SubHub is stating a simple truth about digital publishing when it compares conventional printing on paper to the Internet. The lessons are here not only for conventional publishers but for custom publishers as well. Custom publishers — companies that create and manage publications (i.e. marketing tools) for nonpublishers — are an esteemed part of our community. They provide service, eyeballs, work, and a really neat (if not necessarily new) paradigm. Whether using the single sponsor or multi-advertiser approach, the editorial and demographic focus they provide tends to rock.
Even so, SubHub may be showing a bit of the future of custom publishing. The company’s stated mission is to provide “an affordable solution for publishers who wanted to control their own site and have the option to make money in different ways from their content. . .[the site would be] comprehensive yet simple to use; fully managed, but would leave the publisher in control.”
Granted, most SubHub clients seem to have deeper roots in products and services than in content. Neverthless, the SubHub tools enable smaller businesses to do their own custom pubs.