Some people like computer screens. Some people like paper. Some people like conferences and trade shows. The key is getting the information people want, when they want it, where they want it, how they want it. Finding that delicate balance among the what/when/where/how of media is what turns my crank, and it's what I've spent the last 30 years doing.
I’m a content guy. These days, I’m president and EIC of Center Ring Media, which publishes online newsletters and creates content marketing. (You can read more about it by following the link). I got my start in the news business with United Press International and have led a universe of consumer and b2b titles in print and online, including NetGuide, Time Digital, PC Sources, Internet Shopper, and netWorker. I’ve been publishing online since 1985; I was one of the first to produce a profitable regularly published e-mail newsletter, among the first journalists to blog, and one of the first to put a monthly newsstand magazine on the Web. My agency, 3Ships Communications, was an early content marketer with a clientele among the first wave of Silicon Alley.
In my travels, I’ve also learned a lot about search. I was the SEO lead at iVillage, at the time the #1 site for women on the Net, owned by NBCUniversal. It was quite a trip optimizing a multi-million-page site and I’m proud to say that I helped realize a 40 percent year-over-year increase in organic traffic. I was associate search director and a manager of content stragegy at Sapient, the world’s biggest independent digital agency. Before that, I was a Senior Media Analyst with InterfaceGuru, an excellent usability practice, working with some very large consumer and b2b sites on their usability and information architecture. And as an independent consultant, I worked with clients including GE Corporate Marketing, NYSE Euronext, and the Linux Foundation.
Mass media is largely designed to be ephemera, so a lot of my best writing work long ago hit the bit bucket. But not all.
Here are some of my more recent writings about the meet-up of old and new media. This is how newspapers can fight Craig's List. This is why the "blogging vs journalism" debate misses the point. This is how asking whether blogging is itself journalism only confuses the question. And this is the exact moment that the Web became a mass medium.
This was written on deadline for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001. It appeared the following day.
From WinMag.com, here's my take on putting digital genies back into analog bottles, and two columns about what happens when online businesses think they're immume to the laws of financial gravity.
I've long been fascinated by the possibilities of electronic cash and electronic identity. I've also long been fascinated by great barbecue. (Warning: 2.3MB PDF.)
From UPI, this item was the first national write-up of an early experiment in consumer-level electronic media.
From NetGuide: "'Remember Elvis,' my friend Grace said. 'People try to ban what they don't understand.'" This one argued that wiring schools is dangerous and subversive, and that we should begin immediately. And this one got collected in a standard Freshman Comp textbook, alongside essays by Maya Angelou, Anna Quindlen, Fox Butterfield, William Least Heat Moon, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; I argue the (alloyed) virtue of branded information.
From Computer Update, the magazine of the late Boston Computer Society, a lighter column imagining a conversation between Archimedes and his flak, Delirium. As ever, PR wins out.
And remember Jaron Lanier, the virtual worlds guru? I caught up with him way back at the 1986 Consumer Electronics Show, where he was flogging his first product.