I've been in touch with numerous folks who are closely following the future of Purchasing magazine's assets. At this stage, I've been able to discern a couple of items that Spend Matters readers might find of interest. First, a rumor is circulating that some of the editors and contributors of Reed's former supply chain titles (which I believe to include Purchasing) are considering forming a new site or publication -- I'm not sure if it would be an online or offline periodical -- potentially leveraging some of their former employer's assets. The second rumor (which I actually know to be a fact) is that numerous other publishers are interested in Purchasing's assets. The question remains whether this group would continue the brand in any sort of publishing format, or if they're just interested in content assets, lists, etc.
Personally, I think we're going to see a time of punctuated equilibrium in the procurement and supply chain publishing sector. You'll see a number of new entrants as well as their emerging strategies -- like Spend Matters, who sees opportunity in leveraging the situation to build a larger franchise and content asset. The one thing to remember about the publishing business is that nearly all of us in it, whether we're bloggers, columnists or editors, do it because we really enjoy it. Many of us with other skill sets could make far more money building businesses or spending our time elsewhere. Professional writing and publishing must be a labor of personal interest and love for it to succeed.
Still, there's obviously a business angle to the current situation. After all, Purchasing had a decent following among commodity managers. I think there's a good opportunity here for individual blogs, publishing firms/sites and others to step into the fray, be it for metals, plastics, energy, electronics, etc. Sure, many others have existed before -- but Purchasing was the one source that brought these commodity reporting elements together. For another point, I'm holding out hope that print is not yet entirely dead. Even though Spend Matters will not be getting into the print business anytime soon, I hope that others, including Procurement Leaders, CPO Agenda and Supply and Demand Chain Executive up their game if they can build a business case around it.
What should be buried for good with Purchasing's demise? Let's begin with non-expert trade reporting, starting with journalists and editors who research and report on topics they're not experienced in. I'd also like to add journalists who masquerade as expert-sounding columnists and bloggers. Don't get me wrong -- there is room for reporting and good old-fashioned journalism. But when journalists who aren't deep into a subject begin to act like the expert rather than the reporter, no one in procurement or supply chain wins (especially when covering areas like commodities, technology, etc.).