's no need to wait for new technology - Passive House buildings use 80-90% less heating and cooling energy.
5 hours ago
Diane Chojnowski joined Hal Skinner's group
Thumbnail

Radiant Control Coatings

A group where people who work with radiant barrier coatings can let others know all of their uses.See More
5 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service